Ubuntu Desktop Unit Consistency (LP: #369525)

Christopher Chan christopher.chan at bradbury.edu.hk
Tue Jun 2 02:59:10 UTC 2009

Neal McBurnett wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 01, 2009 at 09:23:25AM +0200, Martin Pitt wrote:
>> Remco [2009-06-01  5:15 +0200]:
>>> I have a file here of "701.2 MB", which is "735270912 bytes". Now, if
>>> it really *were* 701.2 MB, then it would be 701200000 bytes. So that's
>>> clearly base 2, which should be MiB.
>> Indeed this is a bug which we should fix. It should say "735.3 MB".
>>> While that may be true, the most useful thing about base 10 is that
>>> normal humans can actually understand it. We cannot calculate using a
>>> binary number system. Base 2 is not useful for anything, except
>>> sometimes in programming.
>> I'm still inclined to keep the exception for RAM size, though, since
>> they consistently come in multiples of MiB/GiB. Everything else should
>> use MB/GB, though.
> I agree.  More details and discussion are at this ifconfig bug report,
> which came to the same conclusion:
>  https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/net-tools/+bug/240073
The interface speed in base10 yes. The number of bytes transferred, NO, 
because that is and has always been base2. You are barking up the wrong 
tree with regard to ifconfig's report on RX and TX bytes. Your beloved 
bit_rate page is only for interface speed. So a 100mbit/s interface can 
be reported as 12.5MB/s interface (100,000,000bits/8 = 12,500,000bytes) 
which is still base10 but the amount of bytes transferred has to be 
base2 because that is how blinking file sizes are calculated. The size 
of a file has always been base2 and so this nonsense of reporting disk 
space in base10 will only lead to discrepancies between the amount of 
space available and how many files you are dump on it.

That stupid IEC standard is at complete odds with the way computers 
operate. I don't want to have to miscalculate just because tools started 
following stupidity and gave me numbers that were rounded up or down. 
Take this MB/Mib nonsense and stuff it. As a system administrator, I am 
having NONE of it.

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