Ubuntu Desktop Unit Consistency (LP: #369525)
andrew-ubuntu-devel at pileofstuff.org
Tue Jun 2 11:19:12 UTC 2009
Scott James Remnant wrote:
> What would you use for the "thousand million bytes" case? :)
> HINT: the meaning of "billion" differs between "thousand million" and
> "million million" depending on your location.
> Most people in the metric-speaking world know what Kilo means, and have
> proved themselves able to learn Mega, Giga, etc.
"Billion" increasingly means 10^9 - Wikipedia claims that the long
scale is mostly used in non-English-speaking regions, so it's safe to
use "billion" unless the localisation in use says otherwise (at which
point, locale-specific words are needed anyway).
I agree that people can learn what mega and giga mean, so long as you
give them the opportunity to learn. Using "million bytes"
interchangeably with "MB" gives significantly more people that opportunity.
"Mega" is also a problem because accessibility isn't just about the
ability to understand something, it's about the amount of mental effort
required. Grab a non-technical friend or family member and ask them how
many million in a billion, then how many kilobytes in a megabyte.
You'll find they have to think longer and harder to answer the second
question, if they can do it at all. I'm not clear what extra value
"mega" provides that's worth so many wasted cycles.
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