Ubuntu Desktop Unit Consistency (LP: #369525)

Mike Jones eternalorb at gmail.com
Thu Jun 4 01:02:05 UTC 2009

On Wed, Jun 3, 2009 at 7:17 PM, Max Bowsher <maxb at f2s.com> wrote:

> Mike Jones wrote:
> > Do we have agreement that the correct prefixs for units that are counted
> > in powers of two are kibi, mebi, gibi, tebi, and so on?
> Not really, no.
> Some of us, myself included, are somewhat annoyed at standards bodies
> attempting to foist a bunch of overly-similar, awkward to pronounce, and
> generally stupid-sounding names on us.
> Max.
> Max,

    Thanks so much for your reply.

    Could you elaborate on what you feel that we should do in this case? You
have a point that the prefixes are strange sounding, and confusing, but how
do you differentiate between prefixes meaning powers of ten versus powers of
two? People have pointed out earlier that some portions of the various major
OS's will report in powers of ten, and others will report in powers of two.
That's hard for me, as a user to deal with, so I generally just assume
everything is a power of two and hope I have enough left over to not explode
my PC.

    Do you think that we should instead make new prefixes? Or mandate that
anything involving bytes is counted in powers of two or powers of ten (which
I suppose needs to be decided by someone)? Now that harddrives are commonly
multi hundred gigabytes, I feel that many users won't feel much of a
difference either way if we changed the way space is counted (either from
two's to ten's or ten's to two's. I always thought Nautilus reported in
powers of two, but I think that someone said thats not the case). It might
affect some people in how they percieve their drive's free space, but there
isn't any less (or more) space, its just counted differently. Is that an

    Do most others feel that there should be a uniform method by which to
present data counted in bytes? I know that the discussion was opened because
someone felt it was important to be consistant, and I personally agree with
him, but if the kibi, mebi, so on prefixes are'nt the right way to do that
type of consistancy, what other options can we put on the table?

    A suggetion I would like to make is that perhaps instead of everyone
bickering back and forth, we could gather some statistics on what the
opinions of Ubuntu's developers are? I don't know how to go about doing
that, but perhaps someone else might?

--Michael Jones
Junior Software Engineering Student
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
CTO of JAM Customs LLC
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