Ubuntu Desktop Unit Consistency (LP: #369525)

Christopher Chan christopher.chan at bradbury.edu.hk
Thu Jun 4 02:45:37 UTC 2009

Mike Jones wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 3, 2009 at 7:17 PM, Max Bowsher <maxb at f2s.com 
> <mailto: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.
I know this is not addressed for me but I wish to clarify one point here.

If it was the case that VARIOUS major OS's will report in powers of ten, 
I would not be asking for the SI/IEC prefixes to be added to POSIX. What 
is currently taking place is that some applications in Ubuntu in GNOME 
are reporting in powers of ten while others are still holding to the old 
convention of base2. There is contention about this very issue within 
GNOME too.

The report of Windows using powers of ten is false. The page on 
Brainstorm has people citing Windows as being a problem because they use 
legacy (base2) units.

There are no other operating systems that I know of that use base10 
units when it comes to file sizes and disk space. Which I why I wish to 
push for taking this issue to the POSIX standard committee.

I, personally, do not care what units are used so long as everybody 
agrees on their meaning. That everybody of course being other operating 
systems and not the Ubuntu team.
>     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?

The main thing that I am trying to get across is that you cannot treat 
this as an Ubuntu only thing. Unless you want to drive away some of your 
current users. On my own home machine, I don't mind what is used. But 
others will. The server distribution will certainly have to be careful 
on how and when a return to SI definitions is made.

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