Ubuntu Desktop Unit Consistency (LP: #369525)

Evan eapache at gmail.com
Thu Jun 4 03:11:05 UTC 2009

I have been hesitant to add my voice to this discussion thus far, but I
think there has been some confusion as to what we are debating. There are
really two entirely separate issues at stake, and it would be nice to
clarify them.

The first issue is how various things such as disk space should be counted,
either in base 2, or in base 10.

The second issue is how we can distinguish between base 2 and base 10 in the
user interface.

For what it's worth, I think we should count everything in base 10 and use
the proper SI unit prefixes (KB, MB, etc). Most normal users have no idea
what base 2 even is, and this is at least consistent with packaging for HDDs
etc. Perhaps have an option to switch to base-2 mode (with KiB and MiB
prefixes) for those who know what it means. Just my two cents.

Regardless of the final outcome however, they really are two separate
decisions to be made and should be treated as such. I would like to
therefore call for an unofficial vote.

On the issue of user-interface, and KB vs KiB, please clarify whether you
would always prefer KB, or you would prefer using KB for base-10 and KiB for

On the issue of labeling, the choices are to always use base-2, always use
base-10, or decide it on a case-by-case basis depending on other factors
(like HDDs using base-10 size labels already).

I hope this email does not simply add to the confusion this thread has
already generated.

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