Ubuntu Policy: prefixes for multiples of units

Loïc Minier loic.minier at ubuntu.com
Thu Sep 25 11:33:16 BST 2008

On Wed, Sep 24, 2008, Scott James Remnant wrote:
> Until such time that a user would be able to walk into a store, and the
> majority of hardware that they might buy is labelled in IEC prefixes
> (500gibibyte hard-drive, etc.), Ubuntu must not use these prefixes.

 This part of your logic is flawed; there's no reason that hardware
 should come up first to allow software to follow.  By this logic, we
 would only add ipv6 support when ISP start offering ipv6; not the best
 comparison, but you get the idea.

 Besides, hard disk sizes will cause discrepancies because of
 filesystems and low level formatting.  "I bought this 80 GB hard disk
 but only 68 GB are free".  The same goes for download speeds over ADSL
 or wifi links: they wont match the advertized ATM speed or theoritical
 maximum speed.

On Wed, Sep 24, 2008, Scott James Remnant wrote:
> My only and overriding concern is that if a user buys something that
> says "80 GB" on the box, then Ubuntu says "80 GB" when asked about it.
> Not "74 GiB", not "74 GB" and not "80 GiB".

 I don't think Ubuntu should target reconciling commercial and technical
 characteristics.  We should try to be as correct and honest as

 Other ways to deal with this:
 - listing two sizes "74 GiB (80 GB)"
 - adding the units information in the UI ("Note: 1 kiB = 1024 bytes")

Loïc Minier

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