Using standardized SI prefixes - Debian

This is a discussion on Using standardized SI prefixes - Debian ; Hi all, Please look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_prefix . I put a bug up for it https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/119822 & Aaron helpfully said it needs more discussion. I have had great support from libtorrent code.rasterbar.com as well as the guys at deluge http://dev.deluge-torrent.org . ...

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Thread: Using standardized SI prefixes

  1. Using standardized SI prefixes

    Hi all,
    Please look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_prefix . I
    put a bug up for it https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/119822 &
    Aaron helpfully said it needs more discussion. I have had great
    support from libtorrent code.rasterbar.com as well as the guys at
    deluge http://dev.deluge-torrent.org .
    The difference is simply astonishing to put aside if let's say a
    download or an .ISO says 700 MB (700*1000) it becomes 683.59375 MiB
    (700000/1024) . Please lemme know what you guys think about it ?
    It isn't just ubuntu or debian but this needs to be done
    everywhere. Have something accurate.
    --
    Shirish Agarwal
    This email is licensed under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

    065C 6D79 A68C E7EA 52B3 8D70 950D 53FB 729A 8B17


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  2. Re: Using standardized SI prefixes

    Le lundi 11 juin 2007 à 18:27 +0530, shirish a écrit :
    > Hi all,
    > Please look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_prefix . I
    > put a bug up for it https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/119822 &
    > Aaron helpfully said it needs more discussion. I have had great
    > support from libtorrent code.rasterbar.com as well as the guys at
    > deluge http://dev.deluge-torrent.org .
    > The difference is simply astonishing to put aside if let's say a
    > download or an .ISO says 700 MB (700*1000) it becomes 683.59375 MiB
    > (700000/1024) . Please lemme know what you guys think about it ?
    > It isn't just ubuntu or debian but this needs to be done
    > everywhere. Have something accurate.


    FWIW, this is already the case in GNOME.

    --
    .''`.
    : :' : We are debian.org. Lower your prices, surrender your code.
    `. `' We will add your hardware and software distinctiveness to
    `- our own. Resistance is futile.

  3. Re: Using standardized SI prefixes

    shirish wrote:
    > Hi all,
    > Please look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_prefix . I
    > put a bug up for it https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/119822 &
    > Aaron helpfully said it needs more discussion. I have had great
    > support from libtorrent code.rasterbar.com as well as the guys at
    > deluge http://dev.deluge-torrent.org .
    > The difference is simply astonishing to put aside if let's say a
    > download or an .ISO says 700 MB (700*1000) it becomes 683.59375 MiB
    > (700000/1024) . Please lemme know what you guys think about it ?
    > It isn't just ubuntu or debian but this needs to be done
    > everywhere. Have something accurate.


    I support your request. Although I think this isn't a big deal for the
    average user, it is pretty confusing from time to time since you can't
    be sure what a k actually means.

    This standard you're talking about exists for a while now but it seems
    that people (programmers) are adapting really slow. We could do the
    community a favor by doing what's in our possibility and push the
    adoption a bit further.


    Cheers,

    Bastian

    PS: Next time please use your real name when posting to Debian mailing
    lists.

    --
    Bastian Venthur http://venthur.de
    Debian Developer venthur at debian org


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  4. Re: Using standardized SI prefixes

    On Monday 11 June 2007 14:57, shirish wrote:
    > Please look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_prefix . I
    > put a bug up for it https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/119822 &
    > Aaron helpfully said it needs more discussion. I have had great
    > support from libtorrent code.rasterbar.com as well as the guys at
    > deluge http://dev.deluge-torrent.org .
    > The difference is simply astonishing to put aside if let's say a
    > download or an .ISO says 700 MB (700*1000) it becomes 683.59375 MiB
    > (700000/1024) . Please lemme know what you guys think about it ?
    > It isn't just ubuntu or debian but this needs to be done
    > everywhere. Have something accurate.


    I'm in favour! (But are you requesting that aptitude use SI prefixes
    correctly, or that it use IEC (binary) prefixes?

    --
    Magnus Holmgren

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  5. Re: Using standardized SI prefixes

    Magnus Holmgren wrote:

    > I'm in favour! (But are you requesting that aptitude use SI prefixes
    > correctly, or that it use IEC (binary) prefixes?


    I think we should go for the binary prefixes. Users will be confused
    when they read 1k and notice that the package has 'just' 1000 bytes.
    Plus, the 2^n presentation is much more common in the IT world than the
    10^n presentation.


    Cheers,

    Bastian

    --
    Bastian Venthur http://venthur.de
    Debian Developer venthur at debian org


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  6. Re: Using standardized SI prefixes

    shirish writes:
    > It isn't just ubuntu or debian but this needs to be done
    > everywhere.


    No it doesn't.

    The "SI binary prefixes" are an abomination.

    "Kibibytes"? Christ... [Did they try pronouncing these horrid things
    when "standarizing" them?!?]

    -Miles

    --
    We are all lying in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
    -Oscar Wilde


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  7. Re: Using standardized SI prefixes

    On Monday 11 June 2007 18:53, Miles Bader wrote:
    > shirish writes:
    > > It isn't just ubuntu or debian but this needs to be done
    > > everywhere.

    >
    > No it doesn't.
    >
    > The "SI binary prefixes" are an abomination.


    Why - besides pronunciation?

    --
    Magnus Holmgren holmgren@lysator.liu.se
    (No Cc of list mail needed, thanks)

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  8. Re: Using standardized SI prefixes

    On Mon, Jun 11, 2007 at 07:05:23PM +0200, Magnus Holmgren wrote:
    > Why - besides pronunciation?


    Aren't the names enough?

    Maybe they could have called them Kilobin bytes and Megabin bytes or
    something somewhat less awful sounding that they came up with. Did they
    even talk to anyone that might actually use the units?

    --
    Len Sorensen


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  9. Re: Using standardized SI prefixes

    I prefer not to use these new prefixes, because the old ones only became
    confused due to the efforts of drive manufacturers. Who are perfectly
    capable (and equally financially motivated) of pulling the same trick
    with the new units, standards body or no.

    Also, the "ib" prefixes sound stupid. Furthermore, the "KiB"
    abbreviation wastes a lot more screen space than "K", while actually
    converying no additional useful information. Many programs use every
    available character in a nominal 80 column screen and would have to drop
    information, precision, or significantly change their display to use the
    "KiB" unit.

    Debian has approximately as small of a chance standarising this
    throughout the distribution as we do standadising the spelling of
    "colo[u]r" or "standardi[sz]e" throughout the distribution.

    (On the other hand, I am one of the minority of people in the world who
    still prefer imperial measures, so apply salt to taste.)

    (On the third hand, I am a proponent of binary or decimal time
    and date representations. Down with bases 12, 60, and 30+-1 !)

    --
    see shy jo

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  10. Re: Using standardized SI prefixes

    Hi,
    * Bastian Venthur [2007-06-11 20:09]:
    [...]
    > Ok, "sounds stupid" and "may not fit on 80 column" screen.
    >
    > I agree with the "sounds stupid" part, although I don't belive
    > this is a valid argument. What I don't believe is your 80 colums
    > argument. Could you please name a few of the *many* programs
    > which would have to drop information, precision, or
    > significantly change their display to use the "KiB" unit?


    Don't we have $COLUMNS?
    Kind regards
    Nico
    --
    Nico Golde - http://ngolde.de - nion@jabber.ccc.de - GPG: 0x73647CFF
    For security reasons, all text in this mail is double-rot13 encrypted.

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  11. Re: Using standardized SI prefixes

    On Monday 11 June 2007 20:06, Bastian Venthur wrote:
    > I agree with the "sounds stupid" part, although I don't belive this is a
    > valid argument. What I don't believe is your 80 colums argument. Could
    > you please name a few of the *many* programs which would have to drop
    > information, precision, or significantly change their display to use the
    > "KiB" unit?


    What I'm missing in this request is the practical use.

    The original example given at the start of this thread was:

    Package: filezilla
    State: not installed
    Version: 3.0.0~beta10-0ubuntu1
    Priority: optional
    Section: universe/net
    Maintainer: Ubuntu MOTU Developers
    Uncompressed Size: 2134k

    Can you tell me in which cases you would make a different decision if this was
    either 2134*1000 or 2134*1024 bytes?

    In either case, ~ 2 million bytes suits your requirement, or it doesn't.
    This sounds to me like solving a non-problem, unless you can of course tell me
    in which situations adding the "B" or "iB" in the field above would solve a
    real question.


    thanks,
    Thijs


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  12. Re: Using standardized SI prefixes

    On Monday 11 June 2007 20:38, Thijs Kinkhorst wrote:
    > On Monday 11 June 2007 20:06, Bastian Venthur wrote:
    > > I agree with the "sounds stupid" part, although I don't belive this is a
    > > valid argument. What I don't believe is your 80 colums argument. Could
    > > you please name a few of the *many* programs which would have to drop
    > > information, precision, or significantly change their display to use the
    > > "KiB" unit?

    >
    > What I'm missing in this request is the practical use.
    > [...]
    > Can you tell me in which cases you would make a different decision if this
    > was either 2134*1000 or 2134*1024 bytes?
    >
    > In either case, ~ 2 million bytes suits your requirement, or it doesn't.
    > This sounds to me like solving a non-problem, unless you can of course tell
    > me in which situations adding the "B" or "iB" in the field above would
    > solve a real question.


    In many cases the difference is insignificant. It's the consistent use of IEC
    vs SI units everywhere that give the big benefits. Since the effort needed to
    convert a piece of software is in the vast majority of cases tiny, it's worth
    it.

    --
    Magnus Holmgren holmgren@lysator.liu.se
    (No Cc of list mail needed, thanks)

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  13. Re: Using standardized SI prefixes

    Magnus Holmgren wrote:
    > I don't believe that to be true. There are other computer-related contexts
    > where SI prefixes aren't used for powers of two, although perhaps most of
    > them don't involve bytes. For an average user, knowing two sets of prefixes
    > should be easier than knowing exactly in which situations to interpret the SI
    > prefixes as binary prefixes. Drive manufacturers used the SI prefixes in the
    > correct, albeit unexpected way. The fact is that with the IEC prefixes, all
    > ambiguity is removed, so if someone claims that a storage device is 32 GiB
    > when it's in fact 32 GB, there can be no doubt as to the fact that they are
    > lying. Or what kind of tricks did you have in mind?


    The kind of tricks that a company with a marketing department typically
    comes up with, not me.

    > > Also, the "ib" prefixes sound stupid. Furthermore, the "KiB"
    > > abbreviation wastes a lot more screen space than "K", while actually
    > > converying no additional useful information. Many programs use every
    > > available character in a nominal 80 column screen and would have to drop
    > > information, precision, or significantly change their display to use the
    > > "KiB" unit.

    >
    > You seem to fancy the K-is-1024--k-is-1000 convention


    No, I hate that convention. K and k should only ever refer to 1024.

    --
    see shy jo

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  14. Re: Using standardized SI prefixes

    Bastian Venthur wrote:
    > I agree with the "sounds stupid" part, although I don't belive this is a
    > valid argument.


    It's a perfectly valid argument for me to use to ignore a bad standard.
    If the standard makes me talk funny, I will ignore it or make fun of it.

    (Bibibibibibibibibibib.)

    > What I don't believe is your 80 colums argument. Could
    > you please name a few of the *many* programs which would have to drop
    > information, precision, or significantly change their display to use the
    > "KiB" unit?


    iftop, top, ls, and df are the first few to come to mind.

    > On the other hand, we have the chance to avoid user confusion and follow
    > a standard that (according to the wikipedia article) many already
    > adopted, like the GNU core utils, the linux kernel, ifconfig, launchpad
    > and gparted and many standards bodies and technical organizations like
    > IEEE, CIPM, NIST, and SAE.


    Note that wikipedia is rarely perfectly accurate on technical matters.
    And coreutils does not consistently use the SI prefixes.

    --
    see shy jo

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  15. Re: Using standardized SI prefixes

    Alex Queiroz wrote:
    > Hallo,
    >
    > On 6/11/07, Joey Hess wrote:
    > >
    > >No, I hate that convention. K and k should only ever refer to 1024.
    > >

    >
    > Like in kg or km?


    This thread is about units of data.

    --
    see shy jo

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  16. Re: Using standardized SI prefixes

    On Monday 11 June 2007 21:25, Joey Hess wrote:
    > Magnus Holmgren wrote:
    > > You seem to fancy the K-is-1024--k-is-1000 convention

    >
    > No, I hate that convention. K and k should only ever refer to 1024.


    In that case you're just sloppy. Prefixes and symbols for units are case
    sensitive.

    --
    Magnus Holmgren holmgren@lysator.liu.se
    (No Cc of list mail needed, thanks)

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  17. Re: Using standardized SI prefixes

    On Monday 11 June 2007 21:41, Joey Hess wrote:
    > Alex Queiroz wrote:
    > > On 6/11/07, Joey Hess wrote:
    > > >No, I hate that convention. K and k should only ever refer to 1024.

    > >
    > > Like in kg or km?

    >
    > This thread is about units of data.


    kbit? kbit/s? kB/s?

    --
    Magnus Holmgren holmgren@lysator.liu.se
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  18. Re: Using standardized SI prefixes

    Le lundi 11 juin 2007 à 15:25 -0400, Joey Hess a écrit :
    > > You seem to fancy the K-is-1024--k-is-1000 convention

    >
    > No, I hate that convention. K and k should only ever refer to 1024.


    /me waits for the day measuring jugs are graduated in powers of two,
    just to please a group of hackers who don't like SI units.

    --
    .''`.
    : :' : We are debian.org. Lower your prices, surrender your code.
    `. `' We will add your hardware and software distinctiveness to
    `- our own. Resistance is futile.

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  19. Re: Using standardized SI prefixes

    #include
    * Thijs Kinkhorst [Mon, Jun 11 2007, 08:38:11PM]:
    > On Monday 11 June 2007 20:06, Bastian Venthur wrote:
    > > I agree with the "sounds stupid" part, although I don't belive this is a
    > > valid argument. What I don't believe is your 80 colums argument. Could
    > > you please name a few of the *many* programs which would have to drop
    > > information, precision, or significantly change their display to use the
    > > "KiB" unit?

    >
    > What I'm missing in this request is the practical use.
    >
    > The original example given at the start of this thread was:
    >
    > Package: filezilla
    > State: not installed
    > Version: 3.0.0~beta10-0ubuntu1
    > Priority: optional
    > Section: universe/net
    > Maintainer: Ubuntu MOTU Developers
    > Uncompressed Size: 2134k
    >
    > Can you tell me in which cases you would make a different decision if this was
    > either 2134*1000 or 2134*1024 bytes?
    >
    > In either case, ~ 2 million bytes suits your requirement, or it doesn't.
    > This sounds to me like solving a non-problem, unless you can of course tell me
    > in which situations adding the "B" or "iB" in the field above would solve a
    > real question.


    Excuse me? Pretty simple example: you have only 2.03 GB (real GB)
    remaining free space (seen in some disk info tool) on your harddisk and
    you are fetching a 2GB file (2 fake GB, 2GiB in fact). So what, it
    breaks about 99% and displays some very unexpected message.

    I hate this disambiguation since I had to deal with lots of 1.44MB
    floppies. Oh wait, was there 1.48MB? 1.39MB? Or 1.4MB? Or 1,440MB? Or
    what was the point again? The point is that some old bad idea of how a
    real-world prefix can be abused in computer world has burned so deep
    into the minds of even respectable people that it seems to need another
    four decades to make people use the correct terms again.

    Eduard.
    --
    Getty: Solche Aussagen tätigt man hier nicht - sonst kommt
    wieder der weasel daher und zitiert einen auf der #-Seite!


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  20. Re: Using standardized SI prefixes

    Am Montag 11 Juni 2007 22:15 schrieb Josselin Mouette:
    > Le lundi 11 juin 2007 Ã* 15:25 -0400, Joey Hess a écrit :
    > > > You seem to fancy the K-is-1024--k-is-1000 convention

    > >
    > > No, I hate that convention. K and k should only ever refer to 1024.

    >
    > /me waits for the day measuring jugs are graduated in powers of two,
    > just to please a group of hackers who don't like SI units.


    And you have to change their world in an useless atempt?
    Abbreviations are ambiguous by design. Who actually says that KB means
    kilobyte?
    I don't like those Special Interest units in all situations

    As yes, I favour the
    1 MB = 1024 KB = 1048576 B

    HS



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