[RFC] SI Units in KDE

Scott Wheeler scott at slackorama.net
Fri Sep 20 12:06:35 BST 2002

Quoting Christoph Cullmann <crossfire at babylon2k.de>:       
> I would say use MB with 1000*1000, MiB with 1024*1024, as the standards       
> says, as these standards are world wide accepted. They are perhaps       
> confusing, but who cares? It is not our thing to make the standards but to        
> use them. (I  don't like them, but it is simply correct to use them, but we        
> could come up with just an other standard, like 1023*1023 = MkdeB ;)).       
Something comes to mind about the US state (Indiana, IIRC) that "standardized"       
Pi to 3.  Simply more convenient they said.  The process of "standardization"      
does not make something relevant, correct or applicable.      
Thus something like the metric system makes sense -- for people.  Humans have      
10 digits and at this point most cultures use a base 10 number system to do      
math.   Computers, on the other hand (heh :-) ) work with two "digits".  
I'm with rikkus on this one.  Show me a computer that counts in base 10 and 
I'm all for converting to 1MB == 1000 bytes.  (Of course this would actually 
be vastly more data since a bit would have 10 possible states, but I 
There are two senses of the word "standard".  One means something that is      
often used, or a fairly accepted practice and probably based on some technical 
merrit; the other means something that has been set by a standards committee, 
but need not have been actually adopted by anyone (i.e.      
Pi == 3.0) or in any other sense of the word "standard". 
I think KDE has a responcibility *only* to those that fit both categories.       
Others may be toyed with, but their is no need to support a "standard" that,      
well, isn't.  In fact in this case I think we have a responcibility not to 
convice our users by enforcing a "standard" that isn't "standard" anywhere 
else, namely most other *nix tools. 
Standards are a good thing, but just because something is a "standard" is not      
in and of itself a reason to use it.   

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