[PATCH] Add option to use traditional binary units instead of kibibytes

Michael Pyne mpyne at kde.org
Sat Jul 4 17:04:19 BST 2009

On Saturday 04 July 2009 05:26:36 Olivier Goffart wrote:
> Le Thursday 02 July 2009, Michael Pyne a écrit :
> > This is forwarded from a discussion on kde-devel regarding binary units.
> >
> > I would like to commit the attached patch to trunk by the end of this
> > week, if there are no major issues.
> >
> > Please please please do not email or flame about adding an option to use
> > KB/MB instead of KiB/MiB without at least reading the kde-devel thread
> > first.
> If there is an option to switch to KB,  then KB MUST means 10^3 B

I disagree ;)

> This is the standard.

No it's not.  I've mentioned this on the kde-devel thread numerous times.  We 
would be the only OS that ever shows KB for file size as not meaning 2^10 
bytes.  Also, this is how KB was in KDE 3.5 which I'm under the impression we 
are still trying to get users to upgrade from.

> Hard drive vandor follows that convention.

And?  I don't care what some marketing dweeb does to make their hard disk look 
better than the next guy's, and neither should you.  More to the point, USB 
thumb drive / flash disk vendors follow the opposite convention so don't go 
worrying about mass storage manufacturers until they can get their act 

> Not doing it would be wrong.

No, if you want kibibytes, they are the default, this patch does nothing more 
than adding a hidden option to bring back KDE 3.5 behavior for those who think 
that the entire kibibyte discussion is overblown.

> and power of 10 are more intuitive for human brain.

Intuitive how?  No one's taking logarithms of file sizes.  On the other hand 
if someone needs to seriously know whether a file will fit on their disk in a 
certain number of sectors (standard size 512 bytes) then it is much more 
intuitive to use binary units rather than decimal.

If you're talking about "having a feel for how large a file is" than 1024 is 
equally as "intuitive" as 1000.

If you're talking about knowing that file A > file B, that's not actually a 
problem either way.

 - Michael Pyne
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