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

Benoit Jacob jacob.benoit.1 at gmail.com
Tue Jul 7 01:13:09 BST 2009

2009/7/7 Michael Pyne <mpyne at kde.org>:
> On Monday 06 July 2009 17:02:16 Marcel Partap wrote:
>> > >The patch is wrong.
>> > >This is the standard.
>> > >Not doing it would be wrong.
>> >
>> > Which then must mean that we shouldn't have those units
>> Very confusing indeed. IMHO there should be an option to switch between
>> base 1000 and base 1024 units, for which clear conventions exist.
> Just use KiB and be done with it.  Your "160 GB" hard disk will not ever hold
> 160000000000 bytes in practice no matter what unit system you select in
> KControl so it's hardly going to make the users feel any better.

I don't want to continue the bikeshedding but I just want to recall a
point that, as far as I can see, got lost in the discussion.

The point is that:

1 KiB is 2.4% more than 1 kB
1 MiB is 4.9% more than 1 MB
1 GiB is 7.4% more than 1 GB
1 TiB is 10.0% more than 1 TB
1 PiB is 12.6% more than 1 PB

The whole "1024 is close enough to 1000" thing dates back when people
were only dealing with kilobytes. If people had been dealing with
terabytes at that time, they probably would never had adopted that
terminology, because a 10% difference matters to many more people than
a 2.4% difference does.

I'm just saying that even though the current approach of KDE may seem
overly strict at the expense of familiarity to the user, in the long
term it is the only solution, and the rest of software will eventually
have to do the same.

This isn't an argument against Michael's patch that may be useful to
users today, i just wanted to get this point through.


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