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Re: Using standardized SI prefixes

Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org> writes:

> Christof Krüger <ubuntu@pop2wap.net> writes:
> > I'd really like to hear some real arguments against SI prefixes,
> > besides being ugly or funny to pronounce or just because "it has
> > always been like that". Advantages of using SI prefixes has been
> > mentioned in this thread. Please tell me the disadvantages so
> > there can actually be a constructive discussion.
> Trying to change every piece of software in existence is a waste of
> time and energy for a problem that isn't that serious.

This proposal was never about "trying to change every piece of
software in existence". Just because perfection is unobtainable
doesn't stop us from working to improve the state of what we have.

> IMO, that's the *real* objection; most of the arguments are
> justifications for that position or are about things that we'd get
> over if this issue were addressed (like the silly words -- there are
> sillier words in English that just don't sound that way because
> we're used to them).

Agreed. Most of the arguments against this proposal to follow a useful
standard that improves clarity have been essentially "yuk" or "I'm
alright Jack".

Yes, the names sound silly. So does "byte", but we follow that
convention. A silly name is not an argument against following the
standard. The names are close enough to the wrongly-applied base-10
names that familiarity is fairly easily obtainable, while still being
different enough that they are distinct names.

Yes, most of us who frequently work with computers have become
accustomed to the ambiguity of these terms, in a field where precision
of terminology is highly valued. This is no reason not to work toward
fixing this for the majority of people who have yet to spend any
significant time exposed to these terms.

 \       "One of the most important things you learn from the internet |
  `\   is that there is no 'them' out there. It's just an awful lot of |
_o__)                                         'us'."  -- Douglas Adams |
Ben Finney

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