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Re: Using standardized SI prefixes

Phillip Susi a écrit :
> Christof Krüger wrote:
>> Unfortunately, computer designers, technicians etc. are not living in an
>> isolated world (well.. maybe some of them).
>> No one wants to forbid the computer people to use base 2 numbers. They
>> are just asked to write KiB instead of KB if they mean base 2
>> quantities, because the rest of the world already uses kilo as 1000.
>> Changing the rest of the world makes no sense and having distinct names
>> for distinct thing does no harm.
> Different disciplines often ascribe different meanings to the same 
> words, so there is no reason why the prefix "Kilo" can not mean 1024 in 
> the context of computer science, so please stop complaining about that. 
>   You should just learn that in this context, that is what it means. 
> Always has and always will.
>> Yup, I totally agree. But why do we call it "kilo" then, when we
>> actually mean 1024? Someone found it handy dozens of years ago and
> Because we needed a name, and Kilo is a good one to use.  There is no 
> rule that says you can't use the word for a different meaning in a 
> different context.
>> everybody has adapted it. So back then, someone was redefining your pi
>> to 3 because it was close enough and now we should leave it this way?
>> Remember that until computers have been invented (or binary logic), kilo
>> has always meant 1000.
> And before computers were invented the word mouse always referred to a 
> small hairy rodent.  I don't see you complaining that it can also refer 
> to the computer pointing device on your desk.  When someone says they 
> caught a mouse or they clicked with their mouse, you can easily infer 
> which one they mean.
>> However, I don't agree that this should hold true in computer science.
>> One possible meaning of KB is "1000 bytes". The other is "1024 bytes".
>> Now take the sentence: "Hello John. I've got a file here and want to
>> send it to you. It's 25KB large." Now please extract from the context
>> which meaning is significant here? The problem is that the both possible
>> meanings depict exactly the same: a quantity of bytes.
> The context clearly indicates the meaning is 1024.  When referring to 
> bytes that context uses 1024.  Also capitalizing the K is another 
> indicator.  There is no ambiguity in that sentence to anyone familiar 
> with the computer science context.
It was already explained that even in computer science, kilo does not
always mean 1024. 56 kb/s is 56000 b/s, not 57344 b/s.

Anyway, I think the request initially was to indicate what kind of units
is in use, not to standardize on whether binary or decimal units should
be used. What has to be spotted is the places where formatting makes
inserting a i in the unit impossible. They should be very few, since
localization already pushes pieces of text around.

Then, somebody will stand and claim unification is required. But let's
deal with it later.

And anyway, we should not use byte anymore. Octet is less ambiguous !

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