Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)/Archive B16

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There is no consensus to deprecate IEC prefixes

Twice now in the last week, a discussion that I started has been prematurely archived, without giving Headbomb a chance to answer the question I put to him. So let's forget the question and concentrate on the issue.

First, "What is an IEC prefix?" I hear you ask. Read this for a brief introduction and this for the case against the deprecation of their use on Wikipedia.

was there ever consensus on this?

There are several reasons to question that consensus was reached for the present deprecation of IEC prefixes:

  • the concerns of the 3 minority editors (in the 7-3 vote for the present wording) were not taken into account. All three (Seraphimblade, Thudnerbird2, Woodstone) expressed concerns about exactly the same piece of text in a larger guideline. The piece of text they were concerned about was the said deprecation. The reason for the concern, at least on my part, was that only 2 months previously, 11 editors had expressed a view that use of IEC prefixes should not be deprecated by MOSNUM (to none against).
  • I did not see a need to go over all of the reasons for an umpteenth time, as I could not believe anyone would have the temerity of ignoring such an overwhelming consensus against deprecation - I was wrong
  • despite this concern, the views of the editors involved in the 11-0 vote (against the present wording) were not sought
  • the discussion was held in an acrimonious atmosphere, in which any opposition to deprecation was met with a barrage of ridicule from Greg_L.[1] Some elected to stay away rather than participate in such a mockery of a debate.(under Evidence that editors stay away from MOSNUM due to disruptive behaviour); see also Omegatron's statement

is there consensus for it now?

  • Three attempts at starting a discussion were shouted down [2][3][4]
  • In the 3rd attempt, at least 5 editors (Jeh, Seraphimblade, Thunderbird2, Tom94022, Woodstone) argued against the present wording. Those who dared to support their view were met with further ridicule from Greg_L:

After those attacks I requested mediation. An offer of mediation was made by Doug and rejected by Greg_L.

And now, because I dare to question the claimed consensus, Greg_L portrays me as some kind of lunatic[6].

See also the theses of Quilbert and Omegatron on their personal spaces

The following WP Policy statements are relevant:

  • Reasonable consensus-building: Consensus can only work among reasonable editors who make a good faith effort to work together in a civil manner.
  • Forum shopping: It is very easy to create the appearance of a changing consensus simply by asking again and hoping that a different and more sympathetic group of people will discuss the issue. This, however, is a poor example of changing consensus, and is antithetical to the way that Wikipedia works. Wikipedia's decisions are not based on the number of people who showed up and voted a particular way on a particular day; they are based on a system of good reasons.

In other words, there is no reason to assign any more weight to the 7-3 vote than to the 11-0 vote before it. The dead horse that anti-IEC editors are so fond of quoting simply doesn't apply here, because there has never been a discussion that concluded in favour of deprecation that has not been dominated by abusive remarks from Greg_L. The result is that editors who wish to take part (like Omegatron and Quilbert) stay away from the discussion because they do not wish to be on the receiving end of such abuse. Thunderbird2 (talk) 18:11, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Demonstrating there is consensus for the guideline text to deprecate IEC prefixes.

IMO there has never been a consensus to deprecate IEC Binray Prefixes and this subject needs to be discussed in this talk page. It is really improper for anyone to revert this section. Tom94022 (talk) 18:45, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
IMO there has never been a consensus to allow IEC binary prefixes (except in articles about the prefixes themselves, or if they're actually used in the source), as they're not used "in the real world". Apparently, even though IEEE accepted the standard, journal authors refused to use it. There's no "there" there.
In spite of the fact that I don't think Greg understands consensus, he was right in this instance. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 23:26, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Thunderbird2 I see you have not actually tackled the real issue and instead have again misrepresented the actual situation and again have attempted to misrepresent other editors and have again attemtped to use ad hominem. Nothing you have posted above has any substantive valid argument, as I will now demonstrate. For example: You claim you asked a question that had not been answered [7] but that question is fallacious because you know full well there was discussion and that in that discussion you failed to answer questions put directly to you. The question you asked is the same as asking an equally fallacious question such as "Can you point to a discussion proving the moon is not made of cheese?". The "question" you put to him is irrelevant and the answer already known and as such your demand that he answer it is not a valid demand and is wasting the time of Headbomb. You then go on to try to cite really old votes on a tiny issue but there is a much newer larger debate that refutes the older votes you cite because the newer much larger debate provides much stronger arguments than just the vote you cite. Strong arguments make consensus, votes are not strong arguments, and because you keep on repeating this accusation this demonstrates you are refusing to get the point WP:POINT. Then you again repeat the allegation that concerns of some editors were not taken into account, again as the talk archive shows the concerns of the editors were heard but when refuted by much stronger arguments there were no strong arguments in reply (you Thunderbird2 actually refused to give any valid answers many times, this is documented at the end of the talk archive). In the talk archive I can point to at least two key questions asked by two different editors directly to Thunderbird2 where no valid answer relevant to the topic was given. Since those opposing the text made no strong substantive arguments compared to the stronger substantive arguments for the text then the much weaker point of view does not have to be included in the guideline. It is obvious why unsupported weak points of view are not included in guidelines because guidelines need to be made from strong arguments, otherwise we would have guidelines saying "in all articles about the Earth it must be stated that some people believe the Earth to be flat" for example. Read WP:UNDUE because it applies to this situation. Again, repeating false allegations is a violation of WP:POINT. Then you attempt to misrepresent other editors because instead of discussing their arguments you personally attack them instead, therefore you are trying to use ad hominem instead of valid debate. Your actions are a violation of WP:NPA. Also this is not the first time you have posted the same refuted old arguments yet you still continue to repeat them and that is called "beating a dead horse". Since you repeatedly continue to violate policies and guidelines intended to promte valid debate on Wikipedia then this demonstrates disruptive editing. The consensus as demonstrated in the talk archive is that IEC prefixes are not to be used except in very limited situations and that consensus is reflected in the guideline text.Fnagaton 02:13, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Enough with the tug-of-war

I don't want to see this block of text be inserted and reverted and inserted and reverted anymore. Let it go. It will be automatically archived by the bot, normally, if the interest in it dies down; there is no hurry to archive it. This is getting dreadfully tiresome and close to warranting protection or issuing blocks. I doubt anyone wants to see that happen. If someone wants to keep beating this dead horse into a pulp, let them. Ignore it, don't get involved in an edit war over it. Shereth 22:56, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Thunderbird2's comments were archived to remove the violations of WP:NPA from the talk page. Since the user is again repeating those same false allegations then the comments should again be archived and removed to avoid cluttering up this talk page with irrelevant comments.Fnagaton 02:18, 25 October 2008 (UTC)


  • (*sigh*) …since it’s a simple copy/paste… here is the consensus:
Figure of Merit—Binary prefixes (Purplebox)
Degree of support
User 5 4 3 2 1 0
Headbomb (ταλκ · κοντριβς) 05:30, 2 June 2008 (UTC) X[1]
Greg L (talk) 15:16, 30 May 2008 (UTC) X[2]
Fnagaton 19:08, 25 May 2008 (UTC) X[3]
Woodstone (talk) 20:42, 2 June 2008 (UTC) X[4]
SWTPC6800 (talk) 18:01, 30 May 2008 (UTC) X
Seraphimblade Talk to me 05:42, 26 May 2008 (UTC) X[5]
MJCdetroit 19:50, 27 May 2008 (UTC) X [6]
Thunderbird2 (talk) 07:28, 6 June 2008 (UTC) X[7]
Dfmclean 19:00, 28 May 2008 X[8]
Pyrotec 22:35 05 June 2008 X[9]

The above was after three solid months of debate. No rule of conduct in a decent and civilized society requires that a single holdout can keep on disrupting a system for so long. T-bird: your objections were heard but your persistent silence, when Headbomb asked you (repeatedly) to explain your reasoning, was deafening. You have no one to blame but yourself for failing to persuade others to your way of thinking. As I stated above, we are done with this issue for now. When there is a change in the reality of the situation and there is actually a fair amount of real-world usage of the IEC prefixes, let us know. Until then, please accept with grace that the consensus is that Wikipedia will communicate to its readership the same way all other encyclopedias and computer magazines do: with terminology and symbols that readers actually recognize. Greg L (talk) 02:47, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Nothing more can be said to you, Thunderbird2, that hasn’t already been said ten to a hundred times. You arguments and tactics remind me of a stuck record. Your views were heard by all and rejected as unwise. As for “abusive” remarks, and your implication that such alleged abuse somehow undermined the validity of the entire proceedings: nice try, but you obviously stayed in the thick of it to the bitter end (note your above vote)—even in the face of your perceived slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune. You have no one to blame but yourself for failing to persuade others to your way of thinking.

    Actually, you had an insurmountable objective: arguing a case to make Wikipedia do something foolish and use terminology that no other encyclopedia in the world uses, nor any computer magazine directed to a general-interest audience, nor which any computer manufacturer uses in marketing communications to their customer bases. Further, you were advocating Wikipedia use terminology that you conceded our readership didn’t even recognize (the fifth entry down is your signature). Further, your silence here for six days on this thread and then, after I archived it, your deciding to drag it back here to keep on flogging this dead horse, is just more of the same old stuff from you. Your actions here are tedious at best, and disruptive at the worst, and I will no longer dignify your tactics with any further responses. Goodbye. Forever. Greg L (talk) 23:26, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Something to take under advisement

Mmm, nuts! This page in a nutshell:
If you are the only person left beating the horse after it has died, consider the possibility that you should stop.

There comes a point in every debate on Wikipedia where the debate itself has come to a natural end. You may have won the debate, you may have lost the debate, or you may have found yourself in an honourable draw. At this point you should drop the stick and back slowly away from the horse carcass.

If a debate, discussion, or general exchange of views has come to a natural end through one party having "won" or (more likely) the community having lost interest in the entire thing, then no matter which side you were on, you should walk away.

If you don't, if you continue to flog the poor old debate, if you try to reopen it, if you continually refer to old news, if you parade your triumph in the faces of others... you're not really winning friends and influencing people. Instead, you are annoying the hell out of everyone nearby.

If you've "won": good for you. Now go about your business, don't keep reminding us of the fact that your "opponent" didn't "win". If you've "lost": sorry, hard luck. Now go about your business, don't keep reminding us of the fact that your "opponent" didn't actually win because of... whatever. If the debate died a natural death: let it remain dead. It is over, let it go. Nobody cared except you. Hard to stomach, but you're going to have to live with it.

So, the next time you find yourself with the body of a horse: please stop beating it. It won't help.

See also


Greg L (talk) 02:47, 25 October 2008 (UTC))

rebuttal to claim that IEC prefixes never had consensus

  • Arthur Rubin states IMO there has never been a consensus to allow IEC binary prefixes (except in articles about the prefixes themselves, or if they're actually used in the source), as they're not used "in the real world". This is simply incorrect. Binary prefixes have been accepted by MOSNUM at least since July 2005 (and even recommended for some of that time). The present dispute began in January 2008 when Fnagaton removed the statement that they were permitted without first establishing that there was consensus to do so. In April 2008 Greg_L removed the text that he and Fnagaton were disputing (twice). [8] [9].
  • Greg_L presents his tired table of votes for the umpteenth time, which proves that 3 editors voted against the present text, forgetting to mention that the 3 votes were all for exactly the same reason: that it has been established after lengthy discussion that there is no consensus for the present deprecation.
  • Fnagaton protests weakly that I have not tackled the real issue. But he is wrong, for from the outset I present a detailed case against deprecation, prepared by Tom94022 and myself. In case he missed it the first time, he can read it again here,

Thunderbird2 (talk) 19:07, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Again you are misrepresenting the actual situation, as I will now demonstrate by refuting each of your points in order: 1)Arthur is correct to say there has been no consensus because since the start of the time period where you claim IEC prefixes are encouraged that actual change to MOSNUM did not have consensus, meaning the arguments presented at the time were not strong arguments that were compatible with existing guidelines. Even Omegatron admits that the original change to "encourage" IEC prefixes does not have consensus. 2) You claim the votes are for the same reason and yet those three same reasons were not substantiated by any strong arguments and were actually refuted by much stronger arguments. Since you and those two other votes do not have any strong argument and are just "ILIKEIT" then are are irrrelevent when it comes to deciding consensus. Again, do not misrepresent the situation by trying to cite much older refuted arguments when much newer stronger arguments exist in newer talk archives. 3) The link you post is to your talk page and misrepresents the situation by missing out the actual links to the multiple times you have repreated the same old refuted statements. Proof of this is that everything in that link you posted is basically a copy-paste of the same text here with minor tweaks and in that talk page archive those unsupported incorrect assertions were refuted and rejected again by multiple editors. Then the time before that in the previous archive and then again here. A very short summary of the whole talk page archives presented above is that everything in that link you posted above is contrary to how Wikipedia works with guidelines and policies because nothing in that link tackles the real issue that using IEC prefixes is against the following WP:UNDUE, WP:OR, WP:V, WP:RS, WP:NPOV and WP:CRYSTAL. Those cited guidelines and policies are relevant because we use secondary sources for articles and those sources do not use IEC prefixes in the majority of cases (less than 1% of secondary sources actually use IEC prefixes). You want to rely on the primary sources of the standards bodies but you cannot do that without secondary sources to support your point of view, since you have very few secondary sources then WP:UNDUE applies. The fact that the majority of publications do not use IEC indicates that they do not see IEC as a benefit to their readers. This is no surprise because the majority of manufacturers also do not use IEC prefixes. IEC Prefixes were proposed nine years ago now so their failed adoption by most of the technical people indicates they are a failed standard, thus they are a fringe theory (WP:UNDUE). Headbomb is an excellent example of remaining balanced and neutral because he personally likes IEC prefixes but he also knows that Wikipedia is not the place to use them ecause he reads and understands the Wikipedia guidelines and policies. This neutrality is why we must reference existing Wikipedia guidelines and policies when considering changes to guidelines. Since the vast majority of the real world does not use IEC prefixes then to advocate use of IEC prefixes for disambiguation presents a false point of view (synthesis of an idea from a primary source) to our readers, which violates WP:NPOV, WP:OR and WP:CRYSTAL. Thunderbird2, just because you keep on repeating the same weak statements does not suddenly mean you have a strong argument, you do not, you have been refuted many times by much stronger arguments, stop beating this dead horse. I therefore note you have still not provded any substantive arguments and you have still not tackled the actual issue and that you have not answered questions put to you.Fnagaton 03:50, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
This has been answered about twenty millions times by now and your lack of tackling the real issue has been well documented. I've asked you well over 20 times to give substantial arguments over 3 months and you've failed to do so every time (See [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16], [17], and [18]] amongst others). I've berated Greg for encouraging bad faith when it came to dealing with you ([19]) , saying that I would rather form my own opinions on this. Greg took numerous swings at me and at my supposed agenda for the promotion of the IEC prefixes. I'm a personal proponent of IEC prefixes in the real world, I use them and I love them. The fact that I side with Greg and Fnag (and Pyrotec, and Marty Goldberg, and SWTPC6800, and MJCdetroit, and Franci Schonken, and Jimp, and Rilak, and Dfmclean ...) on this is a testament to both the weakness of your position and arguments and the strength of theirs. Please drop the stick. You are a single-purpose account who spends >95% of his time pushing for binary prefixes. Go away. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 20:36, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
  • What the holy hell are you proposing Thunderbird2? Do you want to take Wikipedia back to the days when we had some computer articles that used “megabyte (MB)” to denote 10242 bytes and still others used “mebibyte (MiB)” to denote the same value? Using different terminology in different articles isn’t going to happen here before hell freezes over; we’re going to be consistent. So just what do you want? Just answer that one damned question, will you please? Do you want Wikipedia to standardize—completely  in every article that refers to these sort of values—upon the IEC prefixes? Or do you just want them somehow “permitted” so you can use them in any article you touch and not have them reverted? Answer that question or go away. Man you are annoying. Greg L (talk) 02:09, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Motion to archive the above

Headbomb and Greg, since Thunderbird2 and Tom have not provided any new substantive arguments on this issue and because if Thunderbird2 had not just posted the same old refuted statements he has repeated ad nauseam then this section would have been archived by the bot and because Thunderbird2 has still not given valid answers to questions directed to him: I propse that this whole section be archived to avoid cluttering up this talk page with Thunderbird2's violations of WP:POINT. In the interests of playing fair Thunderbird2 and Tom can have one last chance to present new substantive arguments and to give valid answers to questions in the talk archive (instead of repeating the same refuted statements from his talk page). If either of them continue to repeat the same old refuted statements (i.e. beat the dead horse) then I propose to archive immediately. Does anyone (apart from Thunderbird2 or Tom, obviously) disagree with this? Fnagaton 04:04, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

I tried to stop the nonsense a while ago, but alas it didn't work so we have this diarrhea on WT:MOS once more. Trying to archiving it again will just lead to more accusations of who knows what at this point. Let's just ignore them and have the bot archive this whole crap. We're tried sensible discussion, they aren't interested in that. So unless they can somehow establish that using binary prefixes is does not go against WP:SOAP, WP:CRYSTALBALL, and I'm sure you know of many others since you've been here longuer than I, let's just move on. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 05:01, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
There is WP:UNDUE as well. I seem to remember Arthur also mentioning WP:NEO, Arthur can you remember where that was? Fnagaton 07:54, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Archiving just looks like censorship. I tried archiving, but that was after he hadn’t responded in six wholes days. Then he posted the whole damned thing back here and added a little message that he was really discussing it somewhere else. To us, his antics seem like spraying graffiti. Clean it off the wall, and a couple days later the wall says “Thunderbird2 was here” in the morning. To others, he is expressing a minority viewpoint.

    I’d truly like him to simply explain what precisely his ultimate objective is here. That’s preferable to listening to him complain about how nobody is listening. OK, we’re all ears Thunderbird2. What is your objective? Do you want the IEC prefixes used here on Wikipedia? Because if you do, we better be consistent here. Even though no one else in the real world is using them (no computer manufacturer to their customer base, no computer magazine to a general-interest readership, and no general encyclopedia), if Wikipedia is to be all alone on this one as far as real-world practice goes, we’re going to be consistent about it. So man-up T-bird! If that is your objective (get Wikipedia using the IEC prefixes), we should run your proposal up the flagpole and see who salutes it. If you can’t answer this simple question (what is it you’re trying to accomplish besides annoying Headbomb, Fnagaton, and me), you really should shoot your damned computer so you can resist the temptation to come here and bother others; that’s not nice. Greg L (talk) 07:00, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

  • In the case when someone is repeatedly being disruptive to Wikipedia then archiving their comments to remove clutter couldn't be seen as censorship, more like enforcement of policy. Fnagaton 07:54, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

For once it is Headbomb you chooses to be offensive while Greg_L is being constructive, in his fashion. I will respond to his challenge directly, disregarding its unnecessarily confrontational nature. My objective is the same now as it always has been: to establish whether or not consensus exists for the present deprecation. You 3 insist that it exists but are unable to demonstrate it. I am completely pragmatic: maybe it exists, maybe not. Let’s find out by asking the question, without insulting those who happen to disagree with one or other point of view. There has never been any need or justification for that. (It goes without saying that archiving the discussion before it has run its course amounts to censorship). Thunderbird2 (talk) 17:13, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

There is consensus and the evidence is archived. The archive also shows you failed to provide any valid strong argument and also shows you failed to respond to questions directed to you. Your point of view is demonstrated as being unsupported and therefore weak which is why it was considered and rejected and not allowed to be part of the guideline. Weak unsupported points of view are not included in guidelines for obvious reasons. It has been demonstrated time and time again that there is consensus for the strong arguments in that archive. Stop violating WP:POINT. Archiving a discussion before it is finished might be censorship, but what you are doing is not a discussion, what you are doing is repeatedly violating WP:POINT and as such archiving your violations is enforcement of policy because your edits are disruptive to Wikipedia. Stop trying to claim there isn't consensus for something when there obviously is, instead actually tackle the real substance of the arguments presented and start answering questions. I note you have still refused to give valid answers to questions directed to you. Due to your repeated violations of guidelines and policies you cannot be assumed to be acting in good faith anymore, that is why the moderator dismissed your request for mediation and that is why the multiple admins dismissed all of your unblock requests. You are in the wrong here, the sooner you realise this and stick to constructive editing the better it will be for you. Fnagaton 01:04, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
  • As is your (consistent) style, you (again) attempt to duck the issue Thunderbird2. And you try to bait Headbomb and set him up for another one of your ANIs. You hide behind procedural rhetoric about how you contest that there ever was a consensus to deprecate the IEC prefixes. That is a moot point, since Omegatron (a lead proponent of the IEC prefixes) himself admitted (∆ here), that “there was no consensus” to begin using the IEC prefixes in the first place. I’m calling your horseplay for what it is. You are simply hoping to come to WT:MOSNUM when Fnagaton, Headbomb, and I aren’t “looking” (or are ignoring you), get two or three like-minded editors to agree with you, and then revise MOSNUM to permit the IEC prefixes. Then you’d edit war over how there is no consensus to undo your move. Isn’t that right?

    To any admin looking at this post: I have clear proof that Thunderbird has lost the right to be presumed to be operating here in good faith since it is a matter of record that he lied and deceived to get his way only about five months ago. He pretended to be a swing-vote moderate and said that to gain his support, he wanted some concessions in wording that watered down arguments against using the IEC prefixes. I gave him precisely what he asked for. But when it was clear that the revised wording would still ban the IEC prefixes, he finally “came out of the closet" ramped up his opposition to what was going on, and in the end, voted *against* the wording after I watered it down per his wishes. He manipulates others and isn’t up front in his dealings. He wastes our time. He is not due an “assumption of good faith” because he has proven his SOP is to not operate in good faith. I utterly reject the notion that any rule in a decent and civilized society requires that civilized men in a party have to endlessly put up with a brute who crashes a party, disrupts all the proceedings, and refuses to behave himself. It’s high time to kick his ass out onto the street curb.

    I’ll have none of your B.S. anymore Thunderbird2. Your objective here is clear. There will no longer be inconsistent use of binary prefixes on Wikipedia (where some articles say “256 megabytes (MB)” to denote 10242 bytes, and still other articles say “256 mebibytes (MiB)” to denote the exact same value. We will be consistent here. Further, you will not be permitted to get your way by using procedural maneuvers. What you clearly want—I’d bet a hundred bucks—is to weasel in a MOSNUM guideline that “permits” their use and then you’ll start changing article upon article until we’ve once again got a bastard mess here on Wikipedia. This is the same bullshit Sarenne tried until he got banned for life. No one else in the real world is using the IEC prefixes (no computer manufacturer to their customer base, no computer magazine to a general-interest readership, and no general encyclopedia). If you got what you want, Wikipedia would be all alone on this one as far as real-world practice goes. For God’s sake, everyone agreed—even you—that our readership didn’t even recognize  the IEC prefixes. And yet, here you are, agitating for using them anyway. So…

    I’m going to do an end run around you Thunderbird2 and put all my chips in. Call my bet or get out of the game. No. We will not argue about whether there was or was not a consensus at various points in the past. We will determine what the consensus would be today if a vote were held on what you ultimately want. No. We will not merely “allow” the IEC prefixes so you can slyly go about your edits and Wikipedia becomes a bastard mix of of inconsistent usage. No. There will be no further debate. There has been a record amount of discussion on this issue already (fifteen archives dedicated exclusively to this one God damned issue). We’ll simply have a new vote. We’ll put a notice on a number of computer-related articles, on WP:MOS, WT:MOS, WP:MOSNUM, and WT:MOSNUM. The vote will be either that we go A) Completely to IEC prefixes for any binary value, or B) use the conventional terminology everyone else on this pale blue dot uses. If the vote is for “A” then we set a bot loose and change all binary values on Wikipedia to kibibyte (KiB), mebibyte (MiB), and gibibyte (GiB).

    You know what I think your response to the above will be? You will A) argue on procedural grounds over how our current policy never had a proper consensus. Or B) respond with an RfC or ANI over my mistreatment of you (bring it on: I’m just sick of your continual disruption of Wikipedia; I, at least, try to deal with others honorably and play by the rules). Or C) you will fall silent and duck the inconvenient fact that if a vote was conducted today on standardizing on the consistent and exclusive use of the IEC prefixes for binary values, the motion won’t go at all well.

    Now stop ducking and bobbing and weaving and playing your horseshit games. Do you want to have a new vote to see what the true consensus is today(?), or do you just want to keep on being the most annoying Wikipedian who still hasn’t been banned for life? Signed, with pleasure: Greg L (talk) 19:47, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

[*Greg L’s response to the guys in the white pants and shirts holding the straight jacket*]: “Why yes. I’m fine. I won’t try to hurt myself or others. I’m feeling much better now. Thank you.” Greg L (talk) 20:07, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
I see that none of you are ready for any kind of constructive debate. Greg_L in particular has reverted to the time-honoured bullying tactics that have served him so well in the past. At the risk of repeating myself: I believe that MOSNUM should only include statements for which there is a strong consensus. None of you have been able to offer any evidence that there is consensus for the present wording, apart from a discussion that was dominated by bullying and ridicule. You cannot achieve consensus by such methods, only the appearance of such. Thunderbird2 (talk) 17:36, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
  • T-bird, if you’re going to behave in a way that is continually disruptive, you will be treated commensurately. Stop acting like you didn’t read and understand any of the preceding, including my above post. Your arguments are like a stuck record.

    Your allegation that there is no consensus for the present wording is patently absurd because it was the product of a 7:3 vote in favor. As also stated above, the leading proponent of the policy it had replaced admitted that our adoption of the IEC prefixes had been done without a consensus, so your argument that the previous policy should be restored is totally bankrupt. Your allegation that we haven’t produced evidence of a consensus is patently absurd because a copy of the ballot table is copied above. Your argument that the consensus is invalid because it was the product of “bullying” is utterly fallacious. The arguments of the pro-SI prefix crowd simply didn’t hold any water and crumbled. The only way you saw fit to sneak around the inconvenient truth that your camp’s arguments weren’t substantive was to simply refuse to answer direct questions from Headbomb and be evasive. That continued refusal still has Headbomb recovering from a near fit. You have no one to blame but yourself for failing to advance arguments to persuade others to your point of view.

    Your clear desire to go back to the past wording, which “allowed” the use of the IEC prefixes is beyond unrealistic; no one on Wikipedia but you wants to go back to where we had a bastard mix of the IEC prefixes on some articles and conventional prefixes in others.

    The only possible policy decision is whether to have project-wide standardization entirely on the IEC prefixes, or to continue to simply follow what everyone else on this pale blue dot does. You know as well as I do that such a proposal doesn’t have a snow ball’s chance in hell of passing; ergo, your continual popping up here on WT:MOSNUM with your periodic attempts to sneak in—when Headbomb, Fnagaton, and I aren’t looking—a guideline that would “allow” the IEC prefixes so you can slyly go about your business of converting articles until Wikipedia once again becomes a bastard mix of binary prefix conventions. We tried that for three years and became a laughing stock; people throughout the world just dismissed those who were responsible for our use of the IEC prefixes as being some sort of wide-eyed futurists who go to Star Trek conventions wearing Spock ears.

    There has been a record amount of discussion on this single topic (16 “Binary” archives!), and Headbomb’s efforts at mediating the dispute and arrive at a consensus should serve as a paradigm of how other mediators should operate. It’s all over now. Give it up.

    To any administrator reading this post: Please read my above, 19:47, 30 October 2008 post. Thunderbird2 is not due a presumption of good faith because he has demonstrated that he consistently operates in an exceedingly frustrating, underhanded manner. “Assumption of good faith” ≠ “suspension of common sense.”

    To Thunderbird2: Choose your next post carefully and consider yourself warned. Your behavior as of late bears all the hallmarks of a tendentious, single-purpose editor whose benefits to Wikipedia are wildly offset by the disruption you cause. One remedy for this, which is distinctly possible, is a permanent ban. Please drop the stick and stop flogging the dead horse.

    Greg L (talk) 19:52, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

clearly no consensus then

I see that no one is able to point to any kind of consensus. Instead there are the same threats and accusations repeated over and over again, and by the same editors. Very tedious. Thunderbird2 (talk) 18:13, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Correction: no one is able to point to any kind of consensus that you are willing to recognise. That's not quite the same thing. I agree with you that it's tedious. How are we to resolve this, do you think? SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 19:18, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Thunderbird2, the consensus is archived here and you know this because you have been told this many times already. The fact that you personally refuse to accept reasonable consensus does not mean there is no consensus, this is because your point of view was refuted as being weak compared to the much stronger arguments that did make the consensus. This happened because you failed to persuade people that your point of view was any good and that happened partly because you refused to answer questions put directly to you but mostly because your point of view is opposite to existing Wikipedia policies. Stop misrepresenting the situation and stop violating WP:POINT and WP:PARENT. Fnagaton 01:07, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Thunderbird2's latest violation of guidelines and policies has been noted.Fnagaton 01:12, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Since Thunderbird2's ad hominem is not a valid argument (it is a logical fallacy) and since Thunderbird2 has failed to give valid answers to the questions put to him in the talk archive then Thunderbird2 has still failed to demonstrate why there is anything wrong with the consensus reached in the talk archive. Fnagaton 01:17, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
To Sheffield Steel: To quote Wikipedia policy: Consensus can only work among reasonable editors who make a good faith effort to work together in a civil manner.
  • There was no good faith attempt to consider the views of editors opposing the present wording. It helps also to remember that only 2 months prior to inclusion of the present wording there was a vote 11-0 against the present wording. The participants in that 11-0 vote were not consulted.
  • There was intensive use of unacceptable tactics, including use of ridicule and accusations of dishonesty as a tool to discredit opposing views. [20]
The solution is mediation. Thunderbird2 (talk) 17:46, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
For the 1000001th time:

This has been answered about twenty millions times by now and your lack of tackling the real issue has been well documented. I've asked you well over 20 times to give substantial arguments over 3 months and you've failed to do so every time [See ([21], [22], [23], [24], [25], [26], [27], and on Headbomb's page [28], [29]])]. I've berated Greg for encouraging bad faith when it came to dealing with you ([30]) , saying that I would rather form my own opinions on this. Greg took numerous swings at me and at my supposed agenda for the promotion of the IEC prefixes. I'm a personal proponent of IEC prefixes in the real world, I use them and I love them. The fact that I side with Greg and Fnag (and Pyrotec, and Marty Goldberg, and SWTPC6800, and MJCdetroit, and Franci Schonken, and Jimp, and Rilak, and Dfmclean ...) on this is a testament to both the weakness of your position and arguments and the strength of theirs. Please drop the stick. You are a single-purpose account who spends >95% of his time pushing for binary prefixes. Go away. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 20:36, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

From [31], and above. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 20:03, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Thunderbird2, you are violating those policies and guidelines you try to quote. For example you are violating "''Consensus can only work among reasonable editors..." because your failure to answer questions put directly to you shows you are not prepared to debate the topic and are therefore not making a reasonable attempt to be a reasonable editor. You are again misrepresenting an old vote that does not demonstrate consensus because you have demonstrated no strong argument to go along with it, meanwhile lots of strong arguments were made in the talk archive linked before that refutes your point of view. Then you are also violating WP:NPA by misrepresenting other editors, such as Greg, by repeatedly trying to link to the RfC where actually your bad behaviour is actually demonstrated. Your failure to debate the actual arguments by resorting to ad hominem against other editors demonstrates you are using "unacceptable tactics", as you put it. So the solution is not mediation but instead that you stop using unacceptable tactics and start to debate the actual topic. Just so you are in no doubt Thunderbird2, your bad behaviour is at fault here and the blame for that rests entirely with yourself. Just so you are clear Thunderbird2 you must only debate the topic and not try to use ad hominem to misrepresent other editors or the consensus that was reached. If you continue your disruptive editing you will be blocked. Fnagaton 05:47, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
To Headbomb: I see that you make no attempt to tackle the real issue of consensus. Instead you stoop to the level of Greg_L and Fnagaton by attempting to discredit me, thus exposing the weakness of your own position. Every discussion that has taken place on this subject since about May 2008 has been dominated by Greg_L’s bullying, which you have tolerated. You claim that you "berated" him but in the end you failed to reign in his incivil behaviour and that is one of the main problems here. (The other is that you failed to consult those editors who voted 11-0 against the present wording)
Responding to your direct accusations:
  • if you want others to respond to questions you would do well to ensure they are presented in a civil manner and in a civil atmosphere (which includes not being accused of dishonesty by Fnagaton for not answering a question you had put to a different editor. That accusation was never withdrawn)
  • if you bother to read your own talk page you will see that I did reply to your questions there, despite Fnagaton's unfounded accusations
  • I am not a single purpose account and object to your attempt at misrepresentation. I saw an example of text being added to MOSNUM without consensus and I am trying to correct it. I see nothing wrong with that. If you look at my contributions before that time you will see that I have contributed to a broad range of articles, usually attempting to rationalise the use of units across different articles. What you or I think of IEC prefixes is not important here. The only thing the matters is that you are unable to point to a consensus based on civilised discussion for the simple reason that there isn’t one. Thunderbird2 (talk) 18:10, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Last chance warning for Thunderbird2 before user conduct RFC

Thunderbird2, this is the last chance warning before you are referred for user conduct RFC. The following three items summarise the issues with your edits: 1) Stop using ad hominem to misrepresent other editors (on your talk pages and other pages) and thus only tackle the substance of their arguments. 2) Stop trying to claim there is no consensus because the talk archive shows your claim is baseless. 3) Stop repeatedly copy-pasting/spamming the same content from your talk pages because when you do you violate WP:POINT "Refusal to 'get the point' ". Fnagaton 13:13, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

  • To Fnagaton and Headbomb: I’ve done my fair share here. It’s you guys’ turn if he keeps it up. Greg L (talk) 19:55, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

How do we editors explain discrepancies?

How do we editors explain the discrepancy of having a "1000 megabyte drive" (according to the manufacturer), but it reads as only 953 megabytes according to your Windows or Mac PC? I don't know how to explain that to the readers except by using Base 10 and Base 2 terminology (megabytes and mebibytes). Please share your advice. ----- Theaveng (talk) 12:21, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
You still do it with Base 10 and Base 2 terminology but use terminology that is correct and is most likely to be understood by the average reader and is most used by the sources on the subject. This means instead of introducing virtually unused terms like kibibyte you would write more commonly used and easily understood terms like 1024 bytes, or use 210bytes or use Template:BDprefix. This is because it has been established that using IEC prefixes is not in the best interests of the reader, even if someone personally thinks they are a good idea that is irrelevant when considering Wikipedia policies and how to apply them to this situation. Fnagaton 15:14, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

As with other computer manufacturers, for Apple’s hard drives, 1 GB equals 1 billion (1,000,000,000) bytes; actual formatted capacities are less.

That’s all that’s needed, Theaveng. This is the terminology readers are already familiar with. Further, it is not our duty as editors, to explain these subtleties and distinctions you are concerned about in each and every computer-related article where we merely mention both file size and hard drive capacity. Perhaps we already have an article on Wikipedia that explains these complexities. Then it can be linked to wherever the need arrises. There is simply no need, IMO, to try to explain this nuance in a thousand places on Wikipedia for the benefit of readers who were unaware the issue existed in the first place. Greg L (talk) 19:45, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
In a nutshell, we use the units, and the definitions of those units, that our sources use. SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 00:46, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
Are you claiming that there is a consensus for never using any units that are not mentioned in the original source, or is this claim restricted to IEC prefixes? Thunderbird2 (talk) 07:50, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
For this specific subject, not related to any other units, the IEC prefixes are hardly ever used and they are in the tiny minorty so therefore according to Wikipedia guidelines and policies IEC prefixes are not to be used. It would be fallacious to try to point towards the conversion between metre and foot for example because the metre is widely accepted, widely used by sources and widely known. It is obvious to compare the wide use of the metre against the virtually unused IEC prefixes and it is therefore easy to demonstrate why trying to equate this specific topic with other units would be completely irrelevant and fallacious. Fnagaton 09:13, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
  • All you need to know Thunderbird2, is to stop using Wikipedia as a venue to *promote* the adoption of future-talk because it isn’t part of present-talk, is confusing to our readers, and makes Wikipedia look foolish. Greg L (talk) 04:22, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Gibibytes versus Gigabytes

moved here from main talk page Tom94022 (talk) 17:38, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

"because everyone else on this pale blue dot uses the conventional binary prefixes."

Minor quibble about certain persons' claims. i.e. This statement is completely inaccurate. If I buy a 100 gigabyte hard drive, I'm not going to get 104.8576 billion bytes (base 2). Instead I will get 100.0 billion bytes (base 10) therefore the claim "everyone" uses binary is complete and utter..... falsehood. ---- Theaveng (talk) 17:40, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

It's probably more correct to say that nobody else on this pale blue dot uses Gibibytes, than that everyone else uses the conventional binary prefixes. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 19:37, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Theaveng, when you go to the store and find that most computers and hard drives from their respective manufacturers are denoting their hard drives’ capacities in GiB, let me know. We don’t use terminology here that our readers don’t even recognize. Why isn’t such terminology recognized? Because it doesn’t have hardly any real-world usage. In the mean time, please stop raising illogical or irrelevant points. Greg L (talk) 21:50, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
  • See, we agree on something.... :) — Arthur Rubin (talk) 22:27, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
See red herring meaning a distraction; a misleading topic; a waste of time. What "everyone uses" are the terms kilobyte, megabyte, and gigabyte. What virtually no one uses are the terms kibibyte, mebibyte, and gibibyte. A quick search of a reliable newspaper gives the following results:
  1. kilobyte site:guardian.co.uk - Twelve hits including uses in the decimal and binary senses of the word.
  2. kibibyte site:guardian.co.uk Two hits, one an explanation of the unit as an afterthought to an earlier reply to a reader's letter, and one another letter from a reader who thinks the word would make a good name for a children's breakfast cereal.
This gives an idea of the uphill struggle that the binary terminology is facing. Wikipedia should reflect that. SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 23:00, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Well I don't hear too many people using terms like "slugs" either, but in engineering we use the term because it is precise. Similarly we like to know if a "kilobyte" means we're getting 1000 bytes (as implied) or 1024 bytes (base 2 counting). It is not precise, but use of the term kibibyte is. I found it slightly annoying when I'm trying to write an engineering/technical article, and I'm trying to be 100% accurate, but some English major comes along and replaces my precise definition with an imprecise, confusing rewrite. In technical articles, precision should be the priority. ---- Theaveng (talk) 19:08, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
We're not writing technical articles, or even a technical encyclopedia; we're writing an encyclopedia. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 19:46, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
Oh, well, then that's okay to post articles with imprecise terms. Just call an inch a centimeter, or say that absolute zero is 0 fahrenheit (because people on the street don't use kelvin). So what if my brand new "1 terabyte" harddrive is actually only 0.9 terabytes when I plug it into my PC or Mac. No need to explain that hundred billion byte discrepancy to our readers. It's just an encyclopedia. It can be inaccurate.  ;-)  :-) ---- Theaveng (talk) 17:24, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
If you think it is that important to communicate to readers then you write the exact number of bytes, or use Headbomb's template. Using IEC just confuses the readers more and that is one reason why we don't use them here. Fnagaton 17:57, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
That does sound reasonable. Can we stop using metric too? It just confuses the American readers and that is one reason why we shouldn't use them here. ---- Theaveng (talk) 11:43, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
That comment does not logically follow to this specific topic because Metric is much more widely known and understood than IEC prefixes are. Fnagaton 14:17, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Actually I find the arguments that 1) Wikipedia readers don't understand IEC Binary Prefixes and that 2) other publications don't use them are both weak and unpersuasive. There is no evidence that most of our readers understand G or giga to mean anything other than larger than M and mega - most of our readers are not programmers or engineers! So following this line of reasoning we should not use any prefix except, of course in quotes. On the other hand, since the purpose of Wikipedia is to educate, using these unambiguous prefixes might actually educate our readers as to the meanings of and distinctions in the use of k, K, M and G. The fact that editors and contributors of other publications are either ignorant of or unwilling to use unambiguous prefixes is not particularly relevant to what we do here. Sort of like a child's, "but Mom, everyone else is doing it" argument. Tom94022 (talk) 17:55, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
As far as consensus for the guideline is concerned it doesn't matter what you personally think, it matters what you can demonstrate with strong arguments. Since you did not present any strong arguments then your point of view isn't relevant for the consensus. The job of Wikipedia is to teach how the reliable sources reflect the world (not how you think IEC prefixes are better) and that means not using IEC prefixes. Fnagaton 17:52, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Yeah, you’re right to a point, Tom94022. Readers often don’t understand the engineering-level meaning of many unit symbols. If someone has a cable modem that is giving them 6 Mbps speed, they know that it’s better than 1.5 Mbps. And if they are shopping for a computer with 256 MB Level 1 cache, they know they don’t want to buy a 128 MB cache. When they come here to Wikipedia, they would be confused with “MiB” because it looks distinctly different from “MB”. Some might think there is no difference, others might think there is a little difference, and others might think there is a big difference and that perhaps “MiB” refers to bits instead of bytes or some other important distinction. To know for sure, readers would have to click the provided link and read the articles on the IEC prefixes.

    That you would dismiss our adopting real-world practices as a simple case of ‘cause “everyone else is doing it” speaks to precisely why your arguments didn’t hold sway with the majority of other editors. Headbomb was—and is—an advocate of the IEC prefixes but he quickly realized that following real-world practices is the right thing to do and served as the moderator as we worked towards the current consensus. Had you stayed in the dispute to the end, arguments like you just posted above wouldn’t have made any difference in the outcome as they are absurd and betray a breathtaking lack of awareness of the most simple fundamentals of technical writing; principally, technical writing’s First and Second Commandments:

א) אחד לא צריך לגרום בלבול מיותר
ב) ראה, אתה ואני אדם סקרן הכריח אותך לבזבז זמן כדי לחקור משהו כי לא היה ברור
Greg L (talk) 21:01, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

never heard of gibibytes

(unindent) I have never even heard of Gibibytes and I am a software engineer with a degree in electronics engineering. It is universally understood that for convenience of base 2 digital electronics kilo- refers to 1024, mega- refers to 1024*1024 and giga- refers to 1024*1024*1024. This is universal and exclusive practice. If you buy a 1 kilobyte EEPROM device, it will contain 1024 bytes. In 15 years of industrial engineering I have never come across the terms kibi or gibi. It is current and global practice to use the terms kilo, mega and giga as described.Smart51 (talk) 16:05, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Some (like yourself) use the binary definition (1 MB = 1024*1024 B), others use the decimal one (1 MB = 1000*1000 B). Still others use an awful hybrid (1 MB = 1000*1024 B). For this reason it has long been agreed that disambiguation is needed. Where there is not yet consensus is in the choice of disambiguation method. Thunderbird2 (talk) 18:55, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
It's been discussed ad nauseam, the current consensus is documented in the guideline, and a couple of editors dispute that. SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 19:23, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Thunderbird, absolutely everyone agrees that bytes and bits are completely and utterly non-ambiguous and that they are perfectly acceptable ways to disambiguate things. You can even cite that 3,000 years old vote if you feel like it. So if 1.44 MB means 1000x1024 bytes, then write "The "floppy disk megabyte" is a kilo-"binary kilobyte" (1000 ×1024 bytes), or 1,024,000 bytes.", and be done with it. Now stop with your irrelevant red herrings and filibustering. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 22:20, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Thunderbird and Tom94022: It would be nice if you two had the courage to explain precisely what it is you want. Is it any of the following(?):

  1. For Wikipedia to exclusively use the terminology all computer manufacturers use in communicating to their customer base and which all general-interest computer magazines use for their readership, thus retaining the status quo.
  2. For Wikipedia to convert exclusively to the IEC prefixes wherever it has a binary meaning (pretty much always unless it’s hard drives) and have a bot facilitate that task so we quickly have project-wide consistency.
  3. To go back to the old wording, which *permitted* the use of the IEC prefixes so you two can slowly start converting Wikipedia into a bastard mix where “megabyte” means one thing in some articles and has a different meaning in other articles. Thus, replicating precisely what Sarenne did until he was banned for life.
  4. You just want to stop by here and post nonsense for no particular reason until Headbomb, Fnagaton, or I expose the logical fallacies of your arguments and shut you down for a couple of weeks, after which you come here to post another round of baffling horseshit (you know: just for fun).
  5. You just hope to be so damn annoying, that one of us finally blows his top and you go file an ANI and get one of us blocked for a week so you can have some modicum of satisfaction in a life you apparently feel has little purpose without the IEC prefixes.
  6. Other (be very, very specific as to what precisely you would like to accomplish).

Please answer below. Greg L (talk) 23:39, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Smart51. With regard to your 16:05, 19 November 2008 post, I had never heard of IEC prefixes like “gibibyte (GiB)” either until I once visited Wikipedia. By the way, my spell-checker just flagged “gibibyte” again. Fortunately, I first saw it in a context where I knew what the proper value should be “128 KB”, so when I saw “128 KiB”, I knew there was no error in the measure and the difference was in the unit symbol for the measure. I shit you not, I instantly had the entire epiphany about what was going on: escapees from the AV room at high school had taken over Wikipedia. I thought, “Now, isn’t that just cuuuuuute.” But I went to work to change it. Stupid is as stupid does and using terminology that even the proponents agreed wasn’t even recognized by our readership was simply ignoring the most basic fundamentals of technical writing. You first start by telling these budding “Steve Jobs” in-the-making that they never going to facilitate the adoption of the IEC prefixes and make their mark in changing the world; they just make Wikipedia look foolish. Greg L (talk) 00:06, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Maybe I live in a different world than the rest of you, but several applications that I use nearly every day use the abbreviations KiB, MiB, GiB, and TiB to unambiguously refer to bandwidths and file sizes. One such example? Azureus. --Cyde Weys 16:24, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

And the version of Azureus I use does not have IEC prefixes because the package builder recognises that they are virtually unused by all other mainstream software and so using them is not a sensible thing to do. Fnagaton 17:40, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
I was taught in engineering college to follow the units prescribed by the International Organizations (especially the IEEE). If they have designated "kibi" "mebi" "gibi" as standard units then those are what we are supposed to use. If they decide that gravity should no longer be "g", but instead be represented by "squiggle"(~), then that's what we comply with. If they decide Pluto is no longer a planet, but instead a planetoid, we all fall into line.
The reason we have these organizations is to avoid confusion and provide consistency in how things are measured around the world. Saying "1 terabyte of RAM" when you don't mean 1 trillion bytes, but actually mean 1.1 trillion bytes is how mistakes happen - like when NASA slammed a probe into Mars because they mixed-up their units. I personally am happy that these new units were invented, because now I can write in my engineering documents "We need 1 tebibyte of hard drive space" and people will know exactly what I mean (1.1 trillion bytes). No guesswork; no confusion; no mistakes that might cost me my job. ---- Theaveng (talk) 11:56, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Firstly, I was taught to think for myself and to make logical deductions based on the evidence in the real world. When I see a "standards organisation" propse something and that proposal not being followed by the majority of relevant technical sources then the obvious conclusion is that the proposed standard is not being accepted, after nine years I might add. Applying that to this situation demonstrates that Wikipedia is not the place to use IEC prefixes for the reasons already stated on this page and in the talk archives. Secondly, the IEEE do not use IEC prefixes in most of their technical publications, they still use KB/MB/GB in the binary sense for example. Thirdly, if the IEEE said "you must from hence forth use the term Wooble instead of metre" and if the majority of technical publications did not use the Wooble, would you still use the Wooble just because the IEEE says you must? You might or might not, but that is irrelevant to here on Wikipedia because here on Wikipedia it matters what you can demonstrate with strong arguments and here on Wikipedia we follow the examples shown to us by reliable sources we cite in our articles. On Wikipedia we do not blindly follow what a standards organisation says, but what we do do is to reflect the real world from the sources we cite. It therefore doesn't matter what you were taught, or what you personally like (WP:ILIKEIT), it matters what you can demonstrate and cite. Now then, in this particular subject most of the sources do not use IEC prefixes, ergo you cannot use them in articles because you have not demonstrated any strong arguments for ignoring the guidelines and policies cited on this page in my above comments. Fnagaton 14:14, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
In a college, you follow the standards set by the professors; in a job, by the employer; in an encyclopaedia, by the sources. SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 14:07, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
By the way Theaveng, if you're really getting confused about the size of something like "1 KB" of transistorised RAM then you need to consult the relevant standards organsiation (JEDEC) who define KB as 1024 bytes. Fnagaton 14:55, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Unless you're buying a hard drive which for some inexplicable reason is 1000 bytes, not 1024 like everything else in computing. ---- Theaveng (talk) 12:15, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Not true: It's also standard in networking to use the SI prefixes as their correct orders of ten. So a connection at a speed of 6 Mbit/sec is actually 6 million bits per second, or 0.715... MB/s. Using the SI prefixes to only mean what they are supposed to mean and then using the binary prefixes for the powers of two connotations would clear up confusion in multiple fields. --Cyde Weys 01:38, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Cyde. WP should use unambiguous units where possible. Thunderbird2 (talk) 17:53, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
WP:ILIKEIT is not a valid reason especially since that point of view is refuted by the much stronger argument that the other policies and guidelines at Wikipedia mean we follow the lead of what the reliable sources demonstrate, not what you personally think it a better way to do things. This is a question directly to you, explain what is ambiguous about saying "1024 bytes". Fnagaton 05:03, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
What I Would Like To See

Greg L asked above precisely what I would propose - I'll take his question in good faith not withstanding his alternatives 4 and 5. I have been working on a proposal but in the meantime the shouting goes on and now I find in the fallacious RfC on T2 that the lack of a proposal cited as one reason why this cannot be resolved. My intent is to propose a revision to the section that allows the use of IEC Binary Prefixes to resolve ambiguous meanings. For example, there is no ambiguity in the usage in semiconductor memory so it would inappropriate in such an article. On the other hand the Floppy Disk article is rather confused and would benefit from such consistent, succinct and precise prefixes. This would result in some articles using them and some not, but ... a foolish consistency is the hobgobblin of a small mind ... Putting this into words is difficult so give me some time. Tom94022 (talk) 02:29, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Which would fail for the same reasons already given in the current consensus, unless somehow you manage to overcome WP:UNDUE WP:SOAP WP:CBALL etc which you have not done thus far. The majority of sources we cite do disambiguate, if needed, by stating the number of bytes (for example hard drives or RAM data sheets). The majority of sources we cite do not use virtually unused confusing to the readers IEC prefixes to disambiguate, therefore neither does this Encyclopedia. Fnagaton 15:25, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

units and their definitions

I would like to gauge the level of support behind this assertion:

  • Wikipedia articles use the units, and the definitions of those units, that our sources use.

Any Comments? (In particular, does the statement hold when the units used by the sources are ambiguous?) Thunderbird2 (talk) 18:27, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

For context, see the discussion here which led to me making that remark, the subsequent discussion here, and the RfC on Thunderbird2's conduct here. SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 18:38, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
My question is deliberately taken out of that context because I wish to establish the extent to which the assertion is generally accepted. As far as the rfc is concerned it is just one more episode of ongoing harassment by Fnagaton and Greg_L. (I have been accused of disruption, dishonesty, vandalism and operating about 5 different sock-puppets, always without foundation - Most recently they have taken to threatening me with "lifetime bans" and the like. I have no intention of participating in that farce). Thunderbird2 (talk) 19:06, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Re: "My question is deliberately taken out of that context because I wish to establish the extent to which the assertion is generally accepted" is complete rubbish this is because your "question" has already been answered and was just another attempt to forum shop the same issue as demonstrated by the overwhelming evidence in the RfC. So the answer is clear, the current guideline text has consensus and also importantly the current guideline text reflects a good balance with the other guidelines and policies on Wikipedia. Your continued false allegations of harassment also demonstrate you are acting in bad faith. Stop your bad behaviour is the clear answer given to you here and in the RfC. Now listen to that answer and act upon it. Fnagaton 05:13, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I presume from the cast of characters here that this is more of the Great Mebibyte War, bad cess be upon it. I am a neutral in that war; nevertheless, using the language our sources use, in the sense in which they use it, seems a common sense part of common usage. We are here to communicate with lay speakers of English, and should use the language best adapted to doing so. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:44, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, it should be interpreted as nothing more than yet another WP:FORUMSHOPPING attempt by Thunderbird2. The relevant passage is

Which units to use
* Broadly accepted units should be given preference. Usually, but not always, this means units approved by the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) (SI units, SI derived units, and non-SI units accepted for use with SI) are preferred over other units (e.g., write 25 °C (77 °F) and not 77 °F (25 °C)).
* Since some disciplines use units not approved by the BIPM, or may format them in a way that differs from BIPM-prescribed format, when such units are used by a clear majority of the sources relevant to those disciplines, articles should follow this (e.g., using cc in automotive articles and not cm3). Such use of non-standard units are always linked on first use.

and it's in the light of this passage that the one you just quoted should be interpreted. Now for the two hundreth billion time, stop beating a WP:DEADHORSE. I like the KiBs and MiBs. I think they're a terrific idea, I personally use them and will keep doing so. But the fact remains that the rest of the world doesn't think like me. Wikipedia WP:ISNOT the place to promote IEC units, nor is it a WP:CRYSTALBALL. Write to PC magazines, scientific journals, hard drive makers, etc, and convince them to change, and then Wikipedia will change. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 22:58, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 22:58, 21 November 2008 (UTC)


  • Thunderbird2, we are taking the literal meaning of your words out of context and putting it into their actual meaning (what we all know you are really trying to accomplish here). Presumption of good faith ≠ suspend all common sense.

    It’s OK to use IEC prefixes in a direct quote. But just because a source in a citation or two uses the IEC prefixes, is no excuse to use them in general body text in our articles. We can’t do this because such terminology isn’t recognized by our readership. “Though shalt not cause needless confusion” is the First Commandment of technical writing.

    Teaching our readership the IEC prefixes (by routinely using them in a “Oh, didn’tcha know”-fashion and linking them to the IEC prefixes articles) would be a fruitless exercise for our readership because the lesson would never see any real-world reinforcement after they learned them here. It is naïve to think that by hijacking Wikipedia to promote the IEC prefixes, that we will actually accelerate their adoption; it’s been ten years since the IEC proposal was advanced and it is no closer to achieving real-world adoption today than at the start. Wikipedia does not have that sort of influence in the grand scheme of things and your efforts at flogging this dead horse are simply fruitless and aren’t going well.

    Now, in the dictionary under Wikipedia:Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point, it should say “See User:Thunderbird2.” None of what I just said hasn’t been said before to you a hundred times and, curiously, you seem wholly reluctant to see the truth in what we’re saying and give it up. You have been civilly urged many, many times you to drop this and get on with some productive contributions to Wikipedia that are compliant with MOSNUM and which isn’t tantamount to editing against the consensus. Yet it appears you are hell-bent on being disruptive on this point until you are eventually banned. Is that what you want? Greg L (talk) 00:06, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

  • I realize that Thunderbird is a single-purpose irritant, but he was entitled to ask. Perhaps the demonstration that the rest of us agree with you on the point of principle would settle the matter. (And if WT:MOSNUM isn't the appropriate forum, what is?) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:20, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Your initial instinct: “I presume from the cast of characters here that this is more of the Great Mebibyte War” was spot on. His new approach amounts to stating “It all depends on what your definition of ‘is’, is.” Wikilawyering. “Bad cess be upon it.” Greg L (talk) 19:03, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
  • P.S.. My son-in-law, Steve, is here over the weekend looking over my shoulder. He watches the goings-on here daily and is quite familiar with this “mebibyte” stuff and T-bird. After work, he goes to User:Greg L’s contributions and checks in on all the latest drama at “As the World Turns”. Steve says this to Thunderbird: “Let it go.” By the way, Steve works at a University with 14,000 employees. He works for their “Shock Physics” lab where he makes the targets, projectiles, and conductor plates (to sub-thou tolerances) for the ultra-high-velocity guns that can shoot projectiles at 7000 meters per second. Only one employee, campus-wide, gets a certain ‘employee of the month’ award. He just got one last week for outstanding competency and good attitude. So in other words T-bird; listen to what Steve says. Greg L (talk) 19:03, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
  • P.P.S. Steve’s here talking to me and asked “Where is ‘mebibyte’ even used. I mean, where can you see this stuff? You know, if you go to the store and look in the computer magazines, you never see ‘mebibyte’, so where is this stuff used? This stuff is retarded!” Signed: Steve… and Greg: Greg L (talk) 19:13, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

a proposal

MOSNUM currently contains the text

The IEC standard prefixes kibi-, mebi-, gibi-, etc. (symbols Ki, Mi, Gi, etc.) are not familiar to most Wikipedia readers, so are not to be used except under the following circumstances:

  • when the article is on a topic where the majority of cited sources use the IEC prefixes,
  • when directly quoting a source that uses the IEC prefixes,
  • in articles specifically about or explicitly discussing the IEC prefixes.

Until someone can demonstrate that a valid consensus (i.e., one based on civil discussion) exists for the present wording, I propose that the controversial part of this text (the explicit deprecation of IEC prefixes) be removed. Possibilities I see are:

  • deleting the controversial text altogether
  • replacing the text with an uncontroversial version, to be agreed.

For the latter option I have the following suggestion:

While the IEC standard prefixes kibi-, mebi-, gibi-, etc. (symbols Ki, Mi, Gi, etc.) are helpful for disambiguation, they are unfamiliar to many Wikipedia readers. Editors should therefore first consider use of alternative disambiguation methods, such as explicit numbers of bytes.

Thunderbird2 (talk) 17:58, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

One person's disagreement, however doggedly persistent, doesn't make something controversial. The present wording has well-established consensus and isn't causing anyone any problems. I would tend to join the large chorus suggesting that you Let This Go.--Kotniski (talk) 18:23, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
On each occasion that this issue is raised, the same group of 3 editors shouts GO AWAY in unison. At least 3 editors (myself and two others) [32][33][34] have attempted to discuss it, but the would-be participants prefer to turn away rather than become involved in the shouting, resulting in the appearance of consensus. If you (or anyone else) can demonstrate to me that a true consensus exists, I will very gladly move on to greener pastures. Thunderbird2 (talk) 18:38, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
What form of demonstration would you accept? SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 18:43, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
I think it is reasonable to request evidence of a civil discussion ending with a reasoned agreement in support of the present wording. Thunderbird2 (talk) 18:48, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
I suppose it would be reasonable, but there's little in MOSDATE that would remain, if that were to be the guideline for maintaining the guideline. Certainly there would be no wording left in the current date section. As it stands, though, there does appear to be an uncivil consensus that IEC prefixes should not be used unless necessary for comprehension and explained. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 18:57, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
It is indeed reasonable to request a civil discussion. I've requested that many times of you ((See [35], [36], [37], [38], [39], [40], [41], [42], and [43]] amongst others) and you've always refused. You've demonstrated time and time again that you are not willing to participate in one, so you are your own demise. Now stop WP:FORUMSHOP (See [44], [45], [46], [47] [48], [49], [50], [51], [52] ...), and go away. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 02:12, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes I completely agree, the user who is not being civil here is Thunderbird2 because the user refuses to give valid answers to valid questions, refuses to engage in valid debate, keeps on making false claims of harassment, keeps on misrepresenting the situation, keeps on misrepresenting editors (ad hominem) and keeps on trying to forum shop the same refuted weak personal opinion. All of this bad behaviour by Thunderbird2 is demonstrated by the RfC. Fnagaton 02:33, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
Another example of Thunderbird2 not giving valid answers to valid questions is here. Fnagaton 02:39, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

It seems to be agreed that there has been no civil discussion supporting the present wording, from which it follows immediately that there is no consensus for it. The question is not whether the existing text should be replaced, but what to replace it with. If we cannot agree on a revision, the text must go. Thunderbird2 (talk) 12:19, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

I just spotted this remark to this old thread. No wonder nobody else picked up on it. Anyway, Thunderbird2 is wrong to claim there is no consensus because consensus has already been demonstrated in the talk page archive. The current situation is that there is an RfC/U against Thunderbird2 and he needs to comply with the findings in that RfC/U to demonstrate he is going to be civil. Thunderbird2 is wrong to try to use his uncivil behaviour in the past to then try to claim that means any guideline text can be removed. Obviously because if someone doesn't like a guideline being discussed they can be uncivil and then could use that later to insist the text is removed, which isn't a sensible situation. The guideline text stays until Thunderbird2 (or someone else) can provide a substantive argument to do so. Just so Thunderbird2 is completely clear on this matter, using ad hominem (trying to claim someone is uncivil while ignoring the strong arguments) is not a substantive argument and as such cannot be used to try to remove guideline text. Have a look at the consensus demonstrated in the section below, it basically says "the guideline text is good, drop this issue". If you Thunderbird2 want to hold everyone to a high degree of civil behaviour then that must also logically include you and to demonstrate you want to be civil you must comply with the demands in the RfC/U against you. Fnagaton 23:38, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

A counter proposal to Thunderbird2

Since Thunderbird2's proposal above has no chance (WP:SNOW) I will make a counter proposal.

  • The current guideline text represents a good compromise of the earlier consensus, therefore no guideline text change is proposed.
  • Thunderbird2 should drop this issue because his point of view is contrary to that consensus.

Fnagaton 02:45, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Support. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, there comes a point where continual campaigning on an issue where consensus is not seriously in doubt becomes blatantly disruptive. I think we have reached such a point here. --Kotniski (talk) 09:00, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
Exactly. As per WP:IDHT it is perfectly fine for Thunderbird2 to have his personal opinion however the issue here is that Thunderbird2 keeps on trying to repeat it again and again to the point of being disruptive.Fnagaton 09:09, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support The beauty of the text, as-is, is that when the wider world finally adopts the IEC prefixes and all binary/decimal ambiguity is banished to the realm of hysterical raisins, Wikipedia editors will be able to incorporate those prefixes into articles without having to change the guideline. To me, this future-proof elegance is a sign of a well-written guideline - it asks us to reflect real-world sources, exactly as an encyclopaedia should. SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 14:24, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support: Per WP:DUH. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 14:33, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
WP:DUH exists??? Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 14:35, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support This is a dead issue. There is no need to vary from the verbiage and techniques universally observed by the computer manufacturers and computer magazines when communicating to a general-interest audience. When will Thunderbird2 be banned for life? What must I do to sign up? His disruptions (many) exceed the value of his contributions on other issues (zero). I’m tired of this. Greg L (talk) 06:16, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Obviously I support my own proposal. :) Fnagaton 07:51, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. You cannot change Wikipedia policy by ignoring it. I don't have time now, but I will respond in more detail after about 10 days. Thunderbird2 (talk) 16:45, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Ten whole days to edit in peace and not be incessantly badgered over a dead issue? Thank you so  much! When you come back, please lodge all future complaints at this e-mail address. Greg L (talk) 03:31, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Since it is Thunderbird2's violation of WP:CONSENSUS that is at fault here, as detailed in the RfC/U, then Thunderbird2's "strong oppose" is rejected. Fnagaton 07:32, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Well, it probably isn’t rejected as a matter of official policy; it does factor in. However, given that A) everyone else on this pale blue dot has long tired of this WP:DEADHORSE and don’t want to soil their shoes to even step in here, and B) that T-bird’s views don’t represent the consensus view amongst those who do care enough to weigh in here, and C) even if Tom94022 weighs in with his 2¢; the consensus is clear. Further, Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy, nor a battleground, nor an anarchy. We have rules (not “guidelines”) about tendentious editing. What Thunderbird2 wants doesn’t have a WP:SNOWBALL’S chance in hell of being accepted by the larger community. I really do want to be done with this. Just like real life, people come and go from Wikipedia. Eventually some of us will drift away. But, like a herpes infection, Thunderbird2—a sing-purpose account of pure, industrial-strength annoyance on this issue—will come back and become a festering sore once again. Please, someone please e-mail me and tell when you think this guy will go to an ANI. He needs to get get banned from all of computer-related articles on Wikipedia for life (or just an all-around ban). Greg L (talk) 20:54, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
  • By the way Thunderbird2, do not reply in ten days to forum shop the exact same issue again because that can be considered as editing against the consensus demonstrated here and in your the RfC/U.Fnagaton 08:46, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. There is no consensus just bullying Tom94022 (talk) 19:36, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • “There is no consensus” is the well-worn refrain of the extreme, intransigent minority that refuses to get the point. No one else wants what you want (a return to using IEC prefixes). They aren’t recognized by our readership. Greg L (talk) 01:11, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
  • There isn't any bullying of Thunderbird2, the bullying actually comes from Thunderbird2 repeating false accusation of harassment (see his edit history where he misrepresents and quotes editors out of context) and the repeated violations of good faith editing. There is an expectation that Thunderbird2 follow the rules and stop violating guidelines and policies and if you think that being told to follow the rules is "bullying" then that is your mistake. Your strong oppose is rejected because it is fallacious. Fnagaton 04:27, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment I don't think that any opinion offered here ought to be "rejected". That seems to be at odds with the idea of asking for opinions, not to mention determining consensus. I think this section will be most productive if participants avoid discussing one another's posts and simply register their opinions. SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 19:35, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
    Unsupported objections can be rejected for the purposes of deciding consensus, this is because otherwise it would be too easy for someone to make a statement and try to insist that is used in any consensus. Since Tom's comment (and Thunderbird2's) is completely false the strong oppose is left unsupported, ergo it can be rejected when deciding the consensus.Fnagaton 02:12, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • If anyone is going to reject opinions, it should be the uninvolved admin (or bureaucrat) whose job it is to close this and determine consensus, not one of the partisans. If we all start rejecting one another's input, this will degenerate from a (potentially productive) collection of editor opinions into an undirected free-for-all argument. I think this topic has seen enough of those. SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 14:56, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia policy is clear: Consensus can only work among reasonable editors who make a good faith effort to work together in a civil manner. There has been no civil discussion; therefore there is no consensus. Let us have the discussion now and bury the matter. Thunderbird2 (talk) 11:50, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
That's a load of crap and you know it. I and others tried directly asked you well over 20 times to explicit the nature of your opposition and you've refused everytime to give a straight answer other than "Well, I don't like it". Stop your pointlesss wikilawyering about a subject everyone but you considers settled. It's been discussed for over three months. You lost, per WP:CRYSTALBALL, WP:SOAP and WP:ISNOT. Accept it, move on and stop beating a WP:DEADHORSE.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 05:02, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Maybe if those opposing Thunderbird2 could be more civil, they wouldn't have to answer claims that there hadn't been a civil discussion? If you are so keen to put the issue to rest, why continue the antagonism? To an outsider reading the various posts on this page it is no wonder at all that users such as Thunderbird2 are not satisfied. I agree with Tom94022's comment that "There is no consensus just bullying". Nevertheless it is true that this observation in and of itself is insufficient to support and explain his 'strong oppose' vote. That doesn't make his vote wrong, it just means that it would be more persuasive if he highlighted further reasons. —DIV (128.250.80.15 (talk) 04:06, 29 January 2009 (UTC))
Thing is, the whole process was civilized (at least from my part), but Thunderbird2 is now just screaming and kicking because he didn't get his way. As I've said multiple times now, I and others tried countless numbers of time to get Thunderbird to give his arguments against WP:CRYSTALBALL and various others (see my 02:12, 4 December 2008 (UTC) post above). Greg warned me against assuming good faith with Tbird and I've essentially told Greg to STFU and give Tbird a clean slate. The "anti-IEC" side slandered me. I was originally in favour of the IEC prefix on wikipedia. Everything was in favour of Thunderbird's side as far as I'm concerned and yet I've switched to the anti-IEC crowd because they've argued their side strongly, while Tbird did not. Tbird staunchly refused to participate in the debate because of issues of pride. Many people were contacted in a neutral fashion, both pro-IEC and anti-IEC. Most anti-IEC choose to no participate, citing the general unreasonablenesss of the pro-IEC clan, all pro-IEC participated. The debate was open for three months. Consensus was to deprecate them. Now Tbird is WP:Forumshopping and became a single-purpose account hellbent on the adoption of IEC prefix by wikipedia. People like him don't contribute to the wikipedia project anymore. His tactics involve taking comments out of context, forumshopping, cherry picking facts, general dishonesty, blatant lying, and general WP:Wikilawyering , etc... He should be flat out banned from the wiki. People are tired of this debate. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 04:40, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
I asked here how I should respond to Headbomb's inflammatory remark. The advice of Gerardw is to continue this discussion civilly, here on the talk page. As I have always been civil I interpret this as a request to Headbomb and Fnagaton to withdraw their unfounded accusations, so that we can discuss (and resolve) the issue in a civil manner. Thunderbird2 (talk) 17:06, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
Thunderbird2 has again misrepresented the situation because as can be seen here [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Wikiquette_alerts&diff=prev&oldid=268355326 the edit includes Thunderbird2's name. Thunderbird2 is incorrect to claim he has always been civil because as demonstrated by the evidence on the RfC/U page against him the uncivil actions are namely those where he uses his talk page to misrepresent other editors and where he reposts old refuted content. If Thunderbird2 wants to demonstrate he is going to be civil then he must comply with all of the points against him in the RfC/U first. This means that Thunderbird2 must also stop reposting content from his talk page that has already been refuted by previous discussions because doing that is a violation of WP:DEADHORSE. This also means Thunderbird2 must completely remove the content on his talk pages/sandbox that relates to other editors. A full list of the things Thunderbird2 needs to comply with are listed in the RfC/U. If Thunderbird2 does not comply with the RfC/U then Thunderbird2 will be demonstrating he does not wish to act in a civil manner. Thunderbird2 the ball is in your court, again I ask the question, when will you comply as demanded by the RfC/U? The challenge is put directly to you Thunderbird2, demonstrate you want to be civil by complying with the RfC/U, or if you do not then you will demonstrate you want to continue to be uncivil. Fnagaton 23:10, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
To DIV: What you are saying is completely correct. If there had been a civil discussion leading to the present wording (a pre-requisite for consensus) the present discussion would not be necessary. Thunderbird2 (talk) 17:13, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
This discussion would not be necessary if Thunderbird2 had actually answered questions put directly to him because as demonstrated in the RfC/U Thunderbird2 has refused repeatedly to answer valid relevant questions and has kept on posting the same old refuted content, which is a violation of WP:DEADHORSE. Consensus has already been reached and is reflected in the current guideline text. Fnagaton 23:10, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
With regards to this quote "I interpret this as a request to Headbomb and Fnagaton to withdraw their unfounded accusations, so that we can discuss (and resolve) the issue in a civil manner.": First of all, it is far too broad in its meaning because it can be interpreted to mean anything Headbomb and I have written at any point on any subject on any forum. I think Thunderbird2 means that Headbomb and I remove any unfounded accusations about him specifically. If that is the case then Thunderbird2 can rest assured that I have now removed any unfounded accusations. Thunderbird2 (or others) had ample time on the RfC/U to refute any of the points against him, since Thunderbird2 did not then I interpret that to mean that Thunderbird2 could not see any unfounded remarks. i.e. I have removed nothing because nothing I have written is unfounded and everything I have written is supported by the findings of the RfC/U against Thunderbird2. The challenge for Thunderbird2 is to now comply with that RfC/U because Thunderbird2 needs to demonstrate he is going to be civil. Fnagaton 23:21, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Before Thunderbird2 tries to continue with the ad hominem above it is worth pointing out that neither Headbomb or myself have any RfC/U against us. On the other hand Thunderbird2 does have an RfC/U against him and that RfC/U calls on Thunderbird2 to stop misrepresenting and harassing other editors, amongst other things. I have no problem with being civil to someone who is civil to me, however Thunderbird2 is not being civil to me (and other editors) so he needs to correct his behaviour first. This is because the misrepresentation and harassment on Thunderbird2's talk pages is uncivil behaviour and Thunderbird2 needs to correct that first by complying with the desired outcome points in the RfC/U. Fnagaton 14:31, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
  • T-bird. Perhaps you could go instead into the business of selling leprosy or something. With countries like North Korea and Iran, there would finally be at least a few buyers for what you’re selling. Greg L (talk) 17:37, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Why Wikipedia should not deprecate the use of IEC prefixes

  1. IEC prefixes are unambiguous, succinct, simple to use and simple to understand.
  2. The use of IEC prefixes is approved by national and international standards bodies.
  3. The use of one symbol (e.g. GB) to mean two different things in the same article creates confusion and ambiguity. Despite this ambiguity, there are many WP articles in which kilobyte, megabyte and/or gigabyte are used in this way. In this situation, the IEC prefixes provide an ideal disambiguation tool because they are unambiguous and succinct.
  4. Deprecation (of IEC prefixes) increases the difficulty threshold for disambiguation, reducing the rate at which articles can be disambiguated by expert editors.
  5. In turn this reduces the total number of articles that can be further improved by less expert editors with footnotes etc (assuming that there is consensus to do so).
  6. Deprecation is interpreted by some editors as a justification for changing unambiguous units into ambiguous ones.
  7. Removing IEC prefixes from articles, even when disambiguated with footnotes, destroys a part of the information that was there before, because it requires an expert to work out which footnote corresponds to which use in the article.
  8. In the long term, the use of IEC prefixes would ultimately avoid the need to use same symbol (eg MB) with two different meanings. This may sound like a pipe dream, but it could be implemented as a user preference, so that readers could choose between familiar units and unambiguous one.
  9. The main argument for not using IEC prefixes is the unfamiliarity of, for example, the mebibyte (MiB) compared with the megabyte (MB). The unfamiliarity is not disputed, but is not relevant to disambiguation. The point is that disambiguation is rare and therefore all disambiguation methods are unfamiliar.
  10. Alternative disambiguation methods are either cumbersome (i.e., exact numbers of bytes), difficult and time-consuming to implement in a manner that is clear to the reader (i.e., footnotes)[10] or unlikely to be understood (i.e. exponentiation).
In conclusion, disambiguation is not easy, so it would be unwise to discard the simplest disambiguation tool at our disposal, just because it is unfamiliar. The best disambiguation method has yet to be established, so it is premature to deprecate this one.

Thunderbird2 (talk) 13:52, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

IEC prefixes are not the simplest disambiguation tool because the industry has chosen to reject the IEC prefixes and it is unfamiliar. The best disambiguation method has already been chosen because it is the method used by the sources used for each article. It is false to claim the guideline text deprecates IEC prefixes because it does not say to never use IEC prefixes instead the guideline text says to use IEC prefixes when the article sources use IEC prefixes. That future proofing of the guideline means it is a good guideline. 61.154.105.173 (talk) 00:50, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
  • (*Sound of sipping coffee*) This reminded me that I haven’t been active lately in making our articles compliant with MOSNUM. PowerBook 170 was all screwed up with some use of MiB and some use of MB. Even the “MB” were messed up because they were formatted “2MB” (without the space). Now fixed. Greg L (talk) 04:47, 31 December 2008 (UTC)


Footnotes

[10] This problem is illustrated by Address space layout randomization, which includes the confusing disambiguation footnote "Transistorized memory, such as RAM and cache sizes (other than solid state disk devices such as USB drives, CompactFlash cards, and so on) as well as CD-based storage size are specified using binary meanings for K (10241), M (10242), G (10243), ..."

Thunderbird2 is again beating the same dead horse and violating policy

As seen above Thunderbird2 is again beating the same dead horse and violating policy by again copy and pasting the same text as he has done before. Everything posted by Thunderbird2 above has been refuted by the much stronger arguments in the talk archive, this is documented in the RfC/U about Thunderbird2. In summary, everthing he has written above has been refuted by the arguments in the talk archive and therefore nothing he has written can change any guideline text. This is blatant forum shopping by Thunderbird2 and therefore disruptive editing. This disruptive editing is documented in the RfC/U and has a long history, therefore please block Thunderbird2 from editing because it is obvious Thunderbird2 is not going to listen to the community and is not going to modify his bad behaviour. Fnagaton 13:54, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

In the small chance that someone doesn't read the RfC/U about Thunderbird2's disruptive editing then I will give some more detail here on this page. Everything posted above [53] is basically a copy-paste of the same text here with minor tweaks and in that talk page archive those unsupported incorrect assertions were refuted and rejected again by multiple editors. Then the time before that in the previous archive and then again here. In summary, the point of view by Thunderbird2 above is nothing better than WP:ILIKEIT. I posted a reply at 01:43, 22 August 2008 (UTC) to the same points as presented above and did not get any valid reply so I will repeat it here. A very short summary of the whole talk page archives presented above is that everything in that post above is contrary to how Wikipedia works with guidelines and policies because nothing in that post tackles the real issue that using IEC prefixes is against the following WP:UNDUE, WP:OR, WP:V, WP:RS, WP:NPOV and WP:CRYSTAL. Those cited guidelines and policies are relevant because we use secondary sources for articles and those sources do not use IEC prefixes in the majority of cases (less than 1% of secondary sources actually use IEC prefixes). Thunderbird2 wants to rely on the primary sources of the standards bodies but Thunderbird2 cannot do that without secondary sources to support that point of view, since Thunderbird2 has very few secondary sources then WP:UNDUE applies. The personal point of view that "deprecation increases the difficulty" etc is also irrelevant because Thunderbird2 needs to detach from personal bias when crafting guidelines. Thunderbird2's personal opinion also appears to be refuted by the vast majority of reliable sources that have chosen not to use IEC prefixes, if they were as important as Thunderbird2 claims then surely those publications would use such a system for their readers to understand. The fact that the majority of publications do not use IEC indicates that they do not see IEC as a benefit to their readers. This is no surprise because the majority of manufacturers also do not use IEC prefixes. IEC Prefixes were proposed nine years ago now so their failed adoption by most of the technical people and publications indicates they are a failed standard, thus they are a fringe theory (WP:UNDUE). Headbomb is an excellent example of remaining balanced and neutral because he personally likes IEC prefixes but he also knows that Wikipedia is not the place to use them yet. This neutrality is why we must reference existing Wikipedia guidelines and policies when considering changes to guidelines. Since the vast majority of the real world does not use IEC prefixes then to advocate use of IEC prefixes for disambiguation presents a false point of view (synthesis of an idea from a primary source) to our readers, which violates WP:NPOV, WP:OR and WP:CRYSTAL. It is pointless to repeat old refuted assertions again because old refuted assertions are not suddenly good arguments just because they are repeated again and again. If Thunderbird2 can provide new and better substantive arguments then please do post them on WT:MOSNUM, but please listen to the multiple editors that have refuted and rejected those assertions with much stronger arguments that are relevant to how Wikipedia guidelines and policies work. Fnagaton 06:15, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 1) Given that Thunderbird2 has had ample time to comment on the above refutation of his post and; 2) Given that Thunderbird2 has not refuted any of the points I make above and; 3) Given that Thunderbird2 has instead decided to keep on posting about an irrelevant topic related to ad hominem. 4) I therefore conclude Thunderbird2 is still active and unable to refute the points made above. 5) I therefore further conclude that Thunderbird2 now accepts the arguments presented and therefore logically agrees the guideline text has consensus. I expect Greg, Headbomb and everyone else who voted support above is glad to see this chapter come to a natural close that supports the consensus as was agreed several months ago. Fnagaton 14:41, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Please note AfD nomination of JEDEC memory standards

As I believe many of the people concerned watch this page (others might not), please note that I have nominated the article JEDEC memory standards for deletion for non-notability under the Wikipedia deletion policy, as it seems clear to me that it was created merely to bolster some viewpoints in this apparently everlasting strictly Wikipedia-only discussion and as it concerns only a few frigging term definitions in a standards document, which are by no means central to the standard. If you wish to take part in the discussion, you may do so at Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/JEDEC_memory_standards. --SLi (talk) 21:58, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Ready for archiving?

It looks like a month has gone by without anything new being added so maybe it is time for this page to be closed and archived? Glider87 (talk) 06:55, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Yes.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 09:34, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
    • ^ This version of things gets a 4 vote from me (disambiguation in bytes and bits unstruck to avoid edit wars over disambiguation techniques) - Headbomb
    • ^ I support this.
    • ^ I'm not able to edit regularly at the moment so I will support this version. Greg has my permission to change my vote on my behalf if a later revision is substantially changed regarding IEC prefixes. Restored 15:16, 30 May 2008 (UTC) by Greg L proxy
    • ^ Revised vote; since the explicit ban of IEC has returned.
    • ^ The solution is workable, though not optimal, but a stronger focus should be placed on disambiguation. I also don't like well the outright ban on IEC prefixes, as these are an excellent way to disambiguate. The main thrust should be "KB/MB/etc. are ambiguous terms and must be disambiguated either by the use of IEC prefixes or exact numbers. Exponential notation is acceptable for providing an exact number."
    • ^ Makes sense to me. I can live with it.
    • ^ There are good arguments both for and against the use of IEC units. They have been written out countless times so I will not repeat them here. The important point is that there is no consensus either for their promotion or for their deprecation. Therefore MOSNUM should do neither. The current wording is a clear deprecation that I cannot support.
    • ^ I have never seen any discussion of the IEC units outside Wikipedia.
    • ^ I support this.
    • ^ This problem is illustrated by Address space layout randomization, which includes the confusing disambiguation footnote "Transistorized memory, such as RAM and cache sizes (other than solid state disk devices such as USB drives, CompactFlash cards, and so on) as well as CD-based storage size are specified using binary meanings for K (10241), M (10242), G (10243), ..."