Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)/Archive B12

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Copy from current MOSNUM

{Quick link to version on MOSNUM}

The following red-div section is a reference version to start with. Please make edits to Fourth draft, below.

Follow current literature

Use terminology and symbols commonly employed in the current literature for that subject and level of technicality. When in doubt, use the units of measure, prefixes, unit symbols, number notation, and methods of disambiguation most often employed in reliable periodicals directed to a similar readership.

Wikipedia’s mission is to communicate with minimal confusion so that readers can learn about a subject and are primed as well as possible to learn even more in their studies elsewhere. There are three important elements in determining what terminology and units of measure are best suited for a given article:

Preference for modern units

Wikipedia generally prefers modern systems of measurement, such as the SI, over U.S. customary units or the imperial system. Unless there is a good reason to do otherwise, write “the auto weighs 1450 kg (3200 lb)”, not the reverse.
Discipline-specific practices
Wherever a discipline consistently uses its own units—either conventional or metric rather than SI—Wikipedia should mirror those practices so readers will be conversant and knowledgeable in the discipline. Editors should write…
  • “a 450 cc Honda motorcycle engine” and never “a 450 ml” or “450 cm3 Honda motorcycle engine”;
  • “Saudi Arabia exported 9.0 million barrels of crude”, but not “Saudi Arabia exported 1.43 million cubic meters of crude” (unless an article is about Canadian oil production or you are quoting a source that observes Canadian practices);
  • “a gravity gradient of 3.1 µGal/cm”, not “a gravity gradient of 3.1×10−6 s–2, in the science of gravimetry.
Parenthetical conversions should be given where appropriate and should generally also follow the practices in current literature on that subject unless there is good reason to do otherwise. Often the conversions will be to modern systems. Even within the narrow discipline of piston engines in ground transportation, there is a range of permissible ways to show conversions; there is often no best way. For instance, writing "a 450 cc (450 cm3) motorcycle engine" is inappropriate even though it is in conformance with the SI. "The Ford 351 Cleveland engine had an actual displacement of 351.9 cubic inches (5,766 cc)” is appropriate for a historical, American-made engine. "The Dodge 5.7 L Hemi has a displacement of 5,654 cc (345.0 in3)" is appropriate for a modern, American-label engine that is classified in liters. But writing "the Ferrari Dino V12 engine has a displacement of 334.0 cubic inches" would be inappropriate in an article primarily about a European-made sports car.
There have been occasions where standards bodies have proposed new units of measure to better adhere to the SI and/or to address ambiguities but the new units didn’t see widespread adoption. Because existing prefixed forms of the byte are ambiguous ("KB", for instance, can mean either 1024 or 1000 bytes depending on context), the IEC in 1999 released its IEC 60027-2 amendment, introducing new prefixes for bytes and bits, such as "kibibyte (KiB)", "kibibit (Kibit)", and "mebibyte (MiB)". However, the IEC prefixes have seen little real-world adoption and are therefore unfamiliar to the typical Wikipedia reader. In keeping with the principle of follow current literature, editors should use the conventional binary prefixes, such as "kilobyte (KB)" and "megabyte (MB)", for general-interest articles and clarify their meaning where necessary using familiar techniques (subject to "Binary prefixes", below).
Level of difficulty (Do not write over the heads of the readership)
For some topics, there are multiple modern systems of measurement to choose from but some would generally be unsuitable for use in articles directed to a general-interest readership. For instance, the Planck units would typically be suitable only for advanced articles directed to expert readers—for example, an article on the mathematics of black hole evaporation—whereas an article on black holes directed to a general-interest readership should describe their mass in terms of solar mass. Level of difficulty also applies to the decision as to whether or not scientific notation should be employed and at what point it should be begin (for values as low as one million?). Here again, editors should look towards current literature on that subject for guidance in selecting level-appropriate units of measure, unit symbols, number notation, and terminology.

Improper deletion of text

  • All the above is your opinion. The charge of canvassing is so slanted and misleading. I was entirely up-front and open about contacting the previous “support” editors. I did so “out in the open” and had nothing to hide. Those editors had voted on previous votes and then had the entire issue moved numerous times off of Talk:MOSNUM to hard-to-find backwater venues by opponents of this policy who somehow always manage to magically know how to game the system and work in a highly coordinated fashion. Because of these tactics, the issue was off these editors’ radar screens and they had every right to know they were now disenfranchised and their original votes were completely meaningless. I feel like a civil rights advocate working in the deep south, trying to alert poor votes than the voting precinct “magically got moved” and the cops are trying to kick my ass for it.

    As an involved administrator, you have no more say than any other ordinary editor here. Further, given the fact that you were the lead proponent of the misguided policy this new one replaces, your opinion can not realistically be viewed as being unbiased. It is obvious on the face of it that there was a clear majority in favor of this; the only possible question is whether that properly meets all the requirements of a Wikipedia-style consensus. But it’s mighty notable that we had an uninvolved editor with plenty of experience in Wikipedia policy issues weigh in on this issue, Francis Schonken, who wrote “A rough consensus seems to have formed” and congratulated me on helping to get the policy on MOSNUM. And that was before the most recent vote. So just pardon me all over the place if I might feel there is some room for legitimate debate on whether or not a consensus was properly arrived at here.

    If you want to go to mediation, that’s fine. I actually feel that going to ArbCom for “refusal to accept consensus” is the more appropriate venue. Either way, you make the call. In the mean time, it is absolutely improper of you to delete “Follow current literature.” Go find an uninvolved administrator to remove it. Why would you abuse your power as an administrator against the wishes of so many other editors? Greg L (talk) 02:28, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

All the above is your opinion.

I've shown diff links and quotes from policy to demonstrate why this section does not belong on the guideline page. My personal opinion is irrelevant.

I was entirely up-front and open about contacting the previous “support” editors.

It doesn't matter how "out in the open" you were. Inviting only a select group of people who share your point of view is the problem. See Wikipedia:CANVASS#Votestacking

When forming a policy or guideline, you need to reach consensus. Please re-read that page. Consensus does not mean finding a bunch of others that agree with you so that you can overpower your "opponents" and eradicate the thing you don't like, merely by being more persistent and stubborn than others. Wikipedia is not a battleground. Consensus means making a good faith effort to understand where each side is coming from, and fairly representing everyone's concerns in the finished product. Aggressively belittling others and summarily dismissing their opinions as "invalid" or "stupid" demonstrates that you have no interest in actually working towards consensus. You're just here to "win"; to obliterate something you personally despise, regardless of the good reasons for or against it. This is not how Wikipedia works, and anything you manage to push through without true consensus will just be invalidated by others in the future.

Consensus doesn't necessarily mean inviting all 100 people who have discussed this in the past to take part in the current discussion (which is difficult enough to follow as it is), but it does mean that their opinions need to be represented in the consensus decision. They still count, even if they're not actively participating right this second (which is why we don't decide things by votes). In other words, when they come back to this page and say "Hey! When did the guideline change?" it should be followed by "Well, I guess it's not a bad change. I don't object to the new version." Otherwise the argument's just going to start all over again as soon as more people become aware of the "decision". "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."

As an involved administrator, you have no more say than any other ordinary editor here.

Correct. And I haven't done anything more than any other ordinary editor would do. I haven't blocked anyone simply because I disagreed with them. I haven't protected the page in my preferred version. I haven't done anything of the sort. If you think I've abused administrative powers, please bring it up on the administrator's noticeboard. Here are the logs of my admin actions (Omegatron (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)), which should make locating the supposed infractions much easier. — Omegatron (talk) 23:59, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

  • You Omegatron, were instrumental in pushing through—in only two days—an unwise policy that A) made Wikipedia all alone as a general-interest encyclopedia that uses the IEC prefixes; that B) no general-interest computer magazine uses; that C) no computer manufacturer uses in their communications to end users; that D) uses terminology that average Wikipedia reader is unfamiliar with; and E) has resulted in two years of continual bickering that will have produced at least twelve (and still counting) Talk:MOSNUM archives dedicated exclusively to your handiwork. Smooth move. Has there been any other Wikipedia policy or guideline that has been less successful than this fiasco? I’m serious; if there is one that has produced more strife, do tell. Stop defending it. Greg L (talk) 01:53, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
  • P.S. Oh, and stop deleting “Follow current literature”. Like SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK wrote on the Wikiquette alert: “Consensus is not all editors in 100% happy agreement, and never has been.” And as Francis Schonken (talk) wrote on my talk page: “A rough consensus seems to have formed.” {here} And that was before we went through the whole exercise with “Fourth draft”. All progress on Wikipedia would grind to a halt if “consensus” meant 100% buy-in. The important thing is to make sure the process by which a new policy was developed gave everyone a full chance to participate and have their input fully and fairly considered by all. In this case we did—in spades. And then went the extra mile (1.6 km) with “Fourth draft”. You, Omegatron, didn’t even bothered to voice your opinion once during the entire process of crafting “Follow current literature”: a process that over a dozen other editors slaved over and debated in good faith to come up with compromise wording. You didn’t offer a single suggested edit; you didn’t offer a single opinion; you didn’t say “boo”; you completely boycotted the whole process. And now you think you can waltz on in here and delete it? What is wrong with you?!? Greg L (talk) 03:15, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

You Omegatron, were instrumental in pushing through—in only two days—an unwise policy

You keep repeating this. Can you please explain what you're talking about?

As for the rest, it's been addressed many many times. I'm not going to keep saying the same things over and over to someone who refuses to listen. I've explained why the section needs to be removed in the paragraphs above. Please don't disrupt this guideline by continually re-adding it. — Omegatron (talk) 22:23, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

  • You, Omegatron, were instrumental in pushing through the use of the IEC prefixes here on Wikipedia. You began the discussion on Talk:MOSNUM on 23:05, July 9, 2005 (UTC). After two days, 16 hours, and 55 minutes of discussion, you were pushing for a vote at 16:00, July 12, 2005 (UTC). Even at that time, there were 20 votes to use the IEC prefixes and seven that opposed their use (six of those editors didn’t even want the IEC prefixes being used in highly technical subjects—even if the sources used them). You yourself admitted that there was no consensus for posting the policy on MOSNUM, yet as an adimistrator who knew better, you went ahead and posted it anyway. That was a terribly unwise thing to have done and I dare say that there has not been one single policy in Wikipedia history that has resulted in more bickering and infighting (two year’s worth and twelve archives) dedicated to your handiwork. That’s what I’m talking about.

    Now I challenge you: Please cite a single Wikipedia policy that ever resulted in this much contentious bickering. Please answer that question. As far as I can tell, the policy to use the IEC prefixes here on Wikipedia has proven to be a record-setting, paradigm of an utter failure and has put Wikipedia in the position of being all by itself on an unwise editorial practice not observed by any other professionally edited encyclopedia. You should have listened to GarrettTalk, who wrote this in 2005: “...and I had never heard of these things [the IEC prefixes] before it was raised on the Pump [Village pump, which later became Water well], and I've been downloading countless gigs of who-knows-what since 1996. Come back in 2008 when it's an accepted term, or, rather, at which point it's stagnated.”Well, here we are in 2008. Whether you’re willing to accept the obvious or not, the conventional binary prefixes are here to stay in the world’s computing culture and they will be universally used ten years from now. The IEC prefixes have seen no more adoption today than back in 1999 (or 2006). Give it up for God’s sake. Greg L (talk) 23:24, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

That's a nicely skewed interpretation of history.

So your personal vendetta against me is based on something you believe happened 3 years ago, before you even registered an account?

Here are the actual facts, with diffs to back them up, in case people want to keep dredging this up:

2003 events

After a disagreement on game console articles (which I have never edited), User:Thax started a discussion about the possibility of a site-wide recommendation.[1] This was then moved to the Village Pump to get a wider viewpoint.[2] (I later moved it off the village pump to the Manual of Style talk page so that it wouldn't be lost,[3] and it now resides in the archives for that page, in Greg L's oddly-named "archive zero".[4])

User:Thax proposed a vote,[5][6] which I disagreed with.[7] Policy is not decided by vote, and I said we should instead work towards consensus by creating a proposed policy page and editing it directly until it reached a form we could all agree with, at which point it would become a standalone guideline. User:Smyth agreed.[8]

Instead of creating a separate page, User:Thax added his proposal directly to the Manual of Style,[9], trying to summarize everyone's ideas and viewpoints the best he could.[10]

This is not what I suggested, but is not prohibited either. Editing guidelines directly was a condoned method of creating policy, as described in Wikipedia:Policies_and_guidelines#Guidelines, for instance. So I made some minor edits to clean it up,[11] alongside a number of other users, editing it to reach consensus in the wiki way.[12][13][14][15] (Note the lack of revert warring and hostility. The issue wasn't nearly as polarized as it is now; most of us were just trying to gauge what the community thought and making up our own minds as we went.)

Neonumbers then asked for a vote again,[16] and Smyth started one.[17]

I advertised the discussion and vote in a few neutral places, like the Village Pump and the talk pages of articles like kilobyte and Binary prefix, so that we could get even more outside opinion.

Please clarify which of us is the "leader" that "rammed through a policy without consensus"?[18] Are you insinuating that the dozens of other editors who support IEC prefixes have somehow been unduly influenced by me or controlled by me? That they aren't capable of forming or holding their own opinions? You certainly give me a lot of credit.

Yes, 1/4 of people who responded to the discussion were opposed to the proposal (which, again, I did not add or recommend adding to the guideline page). They were free to edit it to their liking or remove it altogether. I suspect they simply didn't care. Most of us aren't nearly as fanatical about this as the likes of you and Fnagaton.

Now I challenge you: Please cite a single Wikipedia policy that ever resulted in this much contentious bickering.


  • BC/BCE
  • Userboxes
  • Fair use
  • Autofellatio
  • IPA pronounciations
  • Requests for de-adminship
  • Footnotes
  • ...

Omegatron (talk) 00:15, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, I haven’t researched these issues, but your list doesn’t pass the “grin” test here. There are twelve archives devoted exclusively to the binary prefixes. Are you seriously saying that any of these issues you’ve cited remotely approaches that much discussion? Why is there no “F0” through “F11” archives devoted to the “Fair use”? And another twelve for each of the other issues in your list. No… I think it’s pretty clear that you had a seriously major role in the primo disaster on Wikipedia. Greg L (talk) 07:19, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Not all talk pages are archived. Here's one that is: Wikipedia talk:Non-free content/archive toc I'm not sure what you're driving at with this, though.
I'm honestly stumped as to how your obsession with me started. Your accusations have never made any sense. Did you just inherit a grudge from something Fnagaton told you? Why me out of all the editors who have participated in this dispute over the years? How am I personally responsible for it? I barely even participate on this talk page lately because of all the spite.
And I'm personally responsible for 12 pages of archived talk? That's a pretty interesting theory, considering you've made 5 times as many edits to this page in 6 months as I've made in 3 years.[19][20] In fact, in those six months, you've made more edits to this page than any other user, ever.[21] Take a step back and think about what you've accomplished with all that time and effort. How many minds have you changed? If only editors had this kind of dedication to productive editing... — Omegatron (talk) 04:15, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
Omegatron, you were an early proponent of using Wikipedia as a vehicle to promote the IEC binary prefixes. You were persistent in your support of the use of these prefixes through the Sarenne edit wars. After the consensus was changed to reduce the emphasis on the IEC prefixes last summer, you have attempted to sneak in changes to the wording a few times. While we don't agree on binary prefixes, I think you are a valuable contributor to Wikipedia in other areas.
Greg has been a prolific contributor to this page! However, his argument to use what the rest of publishing world and computer industry use is powerful. I don't see how the IEC binary prefix proponents can win this debate on the merits of the arguments. There has been months of stalling and delaying tactics to try save the lost cause of kibibytes. There will be a endless stream of editors coming to MOSNUM complaining about these unheard of IEC prefixes used in Wikipedia until their use in general purpose and historical computer articles is deprecated. -- SWTPC6800 (talk) 14:38, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
The fact is that this used to be a fun page to work on, when debates were settled by listening to the strength of editors' arguments. But no more. Greg L and Fnagaton, operating by systematic ridicule of the arguments that get in the way of their agenda, have alienated some good editors (eg Lightmouse, Omegatron and Tony1) who used to visit this page regularly. I am delighted to see both Omegatron and Tony contributing again, albeit occasionally.
SWTPC6800 argues for the deprecation of IEC units. He is entitled to do so. But I'm sure that he will agree that we should only introduce such deprecation in MOSNUM when there is consensus to do so. Thunderbird2 (talk) 15:05, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
It is really funny you speak of "agendas" when your agenda is clear. If you don't want to see arguments "ridiculed" then try to post stronger arguments that are not so easily refuted. Oh and "my agenda" is that Wikipedia improves articles by following the example shown in the real world, which is to not use IEC prefixes; And for Wikipedia to improve by not bowing to the minority opinion of editors who push for IEC prefixes to be used which is contrary to real world consensus. It isn't what people would generally call an "agenda" in the negative way you're trying to insinuate because what I work towards is the correction of an obviously biased and wrong guideline that was pushed onto Wikipedia by a vocal minority in the first place. SWTPC6800 called it correctly, the IEC binary prefix proponents cannot win this debate on the merits of the arguments and "stalling and delaying tactics to try save the lost cause of kibibytes" have been used. Most recently this has been demonstrated by an editor claiming to be engaged in debate but never actually being involved in meaningful debate and all the time refusing to answer questions directed to them but instead they keep on repeating the same old refuted arguments. As if repeating the same old rubbish will make it true. There is consensus to deprecate the IEC prefixes, it just so happens that doesn't fit the agenda of Thunderbird2 to keep on pushing for IEC prefixes to be used in articles. Fnagaton 15:42, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
Nothing improper about the removal of that which never had consensus. What had been improper was the use of a sock to keep adding it back. Now the sock's blocked, anyone wearing new socks?JIMp talk·cont 01:11, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Let’s establish “consensus” once and for all

  • So there is no consensus? How say we conduct a huge new vote on “Follow current literature”? We’ll invite editors from all over Wikipedia’s computing articles. We’ll invite editors from all over MOS and MOSNUM. We’ll contact every past editor who’s ever weighed in on the subject on either the IEC prefix issue or FCL—regardless of whether they’ve been for or against it in the past. We’ll post the notice really, really big on the all the talk pages of the various computer- and technology-related articles to ensure we get the widest possible diversity of input and the greatest amount of input of views. This will be a big improvement over the standard old voices who have weighed in so far. We’ll craft up a statement “for” and a statement “against” and hold an “up or down” vote. That should pretty much settle the issue, don’t you think? Only, if we go through all that effort, FCL sticks for good, no horsing around with stripping it down with the current greenbox’s contents. Greg L (talk) 06:17, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Let's not. Consensus (not unanimous, but it was consensus nonetheless) was reached for the FCL so it should be on the MOS page now (vote had a clear majority, was open for a good while, and the reasons for were stronger than the reason against). I don't see why this is under debate. If you can't settle this revert war, go through arbitration. [[::User:Headbomb|Headbomb]] ([[::User talk:Headbomb|ταλκ]] · [[::Special:Contributions/Headbomb|κοντριβς]]) 06:41, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Why don’t you have a talk with Omegatron? He just waded in and deleted FCL again and I had to restore it. I have better things to do with my time and repeatedly restore a section that was far better debated and crafted than many other things on MOSNUM. Greg L (talk) 06:55, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
  • And BTW, every consensus can be overturn by a new consensus. Things are never settled "once and for all". There's a lot of fat in the FCL section. Greenbox wants to merge the useful FCL content with the rest of section 4 as appropriate, and if there are leftovers that cannot fit in conversions, which unit to use, etc..., they will be placed in their own fat-free FCL section (unless of course there is consensus to drop FCL content). [[::User:Headbomb|Headbomb]] ([[::User talk:Headbomb|ταλκ]] · [[::Special:Contributions/Headbomb|κοντριβς]]) 06:41, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

In my opinion Omegatron has good reason to remove something that has never had consensus. The vote, as best I can recall it (it has been archived somewhere), ended with 7 votes in favour and 5 against. Since when is 7:5 considered a consensus? The main arguments against were eloquently explained by Jimp. Why are they any less valid than the arguments in favour? Nevertheless, I think Headbomb is close to a breakthrough here. I suggest we focus on resolving the remaining problems with the new text. Then all this will become water under the bridge Thunderbird2 (talk) 11:36, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

  • Thunderbird2, as regards whether or not a consensus was formed on “Follow current literature”, no one should put any credence in what either you or I think; you and I are proponents and detractors of a policy that resulted in a split vote. What matters is what outside editors—including those highly active in Wikipedia procedural and dispute-resolution processes—believe. Not one of these outside editors weighed in here with “Whoa, whoa, not so fast”. The only comments we got were from outside, uninvolved editors was stuff like “a rough consensus seems to have formed” (or “a consensus has been formed”). And that was before we had even more input from more editors who helped on Fourth draft. After discounting DavidPaulHamilton (sock), the vote was 7:3 at the time I called the vote; there hadn’t been any “oppose” votes in two days. I can’t “prove” a human-nature-like issue, but I think the reason that no more “oppose” votes were coming in is because the “oppose” editors were dispirited over the dozen+ other editors at the time who were really on a roll on “Fourth draft”; few wanted to put their names up in lights as opposing such a widely supported and popular guideline. The last two “oppose” votes only came in after it ‘went to press’ on MOSNUM, or after Omegatron tried removing FCL from MOSNUM the first time and an editor was now emboldened that maybe there can be something done about it.

    There are clearly two problems here: One is that the combatants here are trying to define for themselves what constitutes a consensus. The second is that there are far too few participants in this issue. The whole IEC prefix issue doesn’t doesn’t get the juices flowing for the common editor. Oh sure, they might think “Follow current literature is wise, but most editors just don’t have the stomach for all the damned bickering that necessarily goes with resolving this issue. So, you know what I think? I think that if we have a nice, simple, no-bickering vote on “Follow current literature” and present the vote to a w-i-d-e spectrum of Wikipedia’s editors, the vast majority will think “makes sense to me,” and vote accordingly. You know what else I think? I think you guys know that, don’t you? That just might account for this consistent resistance to agreeing to binding mediation and to conducting a new, sweeping vote. I think I’ve just had my belly full of a voiciferous minority of editors making Wikipedia look brain damanged by running off using weird units of measure no reader even recognizes because it’s not used in the real world and no professionally edited encyclopedia uses them! And you guys still support this train wreck of a policy! Unbelievable.

    And right now, I’m not buying into this “breakthrough” business from you; just pardon me all over the place but I’ve seen that kind of language out of you before and it never went anywhere. You just happen to be the only editor who gave such a piss-poor vote on the purple box. If we want a “breakthrough” upgrade your vote, otherwise I’m just not seeing any “breakthrough” here, just stalling. It’s beginning to become ever clearer in my mind that proper solution is to bite the bullet and invest the effort to have one, seriously big vote, the outcome of which is mediated so there’s no disputing it by the participants. Greg L (talk) 15:25, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

No no… let’s DO

Outstanding! Headbomb, at least, thinks that there was a consensus. But not all agree. Let’s settle the “consensus’ issue once and for all then!!!
  • Is there anyone who still thinks “Follow current literature” didn’t have a consensus? How say we conduct a huge new vote on “Follow current literature”? We’ll invite editors from all over Wikipedia’s computing and technical articles. We’ll invite editors from all over MOS and MOSNUM. We’ll contact every past editor who’s ever weighed in on the subject on either the IEC prefix issue or FCL—regardless of whether they’ve been for or against it in the past. We’ll post the notices really, really big on all the talk pages of the various computer- and technology-related articles to ensure we get the widest possible diversity of input and the greatest amount of input of views. This will be a big improvement over the standard handful of old voices who have weighed in so far. We’ll craft up one each statement “for” and “against” and hold a simple “up or down” vote on what is currently on MOSNUM; absolutely no editing allowed to satisfy this or that editors’ whims (zero progress would be made if we headed down that path). Such a vote should pretty much settle the issue, don’t you think? Only, if we go through all that effort, FCL sticks for good, no horsing around with later gutting it with the current greenbox’s contents.

    Oh, and to put an end to all the incessant arguing here about what constitutes a consensus, we have the votes, vote comments, and discussion monitored by a panel of three or five mediators. The mediators would have complete liberty to discuss their impending decision “off line” via IRC and e-mail. Binding mediation based on the majority opinion of the mediators. Well… who’s game? Is there anything unfair about letting a much wider group of Wikipedia editors weigh in on this issue? Greg L (talk) 06:51, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

  • There never was consensus. And you propose a vote ... not a discussion ... a vote. And there'll be no editing to satisfy the whims of anyone ... anyone other than ... you know who. And FCL would be set in stone never to change. JIMp talk·cont 07:07, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

    I might dispute Headbomb's statement that consensus had been reached but one thing he's got right is that "Things are never settled 'once and for all'." Even if you manage this, there's room for improvement ... barrels of room ... cubic hectometres ... in FCL. Waving some old vote taken some time on some version of some editor's preference will be as unconvincing after this exercise as it is now. JIMp talk·cont 07:33, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

  • Fine. You don’t think there was a consensus. Let’s see if we can fairly establish a consensus over FCL as judged by unbiased mediators. And what’s this garbage with “not a discussion”? You didn’t read what I wrote. I wrote there would be votes and vote comments, and discussion. But it would be discussion and debate on what is currently posted on MOSNUM—what you allege didn’t have consensus. Well, I know how to settle that issue. I can press for a larger vote all by myself (and some help from some friends). We can have BIG blowout of a party and you can boycott it if that’s what you want to do. The question is whether or not you will agree to binding arbitration on the results of that vote as judged by impartial mediators whose job it is to mediate here on Wikipedia. Well?? Greg L (talk) 07:28, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
  • P.S. Like (exactly) like Omegatron once wrote when he made some edits to “Binary prefixes” in the heat of the debate with Fnagaton, anyone can make “minor” edits to stuff on MOSNUM; big changes require consensus. If FCL is proven by mediators to have properly gained consensus with a new, big vote, then it can be *tweaked*, but no wholesale revisions and gutting can occur without “consensus”—even if you don’t like that notion too much. Greg L (talk) 07:43, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes, big changes do require consensus. FCL had not even been discussed here when it was inserted onto the page. It didn't have consensus then, I say it hasn't had consensus since. It's not just I who saw no consensus. Surely you don't take me for a boycotter, the one who's dogged FCL from the day it was pasted onto MOSNUM. Okay, you did mention a discussion but as I read it what you intend is that the vote is to be given the weighting. JIMp talk·cont 07:52, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

    ... Oh the "not a discussion" garbage ... that's much clearer ... I didn't read what you wrote ... maybe I read between the lines ... perhaps if the discussion leads to improvement of FCL it would be worthy of the label "discussion" ... perhaps I remember a discussion in which a number of editors were calling for something as harmless as a parenthetical conversion to SI but was over-ruled by one ... perhaps I've got to get going anyway & see ya 'round. JIMp talk·cont 08:14, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

  • “FCL had not even been discussed here when it was inserted onto the page” I’m sorry, I can’t debate something with someone who doesn’t have a remote connection to reality. Where the hell have you been? What do you think archives B8–B11 were about? Jeez. And you’re still ducking the issue. You can don orange robes, douse yourself in gasoline, and set yourself alight over how you don’t think FCL had or has consensus. I don’t care. The point is whether or not you are willing to abide by a new, BIG vote judged by unbiased mediators? Greg L (talk) 08:03, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
  • That's why I added the word "here" (on this page). FCL was discussed on that backwater binary war subpage that probably should never have been created but was, though, I'm certain, was not created for the purpose of sidelining anything. You know where I've been, here. Binary prefix archives ... who do you think is the damn fool who set that binary prefix achiving system up in the first place ... again not with any intention of sidelining anything. Nobody's talking about going against a fair and unbiased process of arbitration. JIMp talk·cont 08:29, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

    Whilst we're at it, how about a "Who likes Headbomb's proposal better?" vote? Perhaps we can have a discussion about the relative merits of editing one's proposal in order to address the concerns ... or call them "whims" if you will ... of other editors and which approach best achives progress. JIMp talk·cont 08:34, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

  • That's why I added the word "here" (on this page). FCL was discussed on that backwater binary war subpage that probably should never have been created but was, though, I'm certain, was not created for the purpose of sidelining anything”… What’s going on with you Jimp? Have you been up too late? Until the robot removed “Fourth draft” two hours ago, it was right here on this page and it had been here for 25 days. For God’s sake, you voted on it!!! All of Third draft and Fourth draft were right here. Fourth draft was titled “Follow current literature”. Don’t believe me? Here is what this very page looked like 6:56, 28 May 2008 (UTC), less than two hours ago. And it’s not an issue of “who likes Headbomb’s proposal; it is still a work in progress and “consensus” is not an issue yet. You and Omegatron allege that FCL had no consensus. If you keep up that argument, we can settle it damn fast if you like. But once again, you ducked my question of whether you will abide by binding mediation; that pretty much answers my question. Why did I have to write the first part of this paragraph?!? I’m quite done trying to have a rational discussion with you; I can’t handle writings that exhibit military-strength detachment from reality and wholesale disregard of simple facts; I’m going back to Earth now. Greg L (talk) 08:37, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
  • The precise sequence of events was an invitation to discuss the change on the MOSNUM talk page at 02:46 on 16 April 2008, followed by the addition of new text to MOSNUM itself one minute later. As far as I can tell there was no discussion during that one minute. Therefore Jimp is correct to claim that there was no discussion of the text on this talk page before adding it to MOSNUM. Thunderbird2 (talk) 15:29, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Your argument lacks that necessary virtue of being remotely supported by the evidence. Jimp wrote… “…FCL was discussed on that backwater binary war subpage…” It was not. MiszaBot II had removed FCL-related posts from this page only 98 minutes before Jimp wrote that. For some unfathonable reason, Jimp wrote that all that ocurred here had done so on a backwater binary war subpage. In fact, everything that ever had to do with “Follow current literature”—the proposal itself, the voting, the vote comments, the discussion and debate (which JImp participated in); that all occurred here on this talk page. All of it. To suggest that “Follow current literature” hadn’t been discussed here but on a remote backwater page is… is… *nevermind*. As for your “one-minute timing” issue, you’re confused. I had simply prepared a place on Talk:MOSNUM to discuss what had now been posted to MOSNUM. If I had managed to do so during the same minute, there would have been zero discussion time the way you figure it. Greg L (talk) 15:49, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
There appears to be some misunderstanding. Of course I don't deny that there has been votes, discussion, debates, dirty tricks, sock-puppetry, accusations of wrong doing, and cetera, and cetera ad nauseum right here. I've been part of it the whole while ... yeah, staying up too late. I'm not refering to your recent re-inserting of the text after Omegatron deleted it. That one discussion minute, that's the minute I'm refering to. I'm talking about the original insertion at 2:47 on 16 April 2008 when the only discussion of FCL was to be found on the aformentioned subpage. Here's what that subpage looked like at 2:47 on 16 April 2008. Here's what this page looked like. So to suggest that "Follow current literature" hadn’t been discussed here but on a remote backwater page at 2:47 on 16 April 2008 is ... is ... is ... the plain fact.

Of course I'll abide by binding mediation, it's binding isn't it? Why indeed are you asking, am I one of those editors who goes about making substantial undiscussed changes to the page? JIMp talk·cont 16:46, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

  • Jimp, My newly added section for discussing the posting to MOSNUM was posted here on Talk:MOSNUM. So……… what exactly occurred on a remote backwater binary discussion page??? Yes, it appears you were up too late. As for binding mediation (after a big-ass vote), good. I’ll discuss it with Fnagaton when he gets back in a few days. Greg L (talk) 16:54, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
You know what occurred on Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (binary prefixes): the initial "hand crafting" of FCL. I posted a memory-refreshing link above. Yes, Fnagaton is on holiday. JIMp talk·cont 17:20, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
Greg, you write "If FCL is proven by mediators to have properly gained consensus with a new, big vote, then it can be *tweaked*,". Can we take that as a commitment by you not to block changes to the text on the basis that not everyone who participated in the original vote is participating in the tweak discussion? Will you refrain from waving this new vote about when such discussion arises? Or will we have a similar situation as before when a number of editors called for a cubic-metre conversion to be included in the crude oil example only to be over-ruled by you claiming that the version voted on hadn't had this? JIMp talk·cont 00:41, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Jimp: Certainly. Certainly. And no. Greg L (talk) 13:24, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
  • What about if FCL (as it stands in redbox) is completely dropped? Will you bring up that "binding" vote there? After all, this "vote" would only be to decide whether FCL had consensus at the time it was uploaded, not if it has consensus now. Which makes it pretty damn useless to have that vote in the first place, especially considering that the edit war seems to have stopped, if you ask me. [[::User:Headbomb|Headbomb]] ([[::User talk:Headbomb|ταλκ]] · [[::Special:Contributions/Headbomb|κοντριβς]]) 05:28, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

First instance should be linked

Currently, it says "articles on scientific topics where there is consensus among the contributors not to convert the metric units, in which case the first occurrence of each unit should be linked"

I want to tweak this a little, but I'm not sure about wording:

  1. It's not just scientific topics where there is consensus not to convert from metric. I'd say almost every unit (besides the very common ones like km or kg?) should be linked at least once, for people who are unfamiliar with them (which would likely include everyone, statistically).
  2. It's not just the first instance, either, but "the first instance in a while". For instance, if you mention megatons in the 8th section of an article, and the last reference to the unit was in the first section, you should include another link in the 8th. But of course we should not link every instance. This is already made more clear in Wikipedia:Only make links that are relevant to the context
  3. The link for a unit abbreviation should always go to a written-out article name, so that it can be hovered over for a reminder. (µPa or pCi, but not MeV)

Omegatron (talk) 01:56, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

I had a feeling long ago when I dropped my objection to including that scientific topic stuff that someone would try to use that as an excuse for expanding it to other areas....oh it won't happen they said...and here you are greasing up the slope. If anything it's time to repeal that. As for linking of almost every unit, I don't think Lightmouse will let that 'tweak' happen. —MJCdetroit (yak) 03:56, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Crap. Are you sure MJCdetroit? Doesn’t “Follow current literature” already pretty much call for just this policy? It makes fine sense to me and I like Omegatron’s words “I’d say almost every unit…” IMO, it is a good policy to provide conversions to the SI, but doing so should be within the confines of “Follow current literature”, which makes a drop-dead simple case that you still don’t convert or disambiguate where current literature never bothers to, such as for “cc” in certain articles on engines or µgal in gravimetry. Making measures clear is good. Going overboard into ridiculous extremes not ever seen in the real world should be regarded as improper advocacy of the SI that doesn’t help the reader in any way. Any editorial practice that would only ever be found on Wikipedia and can be found on no other general-interest encyclopedia should be approached with healthy skepticism; particularly where Wikipedia has the advantage of Wikilinking, for instance, “cc” to the Cubic centimeter article.

    Is your opposition to this due—at least in part—to your questioning of hidden motives? Let me ask this: If the wording doesn’t look like a backdoor approach to undermine common sense or “Follow current literature”, then does the idea seem to be a sound one on the surface? Greg L (talk) 04:03, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

  • I do see hidden motives. There seems to be an SI-task force on wiki that would love to see the whole thing SI-only (even though other encyclopedias are not) and as I said here, the science topics were their way of inching toward their goal and undermining common sense. For the most part, I believe, if there is a measurement...then convert it. I've found miles alone and added km and km alone and added miles; the SI-superheros don't do that. —MJCdetroit (yak) 04:28, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
  • You may well have hit the nail on the head. Greg L (talk) 04:18, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

It's a good policy to provide conversions; be they in articles on scientific topics or not, be they to SI/metric or imperial/US, be they what you find in "the literature" or not. I'd love to see Wikipedia metric only, the day all our sources and all our readers are. Linking is not bad per se but we do have a problem with overlinking common units. Omegatron's third point, spell the link out in full, is spot on. JIMp talk·cont 04:54, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Thank you Jimp, and yes his third point is spot on —MJCdetroit (yak) 12:04, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Oh geez. This has nothing to do with SI or IEC or anything; there are no "hidden motives". Most people reading an article about radiation will be unfamiliar with the units used, so we should link them. Most people reading an article about electron energy levels will be unfamiliar with the units used, so we should link them. That's all I'm saying. The policy currently states something about "where there is consensus not to convert from metric". In #1, I'm saying this clause should be removed. Any unit that is unlikely to be familiar to the reader should be linked, regardless of metric or non-metric.

And not every instance of every unit. Just once per unit per article, or maybe twice per unit for a super long article (#2). — Omegatron (talk) 00:13, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

  • “Oh geez. This has nothing to do with SI or IEC or anything”. If you are going to write total hogwash like that, is there anything we’re supposed to believe out of you? “Follow current literature” already is clear that 1) conversions are encouraged, and 2) so too are Wikilinks for the units of measure. There’s only one reason you oppose “Follow current literature”: it would deprecate the use of the IEC prefixes, the use of which has proven to be an utter fiasco for which you are responsible. Greg L (talk) 02:20, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

I also noticed it recommends linking "unit abbreviations that have conflicting meanings in common units systems". Does everyone else agree that we should change both of these so that the guideline just says "link units that may be unfamiliar to the reader"? — Omegatron (talk) 00:31, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

This huge tome that sits like a lump in the middle of MOSNUM

Some of it is entirely inconsistent with the treatment in the rest of the Manual, including the schoolmarm statement at the top. There are quite a few MOS breaches. There's a dispute tag at the top. It does not appear in the equivalent section in the main page of MOS, where all of the treatment of units is otherwise duplicated.

Thus, no one has to take the slightest notice of it. As a first step towards having it accepted, the text will need to be freed of fluff and made MOS-consistent. Then we can begin to negotiate the more substantive matters. TONY (talk) 02:37, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

In the meantime and until there is consensus to keep it, let it be removed. JIMp talk·cont 03:20, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
The new section addresses a shortcoming in MOSNUM that has encouraged (mandated) the use of obscure units unused in some disciplines. It simply states that SI units are preferred except where another unit is the predominate unit in the current literature. The current version of "Follow current literature" is the result of extensive discussion and revisions on this talk page. The "Binary prefix" section also has a disputed tag on it and it does not have a section on the main MOS page. -- SWTPC6800 (talk) 04:38, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
  • What he said. Well done, Swtpc6800. Greg L (talk) 23:42, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
A great deal of these extensive discussions have been labelled as "refuted", over-ruled by the section's author and simply ignored. For example, the fair and reasonable request for an appropriate conversion to be included in one of the section's examples, a request backed by a number of editors, was refused by the author in what seems to be nothing more than a retaliation to the placing of a "disputed" tag over his section, a tag which merely informs other editors of the truth with respect to this proposal, i.e. that it is in dispute as it has been ever since it was shoved in here. JIMp talk·cont 05:04, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
It has consensus. If you disagree then post substantive reasons because so far neither of you have done that. DavidPaulHamilton (talk) 06:42, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
"Neither"? ... there are more than two of us and our points have been posted over and over only to be brushed aside. There has never been consensus. JIMp talk·cont 06:49, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Prove it. Your points are basically "I don't like it" and have been squashed by much stronger arguments. DavidPaulHamilton (talk) 10:02, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Hamilton, I've never seen such arrogance. Prove it? I rather think it's up to you to prove that it does have consensus. It clearly doesn't from the table and comments above, as much as you huff and puff continually that it does. You'd shrilly insist that black was white, or that Iraq had WMD—or perhaps you voted for Bush's deception ... We're not as stupid as the American electorate. Now, this text has to go, and the normal procedures should be gone through to insert it. It has not a chance in hell of being accepted on the main MOS page, which contains all of the other text on measurements; to any sane person, its inclusion on this sub-page is illegitimate. BTW, aren't you someone's sock? TONY (talk) 11:03, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
As Francis and others have shown it does have consensus. Your lack of substantive reasons opposing the guideline also show it has a consensus. Trying to imply those that disagree with your point of are not sane also shows why your point of they is not substantive.DavidPaulHamilton (talk) 12:14, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Circular gobbledygook. The insertion has no status, and I will continue to work to see that it is not acknowledged as part of the guideline. TONY (talk) 12:44, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
As many others have shown it has consensus. You claim it does not but you provide no substantive reasons. Consensus is not how much noise you can make. What is Circular gobbledygook is your repeated claims without substantive reasons. Will you agree to formal mediation?DavidPaulHamilton (talk) 13:15, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I've better things to do than waste it dealing with renegades who refuse to observe due process and who revert even the copy-editing of their illegitimate insertion. The insertion is far too long and is inconsistent in tone and level of detail with the rest of the Manual, as I've pointed out before. There are MOS breaches. The waffly sentence towards the top about WP's aims does not belong. That said, others have technical problems with the content. Claiming consensus when the profile on the table above includes rather a lot of negative sentiment is just self-serving delusion. Until this is resolved, MOSNUM is not going to function properly, I can see. This is the fault of your crowd, as much as you seek to shift blame onto people like me. TONY (talk) 16:04, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
According to the village pump talk due process has been followed and that formed the consensus. Due process is also going to formal mediation to which you replied with uncivil waffle and nothing substantive. I will ask again, will you agree to formal mediation?DavidPaulHamilton (talk) 16:32, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Your little foibles here are very low on my list of priorities, but that doesn't stop my expressing disgust. Don't think that I'd want to dignify your doings with more than minimal time. I'm a busy person. TONY (talk) 16:48, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Another uncivil reply. I will ask again, will you follow due process and agree to formal mediation?DavidPaulHamilton (talk) 17:03, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

My points are "basically 'I don't like it'", are they, "and have been squashed by much stronger arguments", have they? I don't see the name "DavidPaulHamilton" attached to any such arguments ... excuse me for biting a "newbie".

Prove the lack of consensus? It's staring us in the face but, as Tony notes, the burden of proof rests firmly on the party who want policy to change. Show us this consensus. Oh, it's already been shown by Francis. Francis has not shown consensus, he never set out to show consensus and has not claimed to have shown consensus. The dispute has raged ever since this proposal was inserted onto the page, if Francis happened to have overlooked it, what we have here is proof that Francis is human. The dispute is getting hard to overlook now.

"Your lack of substantive reasons opposing the guideline also show it has a consensus." you write, David. Of course, this makes no logical sense but are you keeping track of to whom you're writing? Tony has never opposed the proposal per se. Tony's position; correct me if I'm wrong, Tony; has always simply been that the text does not belong on the page until consensus is reached (and if it is reached it'll need some copy-editing).

A proper reading of that VP discussion does not lead to the conclusion that there exists any form of consensus. The outcome was more along the lines that Greg was not wrong to have introduced the proposal in the way that he did if he believed that his addition was a true reflexion of consensus. I believe that that is what he believed back then. I cannot understand how anyone could believe so now in view of this dispute. Given the clear lack of consensus ... we're debating it right now, right? ... it is hardly appropriate that the proposal remain. Thus Omegatron did nothing inappropriate in removing the text.

JIMp talk·cont 17:48, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

You only have one thing right and that was the burden of proof. It did belong to the pro side but now it does not because the pro side demonstrated consensus with much stronger argument. Now the burden of proof is against you. Omegatron acted against consensus. The way you summarised the VP talk is not accurate because it does conclude there is consensus and that it follows due process. One question remains for you to answer, will you follow to due process and agree to formal mediation?DavidPaulHamilton (talk) 18:21, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, then, where's your proof? Formal mediation? No arguement here. There is a question that remains for you to answer, David Paul Hamilton, posed by Tony, "aren't you someone's sock?" JIMp talk·cont 18:42, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
The proof of the consensus is that as posted by many editors, for example Francis, Rilak and most recently Greg below. I'm glad you agree to formal mediation. Tony's question is rude rubbish and so it is ignored. DavidPaulHamilton (talk) 20:44, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Rude, perhaps, but rubbish? For a new user you've certainly shown a rather strong interest in and a good knowledge of Wikipedia. Your account is less than two months old yet you've made more than 160 edits, often complete with edit summaries which even contain Wikijargon. Your user talk page got off to an interesting start. I don't blame Tony for drawing the conclusion he has. JIMp talk·cont 02:18, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Tony, regarding your first post: Every single bit of your post is total nonsense. “It sits like a lump in the middle of MOSNUM” That’s just silly complaint about comparative aesthetics; the “look & feel” of MOSNUM didn’t come out of the Magna Carta! That’s a non-issue. “There's a dispute tag at the top.” You guys put it there! That’s easy enough to fix. “It does not appear in the equivalent section in the main page of MOS.” That too is easy to fix; do you want me to go copy it over there now? All your arguments are diversionary and don’t amount to a hill of beans.

    You don’t have a problem with “Follow current literature” because it “sits like a lump in the middle of MOSNUM” or because it “hasn’t been duplicated over to MOS” or because “it has a {disputed} tag on it” (which you put there). Admit it. You and Jimp have a problem with it because you don’t like what it does, which is call for using the units used in the real world including those disciplines that consistently use non-SI units. “Follow current literature” endorses the practices already observed on Wikipedia as well as the way the real world works and as well as the way all other general-interest, professionally edited encyclopedias handle this very issue. The clear majority of editors here agree that the ‘IEC prefix and SI guerillas’ need to be finally reigned in and it’s time to memorialize on MOSNUM that the wise thing to do is conform with real world and other encyclopedias. You are wrong wrong wrong that we should do otherwise. Some of the computer-related articles here on Wikipedia have no doubt caused several poor unfortunate souls to walk into a computer store and ask for a “computer with three gibibytes of memory so I can run Vista” (only to be met with blank stares and/or laughter). Your arguments that “there was no consensus” amounts only to “you still don’t agree with it”. Now…

    Fifth draft” has been provided above. Well over a dozen editors had a hand in editing and approving “Follow current literature” and you still refuse to accept the consensus. If you have a problem with “Follow current literature”, edit “Fifth draft” with your ideas and suggestions and let’s have a look at your proposal and give everyone here an opportunity to comment on it and try to improve it and (eventually) put it to a vote. Greg L (talk) 18:02, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm all for using the units as used in the source. I'm against the banning, explicite or implicite, of conversions. I also call for considerations regarding consistancy across WP and the use of familar as opposed to obscure expressions to be given due weight. Moreover, I have my doubts as to what we'll be making of this term literature. As to consensus, I honestly don't see it neither for nor against the proposal. JIMp talk·cont 18:42, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

  • Well good Jimp! We’re making progress. You agree with using the units used by the sources. Certain other “oppose” editors don’t believe as you do. As for conversions, where does Follow current literature “ban conversions”? I’ll answer that question: only in one sort of situation as exemplified with cc for motorcycles. And even then, it was clear that the only reason for doing so is because virtually all (or absolutely all) literature does not employ a parenthetical “ml” next to “cc” on motorcycle engines; it’s clear enough. Proper editing here on Wikipedia would adopt what Encyclopedia Britannica does, which spells out the first use of cubic centimeter. Since Wikipedia has Wikilinking, all we need to do is write articles something as follows:
The Kawasaki “Crotch rocket 9000”-series of motorcycles come stock with a 600 cubic centimeter (cc) engine. It also has an option for a 750 cc engine.
The rest of “Follow current literature” makes it clear that there is a huge latitude for parenthetical conversions and they are encouraged. Greg L (talk) 19:05, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

I believe I've been saying "put the source unit first" all along, even before the days of "Follow the current literature". I place accuracy high on the priority list. If we're using "cc", there should be no "conversion" (except to cu in where appropriate) since "cc" is nothing but a non-standard abbreviation for cubic centimetres, 1 cc is 1 cm³ is 1 ml. Similarly I say we wipe out "conversions" from "mbar" to "hPa", use one or the other. JIMp talk·cont 19:21, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Some people think the Uno is more accurate. What matters is what the sources use.DavidPaulHamilton (talk) 21:34, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
  • There’s no doubt about it: The use of picouno (pU) is unambiguous whereas “ppb” is ambiguous because it has a thousand-fold different meaning in different countries. Still, it makes no sense to use the uno on Wikipedia to address this shortcoming of the parts-per notations if the typical Wikipedia reader doesn’t know what it means and won’t likely encounter anywhere else but here (like “mebibyte”). We’re not beating up on you Jimp, but are trying to point out to the pro-IEC prefix editors that what amounts to only a 5 to 7% difference (and rarely amounts to any difference anyway unless one is speaking of hard drive capacity) is no justification for using terminology no general-interest publication uses. Greg L (talk) 23:20, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Calling 109 a "billion" flies in the face of logic but I've bitten the bullet on that and added dozens of these mini "billion"s to articles. When {{convert}} puts out a "billion" it's one of these shrunken ones, there isn't even a way (not as yet & there many never be one) of getting a full-strength "billion" out of that template. That's my doing. I'm willing to swallow a little surface ambiguity as a trade-off for increased familiarity. The uno remains unused in the outside world and is thus unfamiliar, why would we use it here? I don't have any strong feelings either way with respect to the IEC prefixes, I've tried to steer clear of that endless war ... but now it's engulfed the whole Units of measurement section. JIMp talk·cont 07:23, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

From the Long and short scales article, most English-language countries use a 109 billion. So that is what en:Wikipedia should use.
The MOSNUM page was the headquarters for the "IEC Binary prefix" advocates in the kibibyte conflict that started in January 2007.[22] This page can expect a continual stream of editors coming here to object to these unheard of binary units being forced into articles. This will end when the Manual of Style stops trying to change the world and follows the style of the current literature. -- SWTPC6800 (talk) 15:39, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
User:Warren was one of the first editors to complain about IEC prefixes being forced into articles and wrote this in January 2007.
"So what's an encycopedia to do? The answer seems clear enough: our core policies revolve around a neutral presentation of our sources, which means it behooves us to use MB, GB, etc. when our sources use those prefixes. Wikipedians should absolutely not take it upon themselves to state numbers differently from how our verifiable, reliables sources do."[23]
-- SWTPC6800 (talk)
  • I agree with what Warren said. That was the first shot fired in this war and should have been the last. Here we are, eleven “Binary” archives later (and a MOSNUM talk page bloated with the makings of a twelfth), and we’re still battling a minority of holdouts that buzz around like agitated killer bees and make it nearly impossible to go about with life. Cease and desist. Greg L (talk) 17:55, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, the original logical meaning of billion has, alas, fallen out of common use in English so we are stuck with the botched-up trimmed version. I advocate the readoption of the old sensible meaning but in English not here on WP. I'll swim against the tide I know will drown me. JIMp talk·cont 19:14, 29 May 2008 (UTC)