Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)/Archive B2

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Binary Prefixes (again)

I'm starting this down here, because that thread is waaay too long to be able to read.
How do we reopen this issue for debate again?
Because we have one or two editors who are canvassing every bloody technical article they can find to do sweeping changes from MB to MiB (and KB to KiB, you get the idea). It really seems like change for the sake of change.
It's especially troubling for articles dealing with hardware that predates the new nomenclature.
It's especially troubling in an article like Wii, where it's essentially bordered on vandalism. Since it isn't clear whether certain values are binary MB or decimal MB, Sarenne has opted to simply apply the MiB notation inconsistently through the article, directly implying (and she's admitted this in the talk page, though she apparently doesn't seen a problem with it) that any unknown values must be the decimal MB. That is original research, or unsourced speculation. That is, arbitrarily deciding that 512MB must mean 512,000,000, without having to bother looking it up.
However, I'm constantly being referred back to here, where supposedly sweeping consensus has absolutely confirmed that MiB should always be used, even if the units weren't used in the time being discussed, even if other editors of that article disagree, and apparently even if it decreases the accuracy of the article.

While although I can grudgingly accept the use of this incredibly irritating nomenclature where appropriate, the current MoS is being used as a shield (wikilawyering, grr) for broad sweeping edits, repeatedly against consensus, and void of any justification other than, 'MB is wrong. You're going against MoS'.
So, how can this be officially reopened? Because any guideline that causes so much disruption surely needs to be thoroughly investigated. Bladestorm 16:42, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Your arguments have been addressed several times before. In the particular case of Wii DRAM, the binary prefixes are most certainly correct. Manufacturing and addressing wouldn't make much sense otherwise. Unless you have new arguments to add, I see no point in re-hashing this whole debate again. If there's really a question as to which prefix is correct for a specific item in the Wii article, I'd be happy to discuss that. However, there's really no question as regards DRAM and ETOX flash.
P.S. - Please don't see this as a brush off, but do understand that we've had this debate so many times and have covered almost every conceivable argument. Asking for us to have it again, presumably because you don't wish to read the past discussions, isn't a very attractive proposition. -- mattb @ 2007-03-28T16:46Z
Um, you'd be a lot more convincing if you read first and then replied. She used the binary for RAM, and decimal for flash. And she didn't cite the reasoning for mixing.
And now she's started doing the same thing in the Wii Remote article. (Stating that it has a 16KiB eeprom, with 6KB of useable space, even though she didn't cite anything supporting the mixing of units)
And the fact that you think some arguments have already been addressed is immaterial. There's still clearly a dispute, as more and more editors are getting irritated by these reckless sweeping changes. I'll ask any cooperative editors here. How can it be reopened for discussion? Bladestorm 16:55, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Ah. It isn't that I don't want to read discussions. I just don't want to read the same four people bickering back and forth. :D Bladestorm 16:55, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually, for Wii internal flash memory I'm looking for source that specifies if by 512 MB Nintendo means 512 MiB or really 512 MB. For NAND flash, I think it's possible that they mean 512 MB. Sarenne 17:02, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
For flash memory, I clearly said that I might be wrong so I accepted the revert. BTW, I'm a "he" ;) Sarenne 17:08, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
I did read what you wrote, and as I said, the binary prefix should be used for the DRAM in this case. Looking a little more closely, I see where the question lies regarding the flash memory. Often flash memory card manufacturers describe capacities with the decimal interpretations of the SI prefixes, probably owing to their mass storage device interface and roots. There is, therefore, a valid question as to whether the "MB" reported for flash memory means 2^20 or 10^6 bytes.
As for re-opening the discussion, you just have, but I don't know how many people are going to be willing to debate this again with you. I strongly encourage you to read the prior debates to understand the arguments on both sides and the history before expecting us to re-hash covered territory.
To recap: there is no question that the RAM capacities are most accurately represented with the IEC binary prefixes. There IS, however, a question as to exactly what "512 MB" means in the context of ETOX flash, and therein, I suspect, is the reason Sarenne left that one alone.
Edit: A good way to figure out the precise capacity of the Flash memory would be to look up the part number and try to find a spec sheet from its vendor. This could probably be easily accomplished with a high-resolution photograph of the Wii's mainboard and a few minutes with google. -- mattb @ 2007-03-28T17:54Z
And, as I've said for a while, if she can figure out the precise capacity of the flash memory, then she can make the change. However, until then, mixing the units used implies that every remaining MB is indeed the decimal megabyte. If you don't know whether or not that's the case, then it hurts the article to pretend there's more precision than there really is.
What's more, I don't see the rationale behind changing articles referring to hardware that predates the nomenclature. What is the precise reason for it? This is something that's being applied in sweeping edits across multiple articles. I think a clear answer is a reasonable request.
And, at the very least, can I get some agreement here that it is not appropriate to mix units (MiB and MB) when the intention isn't to specifically identify some as binary and some as decimal?
That is, can I get agreement that potentially misrepresenting a possibly binary value as being decimal isn't appropriate? (as is the case with mixing MiB for the RAM, but MB for the flash memory in the Wii article) Bladestorm 21:14, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
I disagree, the remaining "MB" usage is just as ambiguous as ever. I don't believe that it is harmful or even confusing in general to use different units in an article (though this is really case-specific), but I do agree that it would be best to resolve whether the flash memory in this case is indeed 512×106 bytes, 512×220 bytes, or otherwise. I think you'd be better served directing your energies to finding the meaning of the flash memory figure in context rather than arguing about the appropriateness of the binary prefixes. As I mentioned before, a high resolution photo of the Wii's motherboard could yield this, if you can provide such a thing I'd be happy to dig up the relevant information.
That said, I think it's reasonable to leave things as they are until the exact flash memory capacity is resolved. -- mattb @ 2007-03-28T22:10Z
P.S. - Nobody likes a lecture, but please be careful about classifying good faith edits as vandalism. What Sarenne has been doing may be unpopular and controversial, but is far from vandalism, and shouldn't be lumped in with genuine bad faith edits. Thanks. -- mattb @ 2007-03-28T22:18Z

(outdent)I never said that making the sweeping changes was vandalism. The only thing I said was "approaching" vandalism was changing the articles to reflect unsourced information, ignoring pleas to directly source it. eg. Treating the 512mb as decimal in the absence of a single source to verify that, and treating the internal memory of the wiimote as decimal with, again, nothing to source it. The MiB/MB issue is a matter of style and preference. Forcing in unsourced information isn't.
And no, I believe you're wrong on this one. If, within a single article, some values very prominently use MiB, and other values use MB, then it's certainly implied that the MB's are decimal. Heck, if that weren't true, then how in the world could you ever use it in the decimal sense?
I mean, hypothetical situation: We find out that it's 512,000,000 bytes of flash memory, and we change the RAM to MiB. How do we label the flash memory as being definitively 512MB in the decimal sense? It's obvious. If you're using both nomenclatures, then it's for a reason.
However, there doesn't currently exist that reason for using both. Saying "The Wii has 88MiB of RAM and 512MB of internal flash storage" very clearly implies 88MiB of RAM and 512,000,000 bytes of flash memory, and you know it. Bladestorm 22:46, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
(Yes, I realize that you're willing to wait until the capacity is determined; I'm just addressing the argument itself)

Also, was there an answer as to the logic of using KiB in articles which predate the nomenclature entirely?
And, while I'm at it, was there a specific reason that we're using a notation that isn't widely accepted? (certainly not nearly as widely used) Isn't that somewhat of POV-pushing? Trying to lead the way for neologisms? Bladestorm 22:49, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

"And you know it"? Sir, please do not presume to know my mind. As to your later two questions, they are answered, challenged, rebuttaled, and rebuffed ad nauseum in the previous discussions, so I'll defer to those. -- mattb @ 2007-03-28T22:57Z
Fine. I won't presume anything. Let me ask you. If I were to tell you, "The Wii has 88MiB of RAM and 512MB of internal flash storage", how would you interpret that?
And as for the other questions, I'd actually like them answered, thank you. Too many of the "previous discussions" are needlessly long and bicker-y. If there's a simple argument, then you can make it again. If you don't like how often it comes up, then maybe you should re-evaluate your position. (That is, if people keep asking you why you're pushing non-accepted terminology, then maybe you should ask yourself that). They're fair questions. Fair answers would be appreciated. Bladestorm 23:03, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Someone else is more than welcome to answer your questions, I've given my responses. The brief gist is that the IEC prefixes are indeed standard, though not in common use. -- mattb @ 2007-03-28T23:09Z
i.e. they are not standard. —Centrxtalk • 23:13, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. If not common or accepted, then I'm not sure how they can be considered "standard". I'd challenge you to prove that even 10% of people with technical knowledge (or heck, even though without technical knowledge) actually use mebi and kibi.
But you should at least answer my question. If you're going to accuse me of presuming, then tell me. How would you interpret, "The Wii has 88MiB of RAM and 512MB or internal flash storage"? Bladestorm 23:30, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
You did presume by putting words in my mouth, and I don't particularly care for your antagonistic tone, so I don't feel like dignifying your question with a response. There's no reason to be combattive, but if you insist on doing so, I'll simply let you talk with someone else. Also, as regards standard units and common usage, take the example of ionizing radiation: Röntgen vs Coulomb/kilogram. The latter is standard (SI), while the former is common. The fact that most X-ray technicians probably prefer the Röntgen over the C/kg doesn't make the latter derived unit any less standard. (incidentally, if you think the binary multiples ambiguity issue is fun, delve into the mystical world of radiation dose-related units sometime) -- mattb @ 2007-03-28T23:44Z
Um, I think I'll be keeping away from radiation. I figured out a while ago that it's too friggin' confusing for me. But just for ha-ha's... do four google searches:
  • megabyte : 6,160,000 hits. Removing all hits that include 'wikipedia': 1,680,000.
  • mebibyte : 43,900 hits. Removing all hits that include 'wikipedia': 23,900.
Interesting ratio, eh? (I know. I don't put much stock in google hits either. Just thought it was interesting to point out) Bladestorm 00:11, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
It didn't come to your mind that some of those may actually be correct uses of "megabyte", to denote 1,000,000 bytes? :) Indeed I would consider it good practice to talk about e.g. file sizes in megabytes instead of mebibytes, since the end user wouldn't generally be interested how many multiples of 1,048,576 the file takes. --SLi 13:25, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
The Gokstad ship predates the metric system by several centuries, yet there seems to be no controversy about providing its measurements in meters. — Aluvus t/c 23:14, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, you'll be happy to know that we can put this flash memory chip issue to rest now. You can clearly see the flash memory chip on the Wii motherboard in this photo (U14). You can easily read the silkscreen label that shows it to be manufactured by Samsung (no surprise there) and have the part number K9F4G08U0A. The data sheet for that product shows that the capacity is 512×220 bytes (Figure 1 on page 8) plus a total of 16 MiB of spare space used for internal flash housekeeping (marking invalid blocks). Therefore, on the Wii page you can rightly say that it has "512 MiB of internal Flash memory". If you wanted to be pedantic, you could say "528 MiB" (the capacity of the actual flash array), but that would be pointless since the extra 16 MiB isn't really disposable space. Hooray, problem solved (for this page, at least). Per your earlier comment ("if she can figure out the precise capacity of the flash memory, then she can make the change"), will you accept the changes to the binary prefixes on the Wii page now?
Note that I do agree with you that Sarenne needs to cite some source if there is a legitimate question over capacities (as there is in this case). I'm happy to assist, but Sarenne should've taken the first initiative since it was he who made the original changes. -- mattb @ 2007-03-28T23:37Z
Yes, he can make the change now. Obviously I won't like it (is that a surprise?), but it's no longer an issue of accuracy, and I only care about debating stylistic preferences for so long.
Assuming you're reading it sarenne (btw, thanks for correcting me on your gender; no clue why I thought you were a she), feel free to make the change. But I'll still grumble. grumble grumble.
grumble. Bladestorm 23:50, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
I appreciate your good natured concession! -- mattb @ 2007-03-28T23:52Z
And I totally agree, it was my mistake to make the first change without a source but I already said that before your reverts, Bladestorm. Nevertheless, even if we were unable to find a source (BTW thanks Matt), I still don't see why it would have been an issue to change the prefixes for RAM and let MB for flash memory. Sarenne 00:03, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
  • sigh* (again?) Because if you were to tell the average person, "The wii has 88MiB of RAM and 512MB of flash memory", then (after looking up what the heck a MiB was), they'd assume that it had 88MiB of RAM, and 512,000,000 bytes of flash memory. Consciously using MiB in some instances and MB in others (within a single article) strongly implies that MB is being used in the decimal sense. Bladestorm 00:11, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
So, again, what does "512 MB" mean in the current article ? Sarenne 00:18, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Now, we know that it is synonymous with 512MiB. But that was in response to your what-if. If all the sources use MB, and you don't know which are decimal and which are binary, then changing the few that you do know to be binary effectively defaults the remainders to being decimal. Anyways, it's somewhat of a moot point now, since matt found the actual value. Bladestorm 00:35, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
The more I've thought about it, the more I have to agree with Bladestorm. If both IEC and SI prefixes are used in the same article, it really should only be done if the SI prefixes are used in the true SI sense. -- mattb @ 2007-03-29T00:44Z
Of course, there's no question about that ! But in the original article "512 MB" meant something. You don't put something in an encyclopedia if you don't know what it means. If it was 512,000,000 B then Bladestorm shouldn't have reverted my last edit (MB for flash, MiB for RAM). If it was 512 MiB then I didn't need a source for my first edit (MiB for RAM and flash). EOT Sarenne 00:54, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
… 512 MiB RAM … blah blah … 317 M<!--i?-->B Foo … yada yada … 100 MB HDD …

Bladestorm brought up an important point: the repeated argument seems to be something like "a) there's consensus that this is the way it Must Be in Wikipedia. b) All your points have been discussed before, dismissed, and there are no new arguments, and c) no we won't discuss it again with you, we're tired of people disagreeing with us, please see a)." I agree it's been argued over and over again, and many (perhaps all) of the points have been brought up before, and no, at this point the Defenders of SI Prefixes :-) aren't about to change their minds, no matter what the argument or how many people disagree with them (though usually only a few at a time, since people get annoyed by the edits, end up here, argue the issue for a while, realize they're talking to a brick wall, and then finally give up and go away, preserving the consensus.) I'd have given up by now too if I had any sense... Speaking to your question, Bladestorm, I don't think there is a way to get matt/sarenne/etc to ever agree to change their minds on this or agree that there's a consensus here that doesn't include them - at least not on this issue. So I don't see a way to reopen discussion for real. As stated before, Wikipedia rewards persistence more than the strength of one's argument.

All that said, Matt/Sarenne/etc - if you really want to encourage people to accept this instead of getting pissed off and edit-warring or coming here and asking the same questions again (and again), you should consider using a tag on the page asking the editors to make the change themselves, and then come back later. That is much more in keeping with typical ways things are done, and is MUCH less likely to get people pissed off. — jesup 03:24, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Hey, accepting others' viewpoints doesn't necessitate abandoning your own. I have at many points accepted the validity of the counter-view on this matter, though you're right that I won't be changing my mind any time soon. You can call our argument is weak all you like; it is one that is supported by just as many people as disagree with it, as has been evidenced before. Contrary to the implication, we DO try to address peoples' concerns, but I hope that you can understand that we'd like people to read the previous discussions before having us provide responses to many of the same arguments that come up every time this discussion restarts. Sarenne is just the poster child for this because of his mass edits, and myself presumably because I am usually the first to respond to this issue when it is brought up here.
I can understand the annoyance with mass changes such as the ones Sarenne is enacting. I wouldn't engage in such a thing myself, though I don't see anything particularly wrong with it. If you don't approve of Sarenne's actions, you'll have to take that up with him. His actions have certainly caused this guideline to come under heavy scrutiny here lately... My concern is keeping the IEC prefix guideline around for the purpose it was created; having a precedent to cite when some out-of-the-blue editors decide to change IEC prefixes I use in articles I heavily edit. This happened a lot, causing scattered discussions on various talk pages. This guideline was largely constructed to centralize that discussion here and explain the reasons for using the prefixes.
I understand that folks get a bit upset when you start messing with "their" articles (as we all recognize, article ownership is a very real thing), but again, I don't want Sarenne's activities to be used against the merits of this MOS guideline. If there needs to be a discussion about the appropriateness of making sweeping changes to conform with this MOS, then so be it, but I think that's a different discussion than the one regarding the existence of the guideline itself. -- mattb @ 2007-03-29T03:42Z

Just wondering, did anyoneo have any opinions or comments on the google search thing? (Again, I'm not saying google hits really mean very much, but I genuinely wanted opinions/commentary if there is any) You know, the part about 'megabyte' being more widespread than 'mebibyte' by a factor of between 70x and 140x? Bladestorm 13:29, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Not sure what there is to say. MB etc. are the more frequently used units; there is no dispute about that. And in fact there are plenty of contexts where they are the correct units; hard drives and communication links come to mind. Incidentally, a more precise search returns different results. Looks more like a 40:1 ratio. Presumably a fair number of sites using mebibyte make reference to the Wikipedia page. — Aluvus t/c 14:07, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Binary prefixes vs Historical accuracy

In the past month a few zealous editors have been changing every kilobyte and KB to kibibyte and Kib. These edits have been BOT like and when the article's regular editor objects the kibibyte proponents claim that WP:MOSNUM#Avoiding_confusion gives them absolute authority.

This kibibyte crusade is particularly upsetting to the editors of classic computers from the 1970s. These machines had memory boards with model names that included 4K or 8K. The MITS Altair 8800 computer had a memory board named "4K Dynamic RAM (88-4MCD)". [[1]] The catalog description stated it had 4096 words of memory. This board is of historical significance because it did not work but you had to buy it to get Altair BASIC. This led to people buying other memory boards and stealing Altair BASIC.

The kibibyte police would allow the use of 4K in a direct quote but not in a paraphrased quote. The board would be renamed the 4KiB Dynamic RAM. A paragraph explaining the design problems would bounce between 4K and 4KiB. Historical accuracy cannot trump the new binary prefixes.

An extreme example is the KIM-1. It has the following sentence:
An additional 1K (which they described as "a full 1024 bytes") of RAM was included in separate ICs.

On March 1 User_talk:Sarenne changed it to:
An additional 1 KiB (which they described as "a full 1024 bytes") of RAM was included in separate ICs.

The change subtracts from the sentence, there was no confusion about 1K in the original. Sarenne refuses to listen to other editors and has restored this edit 6 times. [[2]]

I made the "1 K" a quote from the original KIM-1 advertisement in Byte magazine. I also contributed more information and references to the article and asked the primary editor to review my changes.

I did not write the sentence above. I was defending the original authors right to say something like "the 1K memory was 1024 words". When the KIM-1was released the term "KB" was not in common use. I have since rewritten the sentence. KIM-1#Description SWTPC6800 15:22, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Please clarify this
"If a contributor changes an article's usage from kilo- etc. to kibi- etc. where the units are in fact binary, that change should be accepted."
Who is a contributor? Can a "Drive By" editor make these changes? What if all of the real contributors object? If a "Drive By" editor can change hundreds of articles you should say that these new units are mandatory and launch BOTS to change all occurrences.

Right now you have a few zealots operating in BOT like fashion upsetting the real content contributors to Wikipedia. This makes MOSNUM look like a bunch of arrogant autocrats. I don't have a problem with the new binary prefixes. I just don't think you should use them as a club to beat other editors into submission. Here is an example of how to do it right. The PDFbot is adding the file size in KiB or MiB to the PDF downloads. This nice addition will expose readers to the new binary prefixes.

I will now go back to adding content to technical magazines like Popular Electronics. I will avoid any topic that requires K or KB until MOSNUM get a handle on the rude behavior of the kibibyte police. SWTPC6800 21:26, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

You seem to have a problem with one specific author. That means you have come to the wrong place.
But for what it’s worth: nobody should change every “kilobyte” to “kibibyte” and every “KB” to “Kib”! Changing any “kilobyte” (ab)used in clearly a binary sense to “kibibyte” and such “KB” or “kB” to “KiB” is just fine, though. Altering the spelling of proper names is only permissible in certain circumstances, which perhaps do not include your example. That quoted sentence ahould of course read: “An additional 1 KiB of RAM was included in separate ICs.” (“An … 1” seems strange to me, but then I’m not a native speaker.) Nobody owns an article on Wikipedia, everybody is a potential and welcome contributor. Copy-editing is often done by bots, ambitous authors and walkers-by who did not contribute otherwise, but in general their work helps improvement nevertheless. Christoph Päper 23:19, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
The reasoning behind the quote exception is simply that it is rather bad form to alter directly quoted text. However, in the bulk of articles we do support the usage of the IEC prefixes where they are appropriate. The specific problem you addressed is actually a decent example of where the IEC prefixes are beneficial. Stating 1 KiB removes the necessity of clarifying that this means "1024 bytes" since 1 KiB unambiguously means 2^10 bytes.
The issue of "drive by" changes is a rather different one, I think, and one that perhaps should be addressed. As Cristoph pointed out, however, the behavior isn't exactly without precident. -- mattb @ 2007-04-02T02:49Z
I did not write the sentence and I also think it could be reorganized. However I think someone should be able to write in the context of 1976 that "a 1K memory was 1024 words" without an edit war about KiB.
My question is about the MOSNUM suggested style on binary prefixes. Does is say that once someone changes K to KiB it MUST stay that way.
The wording of WP:MOSNUM#Avoiding_confusion seems to be in conflict with WP:MOS#Disputes_over_style_issues
"If in doubt, defer to the style used by the first major contributor." SWTPC6800 02:54, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I did update the sentence and it turned out the 1K referred to 1152 bytes. KIM-1#Description SWTPC6800 03:46, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

I guess I'm one of these "botlike" "zealots" (thank you) who edit Wikipedia for consistency, changing "kilobyte of RAM" to "kibibyte of RAM" (but I've done a lot of other edits too, see my history). I know I have erred at least once (read: it has been pointed out to me once), when stuff like "48K" were actually model names and I thought they were simply amounts of RAM. I never edit direct quotations when I notice them, however. And I haven't entered edit wars over the issue. I just happen to believe that editing for consistency with the site style here is warranted, once the decision to use the IEC prefixes was made (I wasn't there making that decision BTW) — because, face it, if one or two editors don't do that kind of dirty work, nobody will. Do you really think I should stop and leave the inconsistency as it is? (And I do know the difference of KB and KiB, where they are used and where not, and stuff). --SLi 23:51, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Nobody would be making an issue of the mass changes if it were simply correcting well-supported MOS guidelines like "space between value and unit". This is just a controversial guideline, so people are extra touchy about mass application of it. -- mattb @ 2007-04-08T20:19Z

Two questions from sports article

Hello, I have been writing some articles where there are lots of measurements. This happens to be about a sports team in American football so there are lots of phrases like "on the 16 yard-line" and "350 yards passing". Because the semi-automated peer review script looks for non-breaking spaces in these circumstances, I have put in lots of non-breaking spaces into the article.

Recently, an editor took out a non-breaking space that I included. this edit The phrase is "16 points". Does the word "points" count as a "unit of measure" such that the non-breaking space should be included?

Also, it is my belief that it would be silly to convert all these measurements to SI units because SI units are never used in the game. I do convert other units such as if I give a wind-speed or a game-day temperature.

I look forward to your thoughts on these two issues. Thanks, Johntex\talk 22:00, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

  • One more question. I've been spelling numbrs less than 10. (E.g. He threw a three yard pass.) but I see above that there was some change recently about this. Should I now be writing "He threw a 3 yard pass)? And what about points? (E.g. "He scored three points." or "He scored 3 points.")? Thanks again. Johntex\talk 22:15, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
  • These are judgment calls to some extent, but
    1. I don't think of "points" as a unit, and I would probably not use a non-breaking space.
    2. I agree with you that it would be stupid to convert yards to metres for, say, the total passing yards a quarterback achieved in a season.
    3. I would spell out the numbers less than ten in your final examples.
    4. In the example of a "three yard pass", "three yard" is an adjectival phrase so should be hyphenated: "he threw a three-yard pass".
Stephen Turner (Talk) 09:18, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Although there should be a space there for clarity and consistency, I don't think the non-breaking variety is necessary. Even with purely SI units, the &nbsp; entity is rarely used (in my experience) on Wikipedia because it's rather inconvenient to type. -- mattb @ 2007-04-08T20:48Z

Binary prefixes vs JEDEC Standard

There is a minor edit war on DDR_SDRAM about the binary prefix for memory modules. The official standard used Mb and Gb.

The JEDEC Standard "Double Data Rate (DDR) SDRAM Specification" JESD79E of May 2005 "defines all required aspects of 64Mb through 1Gb DDR SDRAMs with X4/X8/X16 data interfaces"

In an article about this JEDEC standard what should be used? Mb or MiB?

I was a member of this JEDEC committee (JC42) 20 years ago and disputes there end up in court. See Rambus -- SWTPC6800 03:18, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Does the JEDEC standard also use 'b' to mean 'byte' instead of 'bit' and neglect the space between value and unit? I see no reason that this article should be an exception to our recommended usage of the binary prefixes. -- mattb @ 2007-04-05T03:28Z
The standard is bit oriented.
64 Mb has 67,108,864 bits
128 Mb has 134,217,728 bits

1 Gb has 1,073,741,824 bits
So the question is Mb vs Mib. A 64 Mb device can be 16M x 4, 8M x 8 or 4M x 16 (page 9)-- SWTPC6800 03:41, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Ah, I see. Well, the definitions you gave describe the IEC binary prefixes, so it would be accurate to use them. -- mattb @ 2007-04-05T03:57Z
The DRAM density line in DDR_SDRAM#Chip_characteristics needs work, the byte oriented term, 32 MiB (or 32 MB), does not appear in the JEDEC standard. (JESD79E). This article needs improvement, not an edit war. I will add comments to article talk page. Thanks -- SWTPC6800 04:40, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

JEDEC Solid State Technology Association is the standards organization for memory integrated circuits and they do not use the new IEC binary prefix standard.

The standard JESD 100B.01 DECEMBER 2002 "Terms, Definitions, and Letter Symbols for Microcomputers, Microprocessors, and Memory Integrated Circuits" defines the following: [3]

kilo (K) (as a prefix to units of semiconductor storage capacity): A multiplier equal to 1024 (210).

mega (M) (as a prefix to units of semiconductor storage capacity): A multiplier equal to 1 048 576 (220 or K2, where K = 1024).

giga (G) (as a prefix to units of semiconductor storage capacity): A multiplier equal to 1 073 741 824 (230 or K3, where K = 1024).

These definitions have a Note 1 and a Note 2.
NOTE 1 Contrast with the SI prefix kilo (k) equal to 103, as in a 1-kb/s data transfer rate, which is equal to 1000 bits per second.
NOTE 2 Explains the "alternative system is found in Amendment 2 to IEC 60027-2"

The current standards published by JEDEC use these symbols (KB MB GB) and not those of IEC (KiB MiB GiB). For example "4.20.16 - 144-Pin EP2-2100 DDR2 SDRAM 32b S0-DIMM Design Specification " published February 2007; [4]

gives this information in the Products Family Attributes table on page 4.
DDR SDRAMs -- Supported 256 Mb, 512 Mb, 1 Gb
Capacity -- 64 MB, 128 MB, 256 MB, 512 MB, 1 GB
SWTPC6800 19:01, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes, but Wikipedia isn't JEDEC and has chosen to use the IEC binary prefixes as the preferred method of denoting binary exponent multipliers. -- mattb @ 2007-04-05T19:55Z
But it's the standard. Why are you choosing one standard over the other when your stated reason before for choosing IEC was that it was the standard? Wikipedia isn't IEC either, and "Wikipedia" hasn't "chosen" anything. Choosing here requires actual justification, and the justification you gave before was that IEC is the standard and the standard should be used. —Centrxtalk • 02:58, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
If you think that the reason we supported usage of the binary prefixes on Wikipedia is simply that the IEC decided to write them on a piece of paper, you've conveniently ignored a lot of dialog and discussion. Or is that just a straw man? Why is it such a revelation that the JEDEC standards uses the common terms? -- mattb @ 2007-04-07T03:16Z
All of the manufactures of microprocessors and memory are members of JEDEC and use JEDEC standards to design their products. This allows you to buy any brand of memory and have it work in your computer. The DDR SDRAM has a JEDEC reference design and specifications. Should the article just quote those specifications in the units used in the standards? SWTPC6800 20:54, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
With JEDEC saying to use kilo, mega then I think Wikipedia doesn't really have a place to introduce terminology that goes against the current standards. With some editors introducing non-standard terms with kibi means that it introduces extra confusion and doesn't actually reduce confusion. This is because people are going to want to mostly search with terms that are used by the standards. So using non-standard terms like kibibyte is self defeating since the articles won't be found in searches as often. Fnagaton 23:22, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Most people are realistically going to search for a particular interface ("PCI-Express") rather than the speed at which it operates. I would imagine searching for information based on data rates would produce pretty horrendous results. — Aluvus t/c 01:04, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Not really. An example: Using Google to search for "512 mb ddr" produces ~45 times more matches than "512 mib ddr". Searching for "64 kilobyte computer" generates ~1209 more matches than "64 kibibyte computer". Or for example "64 kilobyte demoscene". For Wikipedia to be a relevant resource that can be found with searches it needs to use the terminology that is used by the industry and the creator of a source. Fnagaton 09:02, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes really. Most people looking for an encyclopedia-type article would search for "DDR", "DDR RAM", "DDR SDRAM" (all 3 of which return the DDR SDRAM article within the first 5 results on Google), or something of that nature, and not for a particular capacity. I am talking about the things people actually search for, not the type of searches one might artificially construct. Also, my comment above should refer to DDR and to storage capacities in order to be relevant. — Aluvus t/c 18:34, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Fnagaton makes a good point because searching for those terms does demonstrate the problem of using the new terms that are definitely in the minority. For the record I have seached for capacity on memory, not just the wider search you gave an example for. I think your example search is needlessly wide, would generate too many unneeded matches and is an example of one which is "artificially constructed". 15:59, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

The reason that we use the IEC/SI (and yes, SI advocates use of binary prefixes for binary values as well) prefixes is simply to avoid ambiguity. "Kilo", "mega", and "giga" are common metric prefixes with commonly accepted values. A kilometer is 1000 meters, a kilogram is 1000 grams. Given this, most readers, upon seeing "kilobyte", will very reasonably presume that it indicates 1000 bytes. In cases where this is not so, disambiguation is necessary. There are only a few alternatives here:

  • Use the ambiguous prefix. "The computer has 512 MB of memory." This is very readable, but also false (or at best ambiguous).
  • Make a specific note in the prose. "The computer has 512 MB of memory (note: megabyte in this context refers to 220 bytes)." This is accurate but rather ugly.
  • Use an exact value rather than any prefixes at all. "The computer has (512*220) bytes of memory." Again, this is accurate but ugly and impedes easy readability.
  • Use the specific prefix designated for that purpose by two standards bodies (SI and IEC), and wikilink to the corresponding article to provide context if a reader is unclear. "The computer has 512 MiB of memory." This preserves both accuracy and readability.

In this case, it should be clear that binary prefixes should be used where binary values are indicated. Hopefully this makes clear why. Seraphimblade Talk to me 18:48, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

But when quoting something you should never change the units. — Omegatron 19:34, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
I believe you are correct, Omegatron. I suggest the following sentence from WP:UNITS applies, "In a direct quotation, if the text includes an obscure use of units (e.g., five million board feet of lumber), annotate it with a footnote which provides metric units rather than changing the actual quotation." In this specific case a quote from the manufacturer would use JEDEC "metric" prefixes, and a <ref> footnote would be provided giving the correct value using IEC/SI binary prefixes. --Kevinkor2 22:36, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Absolutely correct, it would never be appropriate to change a direct quote (though a footnote or parenthetical to disambiguate after the quote would be acceptable, and there should be some type of footnote to source a quote anyway, so it can go with that). In almost all cases I've seen, though, it's paraphrased rather than quoted directly. Seraphimblade Talk to me 23:53, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

I added some information to the Mebibyte page that should explain to Wikipedia readers why all of the computer literature uses MB and GB. I seriously think that information like this should accompany all microprocessor or memory article that used IEC units. Please note that JEDEC requires DDR2 SDRAMs to be labeled with MB and GB.SWTPC6800 04:33, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't see the purpose of your additions to the mebibyte article. That text belongs in the binary prefix article if anywhere, and what's the point in enumerating various documents and standards bodies who do not use them? Shall I go to the SI article and add an entirely new section enumerating countries and organizations who do not use them? I'm just trying to understand the utility of the text you've added. -- mattb @ 2007-04-07T05:49Z
To remove confusion the article should use the terms used in the majority of sources, regardless if there are any quotes. For example if the majority of the sources used in the article use the term KN/kilobyte etc then use KB/kilobyte in the article. The MoS does say when an article concerns a British subject then the spellings in the article should also be British, color/colour etc. Extending this line of reasoning to technical articles it therefore makes sense to use the terms used in the majority of the sources. Each of the terms of course could be linked to the relevant page wor footnotes which give the full explanation of the exact nature of the term being used in the context of the article. To use KiB/MiB in the article when the majority of sources use KB/MB promotes confusion and therefore should not be used. The recent attempts to bring up old historical buildings like the Pyramids originally using old measurements where the article uses new measurements is a fallacious arugment because of course there are new reliable sources that use the new measurements therefore there is a strong case to use new measuremnents. However in the case of the recent KiB/KB wars there are a majority of majority sources using the KB terms and a minority (or none at all for some articles) of sources using the KiB terms. 15:52, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
In effect, if there's any ambiguity as to what the sources actually mean, it's left alone. However, a clearly defined term is always preferable over a more ambiguous one. If it's clear that the capacities in question are actually binary, the binary terms should be used. If there is genuine doubt, then and only then would it default to "source original." (Of course, as already discussed above, it would never be acceptable to change a direct quote. Instead, if it's clear that a quote using decimal prefixes is actually referring to binary values, a footnote or parenthetical should be used to explain that.) The reason that the use of binary prefixes is in the MOS, and well should be, is that being technically correct, unambiguous, and clear is very important. If a source used "yards", but it's very clear that the actual measurements are in meters, we wouldn't use "yards" in the article and figure it for close enough. Seraphimblade Talk to me 17:16, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Semiconductor Storage Capacity

After reading archives here on Manual of Style (dates and numbers) I find that no one even mentioned the JEDEC standards JEDS100B and JEDS21C that govern the nomenclature for "semiconductor storage capacity." It was mistakenly believed that semiconductor memory used SI units to measure capacity. The label on a new 512 MB DDR2 SDRAM uses MB because it is a requirement of the JEDS21C standard.

It did not occur to anyone to find out why the technology leaders AMD, Intel, Micron, Hynix, Samsung and many more would use a uniform nomenclature for microprocessors and RAM. It was assumed and stated that people who insisted on MB and GB were stuck in the past and should be ignored.

Semiconductor storage (RAM) has been successfully defined with the JEDEC standards (K, M, G) for over 35 years. The magnetic storage industry (disk drives) uses different units and there has been some confusion on those products.

Proposed style for Semiconductor Storage Capacity

The prefixes for "semiconductor storage capacity" should use the units defined in JEDEC Standard JEDS100B.1, "Terms, Definitions, and Letter Symbols for Microcomputers, Microprocessors, and Memory Integrated Circuits" [5].

These are the units used by ALL microprocessor, memory and computer manufactures. The product labels on most memory modules on the market today are required to use the JEDEC units such as 512 MB or 1 GB[6]. Using IEC units (512 MiB) for "semiconductor storage capacity" is verifiably wrong. The arguments that the units of memory size are inaccurate are verifiably false.

The microprocessor, memory and computer articles will be consistent with rest of the world by using the proven industry nomenclature. The JEDEC standard units have been successfully used for over 35 years. Due to the vast investment in product standards it is unlikely the semiconductor industry is going switch to IEC units for the minuscule improvement clarity.

You're mistaken in saying that the terms as used by the JEDEC standard mandate industry usage. It is common practice inside standards documents to define all terms and abbreviations used explicitly in a glossary of sorts. The inclusion of this typical standards document section doesn't "require" that anybody use their definitions of "MB", "GB", etc; it merely defines how they use those terms within the body of their standards document. As tangible evidence of this, look at ETOX/Flash memory chips available from some of the major semiconductor companies (Samsung, Toshiba, etc). You'll see that they make available devices with capacities denoted by both decimal AND binary multipliers, but all using the abbreviation "MB". This means that even major semiconductor manufacturers use the decimal and binary sense of the prefix (inconsistently, one might say) at various times, so stating that JEDEC mandates standard byte capacity multipliers is untrue both in principle and in practice. You'll notice that the labeling proposal you linked (which again, doesn't in any way mandate unit notation) also neglects placing a space between value and unit (e.g. "512MB"), which is incorrect notation according to SI. In deference to JEDEC, shall we also ignore SI unit notation for semiconductor memory contexts?
FLASH memories are formatted and accessed like a floppy or hard disk. They do not use binary addressing like microprocessors and DDR2 SDRAM.
The approved JEDEC standard I linked has this
DDR2 DIMM Label Format, End User Markets:
The following label shall be applied to all DDR2 memory modules targeted at end-user type products to fully describe the key attributes of the module. The label can be in the form of a stick-on label, silk screened onto the assembly, or marked using an alternate customer-readable format. A readable point size should be used, and the number can be printed in one or more rows on the label. Hyphens may be dropped when lines are split, or when font changes sufficiently separate fields. Unused letters in each field, such as ggggg, are to be omitted when not needed.
SWTPC6800 22:52, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
No, some flash memory arrays ARE addressed like typical SDRAM or SRAM arrays, and some have an ATA or USB MSC interface. You included "semiconductor storage" under your original claim, which ETOX/Flash memory certainly is an example of. My point still stands; major semiconductor memory manufacturers use "MB" to mean BOTH 220 and 106 bytes. They themselves are inconsistant, and it's still ridiculous to claim that the JEDEC SDRAM standard mandates unit usage. I find it an incredibly weak argument to state that the standard silk screening scheme mandates usage of capacity measurements in all "semiconductor storage" contexts, but you're welcome to stick by that line of reasoning if you like. However, your argument at this point seems focused solely on DDR2-SDRAM, and thus far I see no reason to use different practices for DDR2-SDRAM articles as opposed to other computing articles. -- mattb @ 2007-04-08T20:17Z
Further, the current wording was not accepted due to a "mistaken belief" that semiconductor memory manufacturers use SI prefixes. They use SI prefixes with non-SI interpretations; there has never been any significant confusion on this point among the regulars here. I dislike when anyone on either side tries to turn this into such a black and white issue; nobody is "verifiably wrong" or right, we just have different valid viewpoints on the matter. My viewpoint has been and remains that we should use SI as the golden standard for unit notation, which means avoiding non-SI usage of SI prefixes (e.g. "mega" as 220 rather than 106) and using the IEC binary prefixes designed for denoting binary powers. -- mattb @ 2007-04-07T21:35Z

Conflict with Manual of Style

The Manual of Style for binary prefixes has the unusual statement: "If a contributor changes an article's usage from kilo- etc. to kibi- etc. where the units are in fact binary, that change should be accepted." The archives indicate this was added to overcome objections from editors of existing articles when the unit style of an article was changed. Over the past several months this rule has been misused to override the expert judgment of the existing editors of computer, microprocessor and memory articles.

The "should be accepted" clause conflicts with many other Wikipedia Manual of Style rules.

  • If it has been stable in a given style, do not change it without some style-independent reason.
  • If in doubt, defer to the style used by the first major contributor.
  • it is inappropriate for a Wikipedia editor to change from one style to another unless there is some substantial reason for the change.

Due to the number of complaints this "should be accepted" clause should be removed. The previous discussions on the topic assumed that the MB proponents were on the wrong side of the standard. The logic was that we have covered this before and nothing has changed. Well something has changed; this style was created without any knowledge of the governing standards for semiconductor memory. The MiB proponents are on the wrong side of the universally accepted standards. SWTPC6800 19:03, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

You're confusing users' actions with the intent of the guide. If you object to Sarenne's changing articles to conform with this style guide's suggestions en masse, take it up with him. However, that text exists to help prevent edit wars that arise when some user decides to persistently remove the IEC prefixes simply because they haven't heard of them or dislike them. What's more, your comments as regards semiconductor memory merely affirm the common industry usage of "megabyte", "kilobyte", etc (see my above response). You haven't presented substantially new information to this discussion, so that in itself isn't reason to invalidate all the previous dialog. Again, this isn't a black and white issue, and nobody should make it out to be. It's merely an issue of prefix common usage vs definitions as standardized by BIPM.
I must reiterate again that the standard you presented from the JEDEC reflects common industry usage, not unit or prefix definitions. JEDEC isn't a body that standardizes units and measures, and it's inappropriate to imply that their usage of terms sets the standards for the entire computing industry. It's common practice in standards documents to define all the terms used therein, but these definitions don't in any way constitute a standard in themselves.
Could someone show me a document from AMD, Intel, Micron, etc. that doesn’t use JEDEC nomenclature for binary addressable memory. (DRAM, not FLASH disk.) The reference designs for the DDR3 SDRAMs are being developed in JEDEC committee JC42 today.[7] This is more than common use. Look at page 12 here [8]. Approximately 100% of the documents that will be cited in microprocessor and binary addressed memory articles will disagree with Wikipedia style. No reader could be puzzled by that.
In an article about the DDR3 SDRAM reference design, should we use JEDEC nomenclature? How about in an article about the labels on DDR SDRAMs? SWTPC6800 23:45, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
Allow me to draw your attention to a note in the definitions section of the JEDEC standard you have been citing ([9] page 16, emphasis added):
"The definitions of kilo, giga, and mega based on powers of two are included only to reflect common usage. IEEE/ASTM SI 10-1997 states 'This practice frequently leads to confusion and is deprecated.' Further confusion results from the popular use of a 'megabyte' consisting of 1 024 000 bytes to define the capacity of the familiar '1.44-MB' diskette. An alternative system is found in Amendment 2 to IEC 60027-2: Letter symbols to be used in electrical technology – Part 2".
That is a footnote used just twice in all of the online JEDEC documents. SWTPC6800 23:37, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
That makes it invalid? You made the roundabout assertion that the JEDEC standard you cited sets the standard usage of capacity units for semiconductor memory. I pointed out that this very document states that it is only reflecting common usage. You can't just pick out one part of the standard document and present it as your evidence, ignoring the parts you dislike. -- mattb @ 2007-04-08T20:08Z
The JEDEC itself acknowledges that its definitions reflect common usage, not standards while going on to reference the IEEE and IEC on the matter. So again, let's not make this out to be a matter of "right vs wrong", it's just common usage vs SI/IEC definitions. -- mattb @ 2007-04-07T21:56Z
Actually, the reason "should be accepted" was exactly for that reason. This is a decision that should be made site-wide, not article by article. As to overriding "expert judgment", that depends. If you have good cause to believe that the referenced values aren't actually binary values, but are instead actually decimal, that is a good cause for saying "Whoa, we shouldn't use binary prefixes here, we're not necessarily referencing binary values!" However, if there is no realistic dispute that the values in question are indeed binary values, we use the binary prefixes, in every article, every time. Seraphimblade Talk to me 22:01, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
A further note-"accept the style of the first major contributor" only applies when such acceptance does not change the meaning of what is written. "Color" and "colour", "organization" and "organisation" represent the same ideas and concepts. Neither is different, ambiguous, or could possibly mean different things. On the other hand, a "megabyte" does not mean the same thing as a "mebibyte". A megabyte is 106 bytes, a mebibyte is 220 bytes. In this case, it's a question of accuracy, not just of style. Seraphimblade Talk to me 22:03, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
It has nothing to do with accuracy, it is merely that the term "megabyte" is ambiguous in the context of computers and we endorse removing this ambiguity by using "mega" in the strictly SI sense, and "mebi" in the binary multiplier sense. "Megabyte" and "mebibyte" can both accurately describe 220 bytes, but the former requires the reader to have knowledge of context to arrive at the correct value, while the latter is never ambiguous and allows the (presumably more knowledgable) editor to specify exactly what is meant. -- mattb @ 2007-04-07T22:08Z

Please see my comment/question about this issue / these sweeping changes under Binary prefixes vs Historical accuracy. I do these changes, but I'm of course ready to discuss whether it's appropriate. --SLi 13:38, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Again SWTPC6800 makes good points and shows why Seraphimblade and mattb are wrong. This is because megabyte can represent the same number as mebibyte in the context of those articles and the sources used in that article. There is no confusion because the term megabyte would be linked with megabyte or referenced to the sources used in the article which gives explanation and more importantly matches with the sources. It's not a question of "Historical accuracy" because it is a question of maintaining consistency with the sources. The more confusing thing would be to have an article using binary prefixes and then all of the sources on the subject using kilobyte/megabyte. The people reading the article will be wondering why Wikipedia decided to ignore all of the sources and it therefore makes it harder to understand the subject in the article. It's not good enough to say "mebibyte can be linked" because when you're printing out articles those kind of links are lost. There is no reasonable ambiguity using megabyte in the context of computers because there is a vast majority of existing sources that explain exactly what is meant. Promoting a little used term that ignores the majority of sources on the subject causes much more confusion to people. Using a term that is not used in any of the sources makes no sense and reduces clarity and consistency, all of which are negative things Wikipedia should try to avoid. Fnagaton 16:32, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

"There is no reasonable ambiguity using megabyte in the context of computers because there is a vast majority of existing sources that explain exactly what is meant." -- I'm at a loss to respond to this statement. All I can say is that if the "vast majority" of sources using "MB" explained in lucid detail what was meant, perhaps this confusion wouldn't even exist and we wouldn't have the IEC prefixes or this very discussion. In any case, I've spoken my peace. JEDEC is not a units and measures organization and doesn't even claim to set the industry standard for capacity measurements in DRAM, contrary to what has been suggested. -- mattb @ 2007-04-08T20:08Z
The statement and the rest of the argument show why it is incorrect to use different terms to that used in the majority of the sources used in an article. You know it is a fact that the majority of reliable sources use one set of terminology. "JEDEC is the leading developer of standards for the solid-state industry." Try using these searches in Google. "dram KB" "dram MB". Fnagaton 20:38, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Nobody here has ever argued what the common usage is. Not once. If all you have to add is to brow-beat common usage, then I ask that you please see the 5.3 gazillion responses to that argument in the past umpteen discussions. Incidentally, the Google test is pretty worthless for proving a point; not that you need it to show that "MB" is more common than "MiB". -- mattb @ 2007-04-08T20:57Z
My points are actually about maintaining a consistent article with its sources, not really common use. Fnagaton 17:11, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I think the issue at question is not whether we should prefer IEC prefixes or not, since that apparently has already been decided (or that's my interpretation of the issue). So I'm not going to confuse things by responding to that. The question is whether changing articles by people who either haven't made any or have made only contributions to the articles in other aspects should be accepted, and whether making such changes is somehow wrong. --SLi 17:48, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Using the "logic" of those who want to try to claim binary prefixes should be used to completely replace accepted units that are widely used in sources then all of the measurements on the page for American Football should be changed to completely remove feet and yard. This is because the meter is the newer measurement of course as described by some "standards body" somewhere. It doesn't matter the sources and the rules of the game use yards, every article regarding American Football must use the meter. Of course it's silly to remove feet and yards, but that is the logical outcome of those who want to change units without considering the sources used. Fnagaton 20:38, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Finally, a reasonable argument emerges. Thank you. The only response I have to this argument is to point out that in American English usage there is little confusion as to what a "foot" means (though it is still imprecise and sucks as a unit of measure, but that's a different argument). Numerous examples exist that show how "megabyte" can be very ambiguous. At the least, it requires the reader to understand the context in which the term was used, and that's not a particularly good assumption in my opinion. How exactly will the lay reader know whether a megabyte is intended to mean 1024x1024 bytes, 1000x1000 bytes, or 1000x1024 bytes? One argument that has been presented numerous times for using the IEC prefixes is that it allows the editor to clearly specify which number was intended rather than forcing the lay user to figure it out. -- mattb @ 2007-04-08T20:58Z
Thanks for the example. For ever reader confused about gigabyte there will be 10 confused about gibibyte. The article about DDR2 SDRAM will not clarify why a new memory is labeled 512MB. SWTPC6800 22:16, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't agree mattb because there are plenty of people who do not understand feet, yards and inches because they are using the metric system. Also the United States doesn't use the metric system, so maybe trying to judge the feet/yards issue from the point of view of a US centric sport dosn't apply well to the rest of the metric world. ;) To clarify the term kilobyte (for example) merely means linking the word to the wiki page or having a clarifying footnote or just linking the source that expresses it in bytes. Any examples of what you think as being "numerous" are not really that much of a problem when compared to the much greater confusion caused by using terms which are not used by the sources. The user will learn through context of the terms within the article and with the sources used. That is the proper way to learn the terms used, not by forcing some term onto all articles that is not widely used. The argument that binary prefixes clearly specifies something isn't strong because it doesn't match with the sources used in the articles, so that creates confusion not removes it. Put simply, an article that doesn't match with the sources is worse. If a computer article uses sources that all use KiB and MiB then fine the article should use KiB and MiB, but the vast majority of binary prefix changes have been in articles that have no sources using those terms and making those changes goes against the MoS and does not make logical sense. Fnagaton 23:32, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Could someone point to the archive were the first vote on binary prefixes occured? SWTPC6800 03:47, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Sure. [10]. Okay, once again we've hit a point in this discussion where I'm no longer seeing any new arguments. So unless you have anything further to add, I'll be retiring from this debate once more. I've stated and restated everything I'm going to, so there's not much sense in me adding anything else. I see your points of view and feel that they are valid, but I continue to support the current guideline. -- mattb @ 2007-04-09T04:00Z

Thanks for the link. Here are the results.
Note: No end-date was designated for the vote, but as of July 23, 2005, the votes were:

  • 20 support: "The MoS should encourage the use of the IEC prefixes in all binary-multiple contexts"
  • 1 support: "The MoS should encourage the use of the IEC prefixes only in highly technical contexts"
  • 6 support: "The MoS should discourage the use of IEC prefixes anywhere "
  • 0 support: "Don't mention"
  • 2 support: "No more votes"

SWTPC6800 04:52, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

It's become apparent that the initial vote didn't take into account the JEDEC standards organisation thoughts on this issue. I think the MoS should be changed thus: "The MoS should encourage the use of the IEC binary prefixes in articles where the majority of sources use IEC binary prefixes." The overriding concern here being to avoid the confusion of using different terminology in articles to that used in the vast majority of sources. This is because it is much better to clarify within the article exactly what is meant when using those existing terms rather than introducing new terms not used in the sources. This then means Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Disputes over style issues "If it has been stable in a given style, do not change it without some style-independent reason" will be in force for existing articles where the sources do not use binary prefixes. Fnagaton 09:58, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Well, no. What JEDEC says is simply irrelevant to this issue, as has been explained before. And it has been pointed out you overinterpret what they say, yet you persist in doing so. --SLi 10:51, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
No, you are wrong to try to claim the JEDEC is irrelevant. Also, nowhere has it been pointed out to the extent that is satisfies the definition of a rigorous argument. Also don't you dare try to accuse me of "overinterpreting" when that is obviously not the case and it has not happened so I demand you retract your statement because it is not true. The JEDEC is "the leading developer of standards for the solid-state industry." which was from Fnagaton 11:48, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
You won't get my retractal. You are trying to interpret the standards for something they are not, defining units, while they obviously only mean to define them for the standard's internal use (which is indeed a good practice in any standard). Interpreting that JEDEC wants others to use those units is gross overinterpretation, and saying that is somehow relevant to Wikipedia is making JEDEC way more important than it is. Internal consistency in Wikipedia is like 2^30 times more important than consistency with some terminology defined for internal use in some standard produced by some obscure (compared to the major organizations that have adopted the IEC recommendations) standardization body. --SLi 17:00, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
So instead of retracting what is not true you you are going to restate what is not true instead. The JEDEC is "the leading developer of standards for the solid-state industry. Almost 3100 participants, appointed by some 290 companies work together in 50 JEDEC committees to meet the needs of every segment of the industry, manufacturers and consumers alike. The publications and standards that they generate are accepted throughout the world." That contradicts what you just wrote. What you are doing is trying to make binary prefixes appear much more important when actually what is more important is the consistency between article and sources. Fnagaton 17:11, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
JEDEC does not standardize units and measures, BIPM does. JEDEC standardizes solid-state memory specifications. It's that plain and simple. They do not claim to have authority to standardize the meaning of "megabyte" in any context, they merely use common notation and document it. Now, I'm not going to argue your assertion that their usage of common definitions is significant, nor your valid points about units used in source text. However, to say that JEDEC standardizes unit convention is just false, even by their own admission. -- mattb @ 2007-04-09T18:55Z
I do not support your proposed wording. As I have explained in detail above, the JEDEC isn't a de jure or de facto units and measures standards organization and doesn't claim to be. It notes in its own standard that its "definitions [...] based on powers of two are included only to reflect common usage" ([11] page 16), and doesn't motivate semiconductor memory manufacturers to consistently use "MB" to mean 220 bytes (see above Flash memory example).
You've merely presented the "common usage" argument from a different angle and I'd have to agree with the statement that you're overinterpreting the documentation practices of technical writing (no offense intended). The common usage argument was very much present in the original vote, and the fact that semiconductor memory standards use the common terms isn't the revelation you make it out to be. If you really want to try and start another vote, be my guest, but I seriously doubt the outcome would satisfy you. -- mattb @ 2007-04-09T14:37Z
I will quote the first page of the JEDEC site again "JEDEC is the leading developer of standards for the solid-state industry" which contradicts your statement above. The flash memory example doesn't support your position because it is irrelevant to the real issue, at best it's a red herring. If I wanted to use your thinking for a second then I can point to all of the sources that do not use binary prefixes as an example of how the IEC "doesn't motivate semiconductor memory manufacturers to consistently use" binary prefixes. The fact is using the same terms in articles to those used in the sources is more consistent than using binary prefixes. Also, using binary prefixes in those articles causes more confusion rather than solves the problem. Also I'm not overinterpreting anything, the fact it those that support binary prefixes are overinterpreting what the IEC guidelines say and using that as an excuse to make changes that are not required to articles. Fnagaton 15:32, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
And yes I think there should be another vote on this issue with the extra points covered here brought up because as it stands the binary prefix guideline has caused many problems for many articles and I do not think that those problems are in the spirit of the guideline when it was added. Certainly I do not think the guideline was every intended to allow some editors to make large changes of KB/MB to KiB/MiB where the context of those KB/MB terms is obvious from the article and/or sources. Fnagaton 15:41, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
If we use the binary prefixes in articles like floppy disk, where there is severe confusion about capacities, then we should use them consistently across Wikipedia. Deciding this on a per-article basis is precisely what this guideline was intended to stop. -- mattb @ 2007-04-09T16:16Z
That article is yet another example of using inconsistent language to that used in the sources and should be changed. The other Wikipedia guidelines about maintaing consistent language in articles and their sources is more important than making blanket changes based on some preferred style by some editors. Fnagaton 16:25, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Well then let's have a vote and get it over with. Edit: I'm no longer willing to see a straw poll on this. Will you agree to accept the outcome of a new vote? Polls are terrible things, and there is no reason to go through that charade unless you will agree to accept its outcome regardless of whether it goes in your favor (this would include ceasing to remove IEC prefixes from articles if the guideline is kept in tact). For my part, I will fully accept the outcome of such a vote. If we do have a poll, we should give a few more days for others to catch up, but go ahead and clearly (tersely) describe your desired changes to the current guideline as you would word them for a vote. You're welcome to put in a short executive summary of your reasoning (most people will not want to read all this dialog), but please keep it as neutral and factual as possible. I'll do the same, and we can wait a few days for others to comment before putting it into poll form. -- mattb @ 2007-04-09T18:55Z
Of course I would accept a vote, as long as the "executive summaries" can be agreed upon as being sufficiently neutral. There's nothing worse than trying to lead a vote with summaries that are engineered to portray half truths. I would also like to see Sarenne agree to a vote because that user is one of the ones who has been making a lot of incorrect edits related to this issue. I'm going to have to think exactly what I would like to propose as well. How about giving everyone a week to catch up since it's a bank holiday here in the UK and many people will take the whole week as holiday. Fnagaton 19:20, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't agree with a vote because there's no new argument since the last vote, I don't see any new consensus emerging and, because you are saying that my edits are incorrect, you don't understand the current guidelines. Sarenne 19:35, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
There are new arguments, for example now the guidelines have been tried they have been found to cause problems within articles where the terms used do not match the sources and others, myself included, do not agree with that. The above comment demonstrates the kind of "not going to talk about it" attitude from Sarenne that shows why Sarenne is wrong to be making those edits in the first place. Not talking about an issue and not accepting results of a vote are against the guidelines for resolving a dispute. Fnagaton 19:48, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
That's not a new argument... of course binary prefixes don't match most of the sources. We all know that the "old prefixes" are the common usage.
Yes it is. It is new by the very nature of this problem being demonstrated by editors making lots of incorrect changes to articles. Fnagaton 20:17, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
If these changes are incorrect according to you and the current guideline, they will also be incorrect according to you and the same guideline confirmed by a new vote. Thus, the problem is not (only) the guideline... Sarenne 20:29, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I will, of course, accept the outcome of a new vote but I don't agree with having a new vote. If the new vote confirms the current guideline, I don't see any reason why you (or other contributors) would stop removing IEC prefixes... Sarenne 20:04, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Ad hominem is not a strong argument. Fnagaton 20:17, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't particularly like the idea of having a vote on whether to revert previously agreed language to its reverse or ambiguity (since such reversion would mean I have done lot of work in vain with copyediting, and since the issue had been agreed and I assumed it to hold). Am I selfish if I tell you someone else will then have to undo my changes, even if I can accept any result as long as it's applied consistently? But naturally I will submit to the result if and when we will have such a vote. Of course there's the hope in it that people will at last accept the result (yeah, right, I bet in a year there will be others complaining), but in general I oppose reopening previously voted decisions because it means wasted effort and is at least to me quite frustrating. --SLi 19:39, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
There shouldn't be any problem with revisiting votes when the guideline has been used in the real world and found that it has been causing problems. Fnagaton 19:48, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Do you have a single instance of the "problems caused" to show us? Or are all the problems in your head? --SLi 19:58, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Personal attacks show you know that your argument is weak. Fnagaton 21:05, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I think he is referring to the significant number of people who disagree with the usage of the prefixes (and have in the past and will continue to regardless of any votes). -- mattb @ 2007-04-09T20:02Z
Note that my willingness to let this go to vote again doesn't mean that I don't see validity in opposing re-opening the vote. Frankly, I don't think any amount of polls will ever bring closure to this issue, but another one now might stabilize it for a few months until someone again believes that they have shocking new facts to bring to light. I'm still willing to see it happen, but that doesn't mean it has to happen. Let's give it a week. -- mattb @ 2007-04-09T19:45Z

Over the past several months this rule has been misused to override the expert judgment of the existing editors of computer, microprocessor and memory articles.

I'd love to see some actual, concrete examples of the horrible, horrible damage this has caused that leads people into such an uproar.

The JEDEC is "the leading developer of standards for the solid-state industry."

That's fine, but irrelevant.
The definitions you keep referring to are just that; definitions. It's a glossary of terminology, not a standard to be followed. They clearly state that the terminology is confusing and deprecated, that it is used in a decimal sense for bit rates, and that they are only including those definitions to reflect common usage.

I oppose reopening previously voted decisions

WP:CCC. At the same time, though, the current wording won a vote by 20:1:6:0:2, so WP:SNOW applies, as well. This is just a case of a small number of editors trying to override something that is generally agreed upon. The whole point of guidelines is to prevent this kind of pointless debate from happening.
In light of the endless discussion and protest this generates, we should add some text to the MoS explaining why this is desirable and why people voted in favor of it, so people don't knee jerk protest it so easily. — Omegatron 20:26, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, Omegatron, for a nice analysis of the situation. Of course I don't mean that any decision that is elected should stick forever. Hope you (and others) understand the frustration of those (us) who actually do copy editing. I'm not really that "zealot" on this issue as has been suggested, I just find the previously accepted practice the most logical one, and would prefer the accepted practice to not change too often :) --SLi 20:48, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
For an example of the damage caused just look at the history of changes by Sarenne and the resulting comments by the editors who disagree with those changes. WP:SNOW Doesn't apply here because now there has been a chance to see the problems caused as demonstrated by the significant number of people who disagree with the prefixes. Fnagaton 21:05, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
That "damage" is totally the result of editors who disagree for one reason or another with using the prefixes. It doesn't demonstrate a problem with the logic behind using them, just that some people are stubborn about change. -- mattb @ 2007-04-10T00:22Z

: What I will be doing is posting some messages on computer user group boards that are related to the articles where these changes have been made (for example Commodore machines, old consoles) to draw attention to the changes regarding the kilobyte/megabyte terms and also that there is a vote planned. Fnagaton 21:11, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

That is inappropriate. People on random internet message boards are not likely to have significant experience editing Wikipedia articles, and bringing outside parties into this is nothing more than vote stacking. Even making people who you think will support your point of view aware of a vote via talk pages is usually frowned upon (see WP:CANVASS). The persons who will vote are those interested enough to watch this discussion. It might also be appropriate to notify a relevant Wikiproject or possibly mention it at WP:VP. However, votes from brand new accounts or IP addresses are usually ignored in straw polls since there's no way to establish them as unique contributers to Wikipedia. -- mattb @ 2007-04-10T00:22Z
It looks like you've already begun to canvas some talk pages. Please read WP:CANVASS and cease immediately, otherwise I'll have to retract my willingness to see another vote on this matter. I understand that you're a new user, but straw polls are meaningless if both parties canvas for supporters. -- mattb @ 2007-04-10T00:28Z
I am contacting a small section of people who have previously written on this specific topic and I think this is reasonable communication about this issue as it isn't spamming or disruptive. Fnagaton 00:40, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
It's considered vote stacking if you do not contact EVERYONE who has participated in this instead of only people who endorse your point of view. If you want to advertise this to every person who has participated or voted before, go ahead, but that could equally be considered spam (though this isn't policy, you're just likely to ruffle some feathers). As I said before, if you continue to canvas you will quickly see any willingness to vote on this right now evaporate. -- mattb @ 2007-04-10T01:05Z
I'll quote the Arbitrator from the link given above: "Briefly, I think a reasonable amount of communication about issues is fine." Fnagaton 01:10, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Soliciting meat puppets, or contacting only users who have expressed opinions one way, is not a reasonable amount of communication, it is an unreasonable attempt to vote stack. The vote cannot now be held due to your behavior, as its outcome would be flawed and meaningless. Seraphimblade Talk to me 01:23, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Fine if that's the way you feel then I won't contact other boards so the vote can still go ahead. I still think contacting a small number of editors who are interested in the issue is a "reasonable amount of communication", like the Arbitrator said. Fnagaton 01:35, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Suit yourself. If you continue to canvas I will retract my support for voting on this. I don't really believe that consensus has changed enough to require another vote, and I'm not willing to participate in a stacked straw poll. -- mattb @ 2007-04-10T01:21Z
It's not really canvassing for a such small amount of editors. If I had contacted twenty random editors then you may have had a point. Fnagaton 01:35, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Some of you seem to contradict the articl (and many others): Byte. Which says MB (and such) have an alternative meaning. 1 MB = 106 or 220. I support the continuing use of Megabyte and such. Cavenbatalk to me 00:37, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Please don't take this the wrong way, but that totally misses the issue at hand. Nobody here is debating over whether the respective SI prefixes have ambiguous meaning when coupled with 'byte'. I suggest reading the binary prefix article to get yourself acquainted with the reasons some of us endorse the usage of unambiguous prefixes. -- mattb 00:39, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Nobody debates that the letters "k", "M" and "G" can be ambiguous when used as a prefix to a bytes or bits. However when interpreted as a power of 2 they are not SI prefixes, but just another use of the same letter. Capital "K" is never an SI prefix, but still ambiguous. −Woodstone 08:17, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Activity on articles

This discussion is (in my opinion very inappropiately) being used as a reason to revert back to the (old) SI prefixes in some articles, for example Commodore 64. It might be of interest to users here that a Request for Comment (on a style issue) has been made due to it, while probably the users who have taken part to this discussion would be too biased for mediators. I view the revertions to old SI units against MOSNUM as something that definitely should not be allowed. --SLi 00:33, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

I would have thought posting a link to the article you just requested comments on could be seen as trying to garner support for your cause. Fnagaton 01:33, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Considering that he posted it here, in a discussion with both parties participating, and not on partisan users' talk pages, I see nothing inappropriate with it. -- mattb @ 2007-04-10T01:48Z
It has nothing to do with you agreeing with his point of view of course. Fnagaton 01:52, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
No it doesn't, and I'd greatly appreciate it if you would assume good faith, especially as a new editor who is trying to get a well-supported guideline changed. I'm trying to be as tolerant as possible to your viewpoint, but it doesn't help when you try to lawyer over policies and guidelines with folks who might just have prior experience in their application here. -- mattb @ 2007-04-10T01:59Z
You're the one not assuming good faith by trying accuse me of canvassing (when I'm not) and lawyering (again when I'm not). Fnagaton 09:31, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Okay, since you continue to be combattive despite my attempts to be sympathetic to your view, I now revoke my willingness to vote on this. I don't appreciate your behavior here or your insistence on revert warring before this discussion comes to a conclusion. You were asked not to canvas for support, and rather than trying to go about polling in a manner that would please everyone, you immediately sought to argue your perceived right to behave how you wish. The mention of canvassing was not an attack on your good faith, I was merely trying to indicate that the activity is usually considered unacceptable by editors here. Despite your notion that you have the right to do so, going by the letter of the guidelines doesn't guarantee you support for your actions. I have no further discussion with you. -- mattb @ 2007-04-10T14:50Z

January 2007 - April 2007 Talk pages

I went back through the Manual of Style (dates and numbers) talk pages starting in January 2007. I listed the User names and the date of the first comment. In few cases the first comment was ambiguous so I used the date of the first clear position.

I think my categories are accurate but feel free to check them. The "Other": category has users who made a general comment about Wikipedia policy or such. I think I have removed all duplicate names.

"The MoS should encourage the use of the IEC prefixes in all binary-multiple contexts"

Against Strong : 12

Against: 7

For: 6

For Strong : 6

Against Strong

  • Warren 22:31, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Centrx 01:45, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
  • agr 16:32, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Diceman 09:22, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Centrx 19:25, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Marty Goldberg 18:53, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Rman2000 21:27, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Bladestorm 16:42, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
  • SWTPC6800 15:22, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Fnagaton 17:11, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Wtshymanski 17:53, 26 March 2007 (UTC) (see TRS-80 Model 100, KIM-1)
  • jesup 14:05, 22:07, 17 March 2007 (UTC) (See Talk:Kibibyte)



  • Tango 11:50, 22 January 2007 (UTC) (we should be consistent)
  • Delirium 10:33, 23 January 2007 (UTC) (both approaches have their pros and cons)
  • 13:47, 23 January 2007 (UTC) (user to set a units preference)
  • Pethr 11:29, 26 January 2007 (UTC) (???)
  • Raul654 03:28, 25 February 2007 (UTC) (policy on original research)
  • dave souza 09:08, 3 March 2007 (UTC) (add standard infobox)
  • Donald Albury 12:29, 5 March 2007 (UTC) (binary equivalent in parentheses)
  • Christoph Päper 23:19, 1 April 2007 (UTC) (please calm down everybody)
  • Kevinkor2 22:36, 6 April 2007 (UTC) (Suggestion for footnotes)
  • Woodstone 14:01, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Guy Harris 01:05, 28 January 2007 (UTC)


For Strong

SWTPC6800 05:16, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Not that I personally have a problem with this, but I don't see what purpose it serves, and it may not be a good idea to summarize peoples' positions for them. -- mattb @ 2007-04-10T05:33Z
This kind of rigged guessing at how people might vote is highly irregular. Please stop this immediately. −Woodstone 09:18, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Well the purpose is that it does appear to show that the consensus in changing since the last vote. I don't mind if SWTPC6800 summarises my opinion since it has been done accurately. Fnagaton 09:55, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
After all this, I see about zero chance for a fair straw poll, for a number of reasons.
  1. There has been canvassing on the side of those who would like to change the current language
  2. On this scale, the number of people reached is no longer statistically insignificant
  3. Were it not for canvassing, given the histoy of this issue, it's quite unlikely there's going to be significant support for changing the language
  4. If we want to have results representative of the Wikipedia community, after a unpopular campaign of copy editing is simply not the right time to do it. At least I have referred to MOSNUM in my edit summaries. Think about it, who's more likely to end up here, the one angry with me changing their personal Right Way of doing things, or the one happy with it?
  5. If we had a vote, after the above issues, the result could only be conclusively against the changes (majority for keeping the current language) or inconclusive (majority, including canvassed people and people angered by copyediting).
I would like to remind that polling in Wikipedia is for rough measuring of opinions, not a procedure that anyone who happens to disagree can start. For these reasons, I currently strongly oppose the idea of a new vote. --SLi 10:31, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
It's not large scale spamming, it's not canvassing, it's a "reasonable amount of communication" and so you are misrepresenting. I've referred to the MOS "disputes over style" which is the parent of MOSNUM and about maintaining consistency with the sources in my change comments. Fnagaton 10:39, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
I tried very hard to reflect the comments made here of the last three months and gave the dates so they could be checked. I remove the categories for weak votes. I do to think we need to go out and find new voters. Please stop. -- SWTPC6800 14:10, 10 April 2007 (UTC) -- I intended to say "I do not think we need to go out and find new voters. Please stop." SWTPC6800 18:49, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
"Going out and finding new voters" is exactly what straw polls are not about. Straw polls are not a campaign to see which group can find the most supporters, but a poll for those who are already interested in the issue. This misunderstanding of what straw polls are, how they are conducted, and what they are used for prevents any such poll from being useful at this point. -- mattb @ 2007-04-10T15:07Z
That's a bit of a double edge sword there, because many of those people may have stopped reading here because they felt their opinion on the matter did not count or was not being heard. That's hardly from "lack of interest" but more from frustration. That's one of the reasons I stopped looking here (though I thought today, what the heck, I'll see if anything more happened). He actually did convey my position in that listing, and I for one would also liked to have been notified of a pending poll vote as I'm sure most of the other past contributors would have. Saying don't notify people who were interested in this topic because its "campaigning" is just as much a "campain technique", when the same core group of naysayers seem to be here pulling the strings. It artificially tips the poll in your favor and seeks to put your own spin on the definition of "already interested in the issue". Everyone in that list was "already interested". --Marty Goldberg 18:33, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Request for clarification regarding Naming Conventions consensus finding

Should existing guidelines, such as those presented in the Manual of Style, be treated as a community consensus until and unless consensus is established to change them? Seraphimblade 11:18, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Broadly speaking, anything that matches established community practice and is relatively uncontroversial can be assumed to enjoy a community consensus, regardless of where it happens to be written down. I would be wary, however, of extending that to those points in the MoS that don't match actual community practice (and there are a few, usually on the more obscure MoS pages) unless there has been an explicit consensus that they be adopted. Kirill Lokshin 13:22, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
In this case, what brought the question on was a section in Wikipedia:Manual of style (dates and numbers) on binary prefixes. This section states that the use of XiB prefixes (such as MiB) should be used rather than notation such as megabyte where the binary representation is more accurate. This guideline was adopted by consensus some time ago, but recently was disputed after a newer editor attempted to actually make the recommended changes, and those changes were reverted (in many cases while being called "vandalism".) The dispute has not reached the level of a consensus to change the guideline. Are there any recommendations for such a situation? Seraphimblade 13:28, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, given that the MoS doesn't appear to correspond to what article editors are actually doing in practice, it's somewhat questionable whether it (still) enjoys consensus in this case. I would suggest starting a (widely publicized—try leaving notes with the relevant WikiProjects, and on the talk pages of some prominent articles) discussion with the intent of figuring out what the MoS should say on the topic (rather than the somewhat narrower yes/no question of whether what it currently says is correct). Kirill Lokshin 13:46, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Will do. Thank you for your help. Seraphimblade 13:53, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

This can be found here. [12] -- SWTPC6800 16:11, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

That was from the edit war on the MacBook Pro [13] The Request for clarification was mentioned on User_talk:Sjenkins7000talk page. -- SWTPC6800 16:28, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Voluntary moratorium on copyediting IEC prefixes

I am pleased to announce that I and User:Sarenne have reached consensus on refraining from copyediting SI prefixes used in the binary sense into the IEC standard prefixes, to help things settle down a bit before the possible vote (which we still do oppose). Our voluntary moratorium is effective immediately and lasts two weeks from this announcement, plus to the end of any possible poll still continuing on that date, unless a vote is completed before the end of these two weeks or there is substantial consensus that a vote is not going to occur, in which case we consider it the end of our voluntary moratorium. --SLi 18:04, 10 April 2007 (UTC)