Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)/Archive B7

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A Tor exit node is making disruptive edits

These two edits have been made by a Tor node and are clearly disruptive. I thought the early edit might have been Omegatron editing his own comment but now I check the edit comment and IP it is also a Tor exit node. [1] [2] Fnagaton 18:34, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

It's funny how many Tor users and anonymous editors have a strong interest in this topic, don't you think? And it's good to know that our Help documentation has improved so much that users can register accounts, figure out our wiki syntax and policies, and jump right into this discussion without any learning curve at all. — Omegatron (talk) 01:05, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I don’t get it, Fnagaton. Please dumb-down your language and express your concern using plain-speak as to what you think Omegatron did that was inappropriate. I do see that it appears a comment by our anonymous “217.87” was deleted but it’s still there now. Is that the issue? I’ve been tolerating 217.87’s comments as long as they weren’t vandalism or somehow violated Wikipedia policy. Greg L (my talk) 19:45, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
  • When I first saw the earlier edit I thought Omegatron and forgotten to login and was editing his own comment, at that time I had not seen the change comment, just the text difference. But an IP user reverting material on this page is not unusual, especially with this topic being discussed. So I reverted the edit and placed a comment on Omegatron's page to give notice that I reverted the change that he might have made and if it wasn't him making the change give a warning that someone editied his change. Then I saw the second edit and noticed it was reverting the IP user comment. This is disruptive. My standard approach is to check the Tor status of IP addresses that are making edits that are obviously disruptive. I noticed this edit is a Tor exit node, i.e. someone trying to hide their true identity. So I reverted the edit. I then checked the other IP address and this was also a Tor exit node. Two Tor node edits on this subject then reminded me of User:Sarenne who was the last user to be blocked for severely disruptive behaviour by forcing IEC prefixes into hundreds of articles and used Tor with multiple sock puppets. Fnagaton 20:12, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
  • So… Nothing can be proven and Omegatron gave a Cheshire cat-like, cryptic answer to tweak your nose? Is that right? Greg L (my talk) 20:35, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Looks that way, yes. Fnagaton 21:17, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Stunts like that is just horse crap we can deal with. Even as an admin (a power Omegatron has apparently abused since he first got it), he can’t make history files disappear. This is the opposition’s leader? Would you rather be up against a formidable one? He rammed through the current MOSNUM policy without a proper consensus and the years of endless bickering that have gone on ever since is all a result of his initial goof (and intransigence afterwards). Greg L (my talk) 21:44, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
That's not correct. Admins can erase edit histories. At least in so far that they won't be available to mere users anymore. Further, Omegatron isn't a leader in anyway. Different people just happen to be on different sides of the debate. Some are more vocal than others. Some have more stamina than others. Some care more, some care less. What you hold against Omegatron and similar could just as well be held against many participants on either side including you and me. I think most participants have cooled down and try to avoid getting emotional even if the tone is often still less than friendly. I didn't notice any questionable comments from Omegatron ever since you've joined the discussion and nobody should try to judge another by looking specific edits and excerpts of discussions that they weren't involved in. I'd really appreciate if everyone focused on the discussion at hand instead of questioning others' motivation. Too much time has already been wasted by trolls like those Tor edits and similar trolling comments from logged-in users who contribute little more but one liners to spit on either side. -- (talk) 23:27, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Very well. Greg L (my talk) 23:58, 11 April 2008 (UTC) P.S. But would you agree that referring to tracking down suspicious Tor edits as “trolling” is too harsh? If we didn’t have someone really in the saddle, tracking down this sort of activity, it could get out of hand really, really fast if certain others didn’t have a good idea they’ll be called to the mat for it. Fair enough? Greg L (my talk) 01:54, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
That's not what I was referring to as trolling at all. What I consider trolling were the edit summaries used by the Tor user giving the impression that he was a certain someone in order to stir things up and derail the discussion. I assume these two edits were not submitted by anyone involved in the discussion but a bored lurker. Another example are several edits by Swtpc6800, especially his most recent contribution [3]. -- (talk) 02:09, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I see. Very good. Case closed then. Thanks for the clarification. Greg L (my talk) 02:16, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
    • No, the case is not closed. For the sake of a balanced and calm discussion, I think that the uncivil and patronising remarks about Omegatron's role are unjustified and should be withdrawn. I will resume the debate once that happens. Thunderbird2 (talk) 09:07, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I actually took Omegatron's comment ( 01:05, 11 April 2008 ) to mean that he is implying it is someone here making those edits with Tor and with the IP user. So he should remove his comments first since they are uncivil. Fnagaton 14:01, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't quite get what Omegatron is saying there since his comment seems to be a mix of sarcasm and irony but I wouldn't consider this comment as uncivil and he clearly isn't attacking a single specific participant. For the record, unregistered users are not necessarily less familiar with Wikipedia than registered users. Being familiar with Wikipedia certainly doesn't imply that the person already has a registered account. The most used wiki syntax isn't rocket-science anyway and it's MediaWiki syntax not specific to Wikipedia at all. Nobody claimed that the edits from 217.87.x.x in this discussions up to now are from different users, it safe to assume the opposite, not to mention that it wasn't used in any voting process. -- (talk) 16:09, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I think this is what Greg meant when he referred to the "cryptic answer". This should be easy enough to sort out. If Omegatron did not mean to imply that someone here is using Tor then he can strike the unhelpful comment, then I'm sure Greg can do the same. Fnagaton 14:01, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

he can’t make history files disappear.

Yes, admins can make history files disappear, by deleting a page and then undeleting only the history they want to keep.
Are you accusing me of this? If I deleted a diff from history without justification, that would be an abuse of admin powers. Which edit do you think I have "vanished"?
If you ever suspect that an admin has done this, it's very easy to confirm: ask another admin to check the history page. It will still appear in the "deleted edits", visible only to admins. — Omegatron (talk) 17:06, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

And my "cryptic answer" is because I know it's bad form to accuse specific people of sockpuppetry (or strawpuppetry) without specific types of evidence, and I'm sure the people involved are experienced professionals by now and know exactly how to evade that type of evidence (Tor). I think it's obvious who's behind them, but I'll let you all draw your own conclusions. I'll just say to those responsible that your position must be pretty weak if you can't convince anyone of it without resorting to this kind of childish nonsense. — Omegatron (talk) 17:19, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

So you are bad faith accusing someone here of sockpuppetry without specific types of evidence, that is being uncivil. Greg's comment is completely accurate then. So Thunderbird2 and 217.87.* now we have an admission from Omegatron I expect you'll now retract your posts? Fnagaton 17:27, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
Why can't we just attribute any malicious anonymous edits to User:Sarenne as before and be done with this? -- (talk) 18:30, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
Since it is Omegatron throwing around accusations you had better ask him. Fnagaton 19:08, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
I am now going to quote Omegatron's edit "Is this seriously how you think? You really think that anyone who opposes something you do on Wikipedia is part of a vast conspiracy of sockpuppets? What if they are merely individual people who disagree with you on a particular issue for good reasons?". I think given the current situation Omegatron you need to take your own words to heart and stop making these kinds of accusations. Fnagaton 17:43, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
I do you a favour Omegatron by restoring an edit that was obviously made by a Tor user who was trying to misrepresent what you wrote and what do you do in return? You make baseless accusations. Greg's post was completely correct, you are being disruptive. Fnagaton 17:45, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I advocate dropping it. There is no proof that Omegatron did the Tor edits. But it’s clear to me that his cryptic response to Fnagaton was intended to suggest that possibility without saying as much. There’s nothing wrong with that either, other than it was intended to keep Fnagaton suspecting Omegatron might have been behind them. Why don’t you guys just call each other a “poopy head” right here, right now, and be done with this so we can move on to more important issues than who failed to use deoderant this morning. Greg L (my talk) 20:37, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

How about this to break deadlock

I propose we bring in new blood on this. This argument had gone on for years (since the very inception of the existing policy) and there is no resolution in sight. Most of the people who voted on the hybrid proposal have tired of the fruitless bickering here and gone elsewhere to actually have fun at this hobby. Why don’t we post a very simple proposal on Talk:MOS and Talk:MOSNUM? We can have a lively discussion and debate and have a show of hands. The proposal to discuss would be this:

The following wording is intended to add extra specificity to Which system to use:

Units of measure: For any given article and target readership,[1] Wikipedia should use the units of measure and methods of disambiguation commonly used in current literature on that subject.

To comment on how this policy could be modified and/or expanded here on MOSNUM, please go to this dedicated discussion page.


1.   ^  A Wikipedia article about the mathematics of black hole evaporation necessarily requires the use of different terminology and units of measure—such as Planck units—than would an article directed to a more general-interest readership. A Wikipedia article on, for instance, x86 assembly language that is directed primarily to professional software developers might require units of measure and unit symbols that would be unfamiliar and unsuitable for use in general-interest articles about computers. In all cases, editors should use terminology and symbols commonly employed in the literature for that subject and level of difficulty. When in doubt, use the units of measure, prefixes, unit symbols, and methods of disambiguation used by the majority of reliable periodicals directed to that readership.

I think many more editors would be interested in weighing in on a simple policy guideline such as this.

Well, how about it? Should we solicit input from other editors and keep the issue extremely simple? Greg L (my talk) 21:16, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Good idea. Let’s do.

  1. Greg L (my talk) 21:25, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
  2. SWTPC6800 (talk) 00:40, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
  3. DavidPaulHamilton (talk) 10:10, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
  4. Fnagaton 20:36, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Bad idea. Let’s not.

  1. That is a nice rule of thumb but it's common-sense. Therefore, there's no need to add it to any guideline. Due to the nature of the issue, it cannot be applied in this case anyway because we're not talking about different units. We're talking about conflicting definitions of the same prefixes. -- (talk) 18:21, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Not true. “Mebibyte” and its symbol, “MiB” incorporate a brand new and different prefix and are therefore different units of measure. If they weren’t “different units”, the IEC wouldn’t have accomplished anything with their proposal. And if it really is “common sense” as you say (I happen to agree), then it is a minor edit and is a change that anyone—as Omegatron pointed out about Wikipedia policy—can add to MOSNUM without prior consensus (although I would add an invitation for more discussion if it were me). That is, unless, you so vigorously oppose adding a “nice rule of thumb [that is] common sense” to MOSNUM that you intend to delete it as soon as you see it. Greg L (talk) 19:52, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Breaking deadlock:Discussion

Transplanted from Ambiguity and understandability

Some current literature does conform to IEC 60027-2 and even explicitely uses MiB. Or are you talking about majorities again? In some cases different units are common in current literature. So a rule "Wikipedia should use the units of measure used in current literature on that subject" like does not really help at all. Again IEC 60027-2 is an international standard and it is therefore perfectly valid to use it when writing Wikipedia articles. I could care less about the motivation of magazine editors to stick to the old ambiguous convention. I could think of many reasons but it's nonsense to speculate about them. I'd guess it basically boils down to peer pressure though. Most of those authors can also assume that their readers are already familiar with the basics and terminology. If you really wonder you might want to ask some of these journalists. I'm also convinced that by now almost all people working somewhere in the IT business have at least heard once about IEC 60027-2 (not necessarily the standard itself but at least the new prefixes). I don't consider myself as one of a "few gifted experts who know more than others". Not at all, I don't even think you have to be much of an expert at all to understand the problem and know the new IEC prefixes. Apparently you consider me an elitist but I believe it's exactly the other way around because my aim is to disambiguate, to straighten things out and make them easier to understand for everyone. The opposition wants to stick to a convention that requires a lot expert knowledge which is full of exceptions because it's not even consistent among all field of computing. -- (talk) 13:28, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

  • Now we’re getting somewhere. Note the wording:

Units of measure: For any given article and target readership*, Wikipedia should use the units of measure and methods of disambiguation commonly used in current literature on that subject.

Indeed; some computer-industry articles do use the IEC prefixes. Apple has a web page (buried somewhere in one of these archives that one of you readers pointed out) that uses them. But that whole Apple page was directed to professional programmers. Perhaps it was dealing with a memory overflow issue that created a security hole; I don’t know. For whatever reason, Apple perceived 1) that absolutely unambiguous information had to be delivered and that 2) the target audience (registered software developers) could readily recognize and understand the units of measure. A Wikipedia article about the mathematics of black hole evaporation necessarily needs and uses different terminology and math symbols than one directed to a more general-interest level. In all cases, Wikipedia’s articles should use the units commonly used for that particular subject for that particular readership. A footnote can be added to the policy statement (location shown with an asterisk above) detailing this common-sense rule of technical writing.

As for your observation “I'm also convinced that by now almost all people working somewhere in the IT business have at least heard once about IEC 60027-2,” let’s not take two steps backwards for each one forwards. No one disagreed with this statement: “The word “mebibyte” (symbol MiB) is not widely recognized by the typical Wikipedia reader.” If the computer industry adopted the IEC prefixes, the general-interest computer magazines would soon follow suit. But they both haven’t and pretty much covers the bulk of Wikipedia’s target audience because most of the computer-related articles on Wikipedia are directed to a general-interest readership.

Now, I was being a tad facetious when I wrote above about how the proponents of the IEC prefixes are behaving as if they are technical writing gods (although there is certainly an element of that god-like attitude when the proponents say “things are broken and we know what’s better”). It is simply not right for contributing authors to put Wikipedia in a position of effectively promoting change by being the only general-interest, English-language publication (among magazines—whether print or on-line—and encyclopedias) to have adopted a new unit of measure. It doesn’t do Wikipedia’s readers any good whatsoever to routinely encounter stuff like “To run Vista, a computer is best equipped with at least 3 GiB of RAM.” Hopefully, the reader would be smart enough to know that “well… that’s just Wikipedia.” But if some guy ran down to Best Buy with his friends to buy a computer and used language like that, it wouldn’t go over well—at least not until he explained that he had read it on Wikipedia. Ohhhhhhhh… *(knowing smiles among his friends)* We’ve got to be more mainstream here. The practices observed by Encyclopedia Britannica and the computer magazines works well enough for them without using the IEC prefixes so we can figure out a way to work without them too. And because the rest of the computer and publishing industries aren’t routinely using the IEC prefixes is why we shouldn’t routinely use them. We can write about them—in articles like Byte for instance; just not routinely use them. We’ve got to go with the flow here. Greg L (talk) 19:00, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

The manpage is not for "professional programmers" but anyone using the "raidutil" utility, for example, a system administrator. The manpage even explains IEC 60027-2 so it can be readily understood by people who have never heard about it before.
You nicely explained what I referred to as "peer pressure". Does this really happen in reality or is it just your imagination? You could simply call a couple of computer equipment dealers by phone and ask them the price of 1 GiB DDR RAM and see what happens. That's, of course, "original research" but I suggest it anyway, so that you can convince yourself whether it's just imagination or reality. I don't think the fear of causing imaginary traumatized readers is a valid reason to avoid IEC 60027-2.
Also I still think you have it backwards: IEC 60027-2 is mostly of benefit for non-experts. So arguing "only experts know IEC 60027-2" is completely backwards, in my opinion. I would also assume that the average computing article mentions many other terms that the average reader will have to lookup by following the hyperlink - if he cares. This is hardly be avoidable in highly technical articles and with "highly technical" I don't even mean astrophysics or rocket-science. Even if IEC 60027-2 is used in millions of articles, you only have to understand it once. -- (talk) 20:10, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Perhaps what you say is all true, 217.87…. I do however, note that Apple’s Web page, that you say is “not for professional programmers” is titled “Developer Connection” and under that, is this: → [Log In] | [Not a Member]
Greg L (talk) 20:25, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Please have a look at manpage or this. -- (talk) 20:38, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
The manpage of the cmp utility might also be of interest. -- (talk) 21:30, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
  • In light of what we are discussing here, and from a “big picture”, goal-oriented view, what—in your view—will this prove? Greg L (talk) 21:53, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, you brought it up. Anyway, examples prove little but these disprove the claim that Apple never uses IEC prefixes or a decimal MB in the software they ship. Other than that it proves nothing but shows that Apple doesn't seem to have a problem with exposing their users to IEC prefixes or a decimal MB. If it's good enough for Apple's customers, I don't think it's far-fetching to expose Wikipedia readers to this. -- (talk) 22:14, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I’ve tried throughout these discussions to avoid using terms like “never” since that’s about as useful as posting a sign on one’s butt saying “FIND A SINGLE EXCEPTION AND KICK HERE.” I try to adhere to terminology such as “the typical Wikipedia reader is unfamiliar with the IEC prefixes and will rarely—if ever—encounter them elsewhere in real-world usage, such as computer advertisements, computer owners manuals, general-interest computer magazines, and professional encyclopedias.” The above policy speaks of using units of measure commonly used in current literature on that subject”. I think you and I know what that means.

    Apple’s Apple’s Developer Connection Web site, is clearly a web site for developers and programmers. How do I know this? Because it’s part of a section called “Apple’s Developer Connection” at Even I can figure that one out. Note too that this particular site contains this choice little bit for developers to help them write to a RAID:

The following command would create a volume named "MyVolume", on the RAIDSet named "MyRAIDSet", using one fifth of all available space on that RAIDSet:

# raidutil create volume -n MyVolume -s 20% -r MyRAIDSet

Wow. Sounds like some sorta “Paris-talk” or something. I seem to have missed that one in my owners manual here. Hold on. I’m looking through my 12-page Mac manual for something like that… I think we’re on pretty safe ground here to say that Apple’s Apple’s Developer Connection is for developers. When you register, developers have access to Apple’sXcode Tools, SDKs, and DDKs. Saying that Apple’s Developer Connection is for regular computer users is like putting lipstick on a pig and trying to pass it off as a prom date. It’s not working for me here.

I note your above statement “ Apple doesn't seem to have a problem with exposing their users to IEC prefixes” (my emphasis). It is abundantly clear on the face of it as to the truth of the matter. It is clear that Apple draws a clear line between a “developer” and a “user.” How do we know this? Because on that very same page is this little tidbit to Apple’s develpers that might be of interest:

For our purposes, we will treat all size units as 1024 based numbers. We will allow the user to use the historically prevalent two character notation (KB, MB, GB, TB, and PB) but they will be treated as their more modern counterparts (KiB, MiB, GiB, TiB, and PiB).

So here is well-documented evidence of a computer manufacturer doing the right thing: using the IEC prefixes when they are speaking to an advanced audience that is accustomed to such units; for their “users”, Apple’s OS X, and their advertisements, and their packaging, and their owners manuals, etc., all use “MB” but treat it as a base-2 value. All everyone here on this side of the fence is trying to do is get Wikipedia to consistently adhere to the same philosophy.
Greg L (talk) 00:49, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
I was talking about this statement in which the editor expressed support based on a misconception. Also Fnagaton keeps claiming that MiB is ambiguous based on a single example he found on the web in a mailing list archive. However I apply logic correctly in so far that I prove the existence of some by examples. That's valid. Fnagaton tries to prove that MiB is ambiguous in general or at least to a large audience. Making this claim based on a single example is not valid. Does anyone disagree?
You, Greg L, don't have to know what a manpage is or what RAID is but documentation does not become "development documention" because it's mirrored on a website for developers. This documentation is for users of Mac OS X not just developers. I don't know what "Paris-talk" is but it seems you're resorting to offensive language again. What exactly do you expect from a "12-page Mac manual"? I have a lot of simple, single-purpose electronic equipment that comes which more documentation than that.
Regarding the raidutil manpage, that's one horrible way to use IEC 60027-2 but that's not the point. The point is, it's used in software shipped by Apple. -- (talk) 11:00, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Would that man page be considered reliable source under Apple's editorial control. It appears to be from the Apple developer's community. The disclaimer at the top of the page says the following.
"This document is a Mac OS X manual page. Manual pages are a command-line technology for providing documentation. You can view these manual pages locally using the man(1) command. These manual pages come from many different sources, and thus, have a variety of writing styles."
I am sure that a few Apple employees believe in kibibytes. But when Steve Jobs introduced the MacBook Air, the press release said it had 2 GB RAM and an 80 GB hard drive. -- SWTPC6800 (talk) 00:57, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
And still does. Greg L (talk) 01:06, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
The MacBook Air has 2 GiB RAM. Its hard drive has 80,000,000,000 bytes (and some) storage capacity, not 80 GiB. So it's only half-wrong that is the amount of RAM is underspecified. Steve_Jobs#Early_years doesn't really seem to be a reliable source because it appears he considers US$600 and US$5000 as equivalent. -- (talk) 10:23, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
  • So… Your point seems to be that Apple has no logical high ground here to stand on in their choice of units of measure and how they communicate the quantities of bytes to their customers. But we have all the other computer manufacturers now for you to show why they too have no moral standing in this regard. Whereas I’m sure you can dig up exceptions to the rule with Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, and all the rest, that wouldn’t change the fact that they near-universally and consistently use GB to mean binary math with regard to RAM and decimal math for hard drives. We can all go collectively rap their knuckles with a ruler but that’s the way it’s been done and continues to be done. You guys’ argument *(once again)* boils down to the fact that 1) the current units are ambiguous (I agree); 2) shouldn’t have misappropriated the prefixes from the SI to denote binary math in the first place (I agree); 3) the IEC prefixes come from a wholesome, wonderful, standards organization whose members eat bran each morning with their breakfast (fine); and 4) even though the typical Wikipedia reader doesn’t recognize the IEC prefixes (everyone agrees to that one); which itself is because 5) the manufacturers of RAM, hard drives, and computers near-universally don't use the IEC prefixes for communicating to the average Joe; which is the reason 6) no general-interest computer magazine (print or on-line where they could use hyperlinks) uses the IEC prefixes and neither does any, proper, professional encyclopedia; 7) none of that matters because you guys know better and—with the assistance of User:Sarenne (blocked for life)—have put Wikipedia in the lead position of effectively promoting a change in the very language our readers should speak—but which they won’t likely encounter anywhere else. In your view, this is good, sound practices for effective technical writing. A majority of editors on Wikipedia disagree with you on that last point. Greg L (talk) 17:00, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, we seem to agree on almost every point except the conclusion. Though, I'd like to ask you why you have to insert insulting remarks in about every longer comment you write (examples: "eat bran each morning", "none of that matters because you guys know better"). I mean what exactly is the purpose of that? I really don't care as much that I'd run away crying. Actually you're making it hard for others to support you and your position excluding those who are also keen on making offensive remarks. Let me also get back to what you wrote previously about getting laughed at if you used these new IEC prefixes in real life. You haven't provided any evidence for this. What's even more interesting is that Wikipedia contains information about China that would get Chinese people into jail if they dared to talk about that in public in China. So do you really care about imaginary ignorant people laughing about Wikipedia readers but you don't care about Chinese being thrown to jail? I'm not saying this information about China should be removed. I'd just like to show you how silly this worry is. -- (talk) 18:43, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
The example of the minority of "Apple software" using the new IEC prefixes is because some of these modules are written by individual programmers who have changed the software and it is not because of any published policy from Apple itself. The majority of software Apple produces does not use the IEC prefixes. Fnagaton 20:39, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Puuuuhleeze 217.87, now you’re just being silly. Little about what you wrote makes any sense to me. My being facetious about the ‘wholesome goodness’ of the IEC by alluding to how they “eat bran” in the morning wasn’t intended to be insulting to you or anyone else here on Wikipedia. Any reasonable interpretation of what I wrote is clearly this point: It doesn’t matter how meritorious the proposal from the IEC is or how you think they’re big shots. Official policy of the BIPM that is part of the SI is sometimes ignored by the rest of the world (such as leaving a space between a numeric value and the % symbol); and they’re the biggest kahunas on the block when it comes to standards. If the rest of the world doesn’t use the space in percentages, then Wikipedia shouldn’t either (and doesn’t, even though it’s “official”). I think you tend to seize upon perceived slights as a diversion rather than focus on the issue at hand: the merits of the proper methods of communicating via technical writing.

    Next, having the courage to speak the truth on Wikipedia regarding a country that has no guarantees of freedom of speech and your transparent attempt to conjure images of brave students standing in front of army tanks doesn’t have the slightest relevance here. We’re talking about how best to not confuse readers by avoiding the routine use of units of measure that haven’t found traction in the real world and are unfamiliar to most readers. If you have to resort to the tactic of attempting to seize the moral high ground by linking this discussion to brave Chinese disidents who are thrown in jail for speaking the truth, you have apparently run out of anything valuable to say. I do wish you wouldn’t waste anyone’s time here and would try to find something more relevant to say.

    Finally, as for my comment of how you guys seem to have an attitude of “we want Wikipedia to do it differently from the rest of the world because we know better,” that is not intended as an insult. That is a legitimate, truthful way of looking at the logical consequences of what that position amounts to. Ergo, the poll above (“As a matter of fact, yes, I am more enlightened than all the editors at all the general-interest computer magazines and professional print encyclopedias.”) That is a way of helping certain editors here to see that this is a logical consequence of embracing their position on this matter. My suggesting that your position amounts to an attitude of “because you guys somehow know better than the pros” is not a prohibited personal attack; it is a perfectly legitimate tactic of debate taught in high-schools and college debate classes. If you don’t want to debate me, don’t debate me, but please don’t tell me how I may think or express my thoughts; if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Greg L (talk) 21:00, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

This is neither a debate class nor political chit-chat. You won't gain anything from such "perfectly legitimate tactics" here. -- (talk) 21:25, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
"You won't gain anything" - Well actually that isn't true, he does gain the advantage of showing how bad your argument is since it uses fallacious points. Fnagaton 21:32, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
217.87: I agree; this is not a debate class nor is it political chit-chat (so it is most unfortunate that you tried to somehow draw a connection between the efforts here and the ongoings in China). However—and you may not like it—this is debate. Logic talks and B.S. walks. Greg L (talk) 21:48, 14 April 2008 (UTC)