incorrect abbreviations of GB, MB, KB in UI (extra 'i')

Asked by Aron Insinga on 2011-08-22

The UI has GiB, MiB, KiB as abbreviations for what I presume are GB, MB, and KB.
That makes no more sense than using Kim (instead of km) for kilometer.
I assume that you are correctly using B for byte, even in network bandwidth.
(If you mean bit, then it should be b and not B.)
MB - megabyte
Mb - megabit

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 11.04
Package: gnome-system-monitor 2.28.2-0ubuntu1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.38-11.47-generic-pae
Uname: Linux 2.6.38-11-generic-pae i686
Architecture: i386
Date: Mon Aug 22 13:05:29 2011
ExecutablePath: /usr/bin/gnome-system-monitor
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS "Lucid Lynx" - Release i386 (20100816.1)
 PATH=(custom, user)
SourcePackage: gnome-system-monitor
UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to natty on 2011-06-21 (62 days ago)

Question information

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Solved by:
Matt Parlette
Last query:
Last reply:

The submitter was unaware that there were different naming schemes for decimal and binary numbers

I did some more research for you on this and found these few articles: - Here is Ubuntu's Policy on units - This wikipedia article describes how there are different abbreviations for decimal and binary numbers. For instance, a kilometer (K) is 1000 meters, but a kibibyte (KiB) is 1024 bytes. I didn't understand this before I read your bug, but after looking at these links it cleared it up.

Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Aron Insinga (aki-c) said : #3

Thank you for the response and references. I'm amused that these prefixes have been around since 1996, and standardized in 1999, and as far as I can recall, I have never heard of them. I have to wonder if the traditional call for public comments on these standards was an exceedingly quiet call, given the referenced wikipedia page's comment that "... as of 2011 adoption has been slow and usage has been limited in the marketplace and in the press." So, I suspect that I'm not the only one, and I suggest that we are in fact still in the "interim period" referred to by the IEEE's allowance for "binary definitions to be used in an interim period as long as such usage was explicitly pointed out on a case-by-case basis". That is not a suggestion that Ubuntu should necessarily follow the IEEE's style, but rather a suggestion that the IEEE might have a point which is worth considering, making the UI a tool for education, at least until the "marketplace and the press" adapt.

Aron Insinga (aki-c) said : #4

Thanks Matt Parlette, that solved my question.