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Use of parenthesisEdit

Why are parentheses being used to distinguish between the decimal and binary sense of the units? This distinction is the most confusing part of the table. It deserves its own column to keep the two clearly separated. Lets join the Symbol and Name columns with parentheses instead. Those values are much less likely to be confused. Also, this helps to demonstrate that "Kibit" is a non-pronounceable symbol for kibibit just as "kb" is a non-pronounceable symbol for kilobit. This is an important distinction which was not apparent in the previous table. 22:52, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

I've reverted this, as it made the table look even messier than it did before. --StuartBrady (Talk) 22:14, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

1kb can = 1024 bitsEdit

Since a byte equals 8 bits, and 1 KB can equal 1024 bytes, 1 Kb therefore can equal 1024 bits. Microsoft, for example, in their operating systems counts 1024 bits as a kb, as does most networking software for windows, such as Net.Medic, and cfosspeed, both of which I use. --Rebroad 21:31, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

According to Microsoft (pretty much an expert witness in this area), they define a kilobit as 1024 bits. See here. Therefore, I'm reverting the article, until the previous reverter quotes a definitive and reputable source that claims a kilobit is NOT 1024 bits. Thanks. --Rebroad 21:36, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

  1. That's an ad, not a reliable source.
  2. It's not even internally consistent. It says kbps = 1,024 bit/s, but then says that a 56K modem is 56,000 bit/s.

PC magazine (another knowledgeable IT source) see here also says it is 1024 bits. --Rebroad 21:38, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Their entry is actually from [1]
  • It also says "In order to avoid confusion between the decimal and binary numbers, the IEC standardized the terms kibi, mebi, gibi, tebi, pebi and exbi to represent binary numbers (compared to kilo, mega, giga, tera, peta and exa)."
  • Their definition of megabit? "One million bits"
  • This usage is not widely known or adhered to and most modem ratings use Kbps. For example, 56 Kbps means 56,000 bps and not 56 times 1,024 bps.

About.com also says it can equal 1024 bits (in addition to saying it often means 1000 bits). See here. --Rebroad 21:39, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Uh... it says: "Many people less familiar with computer networking believe one kilobit equals 1024 bits." How is that support for your position?
    • Even if 1 kilobit does equal 1000 bits, the fact that so many people use it when they mean 1024 is a fact, and should therefore be included in the article, especially when the majority of people say 1 kilobit when they are referring to 1024 bits. --Rebroad 17:13, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
      • Such as who? All I see are some dubious web references, probably just extending the definition from "kilobyte". I'm sure a few people use 1 kilobit = 1,024 bits, which is why it's included in the kilobit article, but it is definitely not the standard, and not the majority, and doesn't belong in this template. The burden of proof is on you to produce a majority of people. I don't think you can. If you can produce any evidence of a significant number of scientists, engineers, product manufacturers, telecommunications experts, or other relevant people using kilobit = 1,024 on a daily basis (not just defining it in a web glossary), I will change my mind. — Omegatron 18:17, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
        • You state the burden of proof should be on me, without explain why. I have worked in IT for over 10 years, and with computers since 1979. All of that time, 1 kilobyte has equalled 1 byte. As 1 byte equals 8 bits, kilobits and kilobits per second can be derived in the same way. --Rebroad 14:20, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
    • The article actually says "This is generally untrue in networking but may be true in other contexts.". Did you not read this bit? I am not disputing that 1 kilobit sometimes equals 1000 bits, but it also sometimes equals 1024 bits "in other contexts", so why do you chose to remove this bit of information? --Rebroad 17:17, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
      • Many people less familiar with computer networking believe one kilobit equals 1024 bits. This is generally untrue in networking but may be true in other contexts. Specifications for today's adapters, routers and other networking equipment always use 1000-bit kilobits as the basis of their quoted data rates. The confusion arises as computer memory and disk drive manufacturers often use 1024-byte kilobytes as the basis of their quoted capacities.
      • This is how I read it, paraphrased: "Many people unfamiliar with computer networking incorrectly believe that kilobit = 1024 bits. This is definitely untrue in networking, though it might be true in other fields that I don't know about. Specifications for networking stuff always uses the 1,000 definition, and the confusion is probably caused by people mixing up kilobits and kilobytes." Do you read it differently? Kilobit usually means 1,000. This isn't the same as kilobyte, which we all agree means 1,024 most of the time and has a popular usage in software. There is no popular usage of kilobit that means 1,024. Is there? Can you prove it? — Omegatron 18:17, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Also Total Telecom (an IT communications expert) says here that a kilobit is 1024 bits. --Rebroad 21:47, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Dubious source. It also says a megabit is 1,048 kilobits (not 1,024), a gigabit is 1,000,000,000 bits, and a terabit is "one trillion bits".

Just because lots of people use something incorrectly doesn't make it correct. Here are some equally dubious web glossaries:
  • In data communications, a kilobit is a thousand (103) bits. It's commonly used for measuring the amount of data that is transferred in a second between two telecommunication points. Kilobits per second is usually shortened to Kbps.*
    Some sources define a kilobit to mean 1,024 (that is, 210) bits. Although the bit is a unit of the binary number system, bits in data communications are discrete signal pulses and have historically been counted using the decimal number system. For example, 28.8 kilobits per second (Kbps) is 28,800 bits per second. Because of computer architecture and memory address boundaries, bytes are always some multiple or exponent of two. See kilobyte, etc.whatis.com
  • Old standard: kilobyte = 1024 bytes, kilobit = 1000 bits, New standard: kilobyte = 1000 bytes, kilobit = 1000 bits[2]
Can you quote a reliable and definitive source that defines a kilobit as 1,024 bits? Can you name a product that uses that definition? There may be a handful, but I can't find any, and a handful of people using something doesn't make it correct or "common usage".
Kilobytes are ambiguous, but kilobits are not. — Omegatron 01:50, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Omegatron, thank you for quoting a relevant example, the 28.8kps example. To be honest, I had not realised this. Obviously the people who decided to call 288000 bps as 28.8kbps weren't thinking straight when they did this, as a kilobit has equalled 1024 bits long before modems became this fast! What a mess we're in now. I totally agree that I would prefer everything to be unambiguous, but I can't quite see what anyone in the industry is doing about it. Some sort of deadline needs to be created where once past that point corporations will be in breach of trade descriptions etc. Why doesn't SI create an unambigious term for decimal prefix with regards to bits and bytes? IMHO one is needed, and kilo, mega, etc need to be phased out in the interim period.... IMHO, since kilobyte and kilobit existed in binary prefix long before decimal prefix, then the binary prefix definition is the more worthy. Kilo and Mega mean 1000 and 1000000 for most things, watts, volts, grammes, etc, but when it comes to bits and bytes it should be base 2 - I mean, who's to say base 10 should be dominant, just because humans have 10 fingers? --Rebroad 17:35, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry for being a bit impatient. I was confusing you with someone else I am currently having a similar conversation with who insists that the standards institutes are just "a small group of pedants". I've included the official definitions below, which I probably should have included in the first place. No one is producing an unambiguous prefix for decimal quantities, since the SI prefixes are supposed to be unambiguous. As far as the SI is concerned, they are being misused. Should we have two prefixes to mean the same thing?
IMHO, since kilobyte and kilobit existed in binary prefix long before decimal prefix
But they didn't. The original usage was consistent with the SI prefixes, it was just an approximation. 1024 bytes is 1.024 kB, and it's perfectly fine to refer to it as "1 kilobit", when everyone knows that you're abbreviating. It's the fact that it was treated as an official definition and extended to higher powers that causes all the confusion. — Omegatron 18:24, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

If nothing else, I think putting both interpretations of the SI prefix names in this template fails to meet NPOV: The conventional usage of these terms varies from one field of data processing to another. In order to keep this template more generally applicable, it should simply and objectively state the official, standard definitions, which in some situations are the only ones that are in use. Then, on a case-by-case basis, entries that include this template can decide if an additional note (or template) is appropriate to describe the conventional usage in the specific field being discussed. Mditto 23:33, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

I believe that's what we agreed on a while ago. Hence the explicit "SI prefixes"/"IEC prefixes". Remember that this is just a navigational template, not a portal. Anyone viewing the template is also inherently viewing one of the unit pages, so they are still seeing the special cases for the unit they are interested in. — Omegatron 00:57, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Some non-dubious definitionsEdit

  • NIST
    • "Because the SI prefixes strictly represent powers of 10, they should not be used to represent powers of 2. Thus, one kilobit, or 1 kbit, is 1000 bit and not 210 bit = 1024 bit." nist.gov
    • "These SI prefixes refer strictly to powers of 10. They should not be used to indicate powers of 2 (for example, one kilobit represents 1000 bits and not 1024 bits)." [3]
  • IEEE
    • Information for authors - "Information for IEEE Transactions, Journals, and Letters Authors"
      • "kilo-: SI prefix for 103. The prefix kilo shall not be used to mean 210 (that is, 1024)."
    • IEEE Standard Letter Symbols for Units of Measurement, IEEE Std 260.1-2004 (p13)
  • ANSI
  • SAE
    • "Thus 1 kbit = 103 bit = 1000 bit and not 210 = 1024 bit, where 1 kbit is one kilobit." [4]
  • RFC
  • IEC
    • IEC 60027-2, Letter symbols to be used in electrical technology - Part 2: Telecommunications and electronics, p121
      • one kibibit = 1 Kibit = 210 bit = 1 024 bit
      • one kilobit = 1 kbit = 103 bit = 1 000 bit —Preceding unsigned comment added by Thunderbird2 (talkcontribs) 13:19, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
    To that, I bring you the real world
    Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 14:49, 18 November 2022 (UTC)
    Your point being? Dondervogel 2 (talk) 15:14, 18 November 2022 (UTC)

unit symbol for bitEdit

I find the template confusing. On the left it uses the symbol b for bit (as in Mb for megabit) and on the right it uses bit for the same purpose (Mibit for mebibit). Why not pick one of them and stick with it? See also WP:MOSNUM talk page Thunderbird2 13:27, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

I have edited the template to standardise on bit as the symbol for the bit, in line with the consensus reached at MOSNUM. Thunderbird2 15:15, 4 November 2007 (UTC)


  • This contradicts Bit#Abbreviation and symbol: "IEEE 1541 a commonly-quoted relevant standard, specifies "b" to be the unit symbol for bit and "B" to be that for byte. This convention is also widely used in computing."

TechControl (talk) 15:40, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

SI is one of the most respected "opinions" out there, binary usage should be clearly marked as deprecatedEdit

Everybody agree that the computer industry has often used the SI prefixes to mean powers of 2. That is fundamentally wrong as they are defined without any ambiguity by the SI. Be it a widely commited error or not, it still is an error (from the viewpoint of the SI). They both are conventions. I argue that the most widely accepted, most consistent and clearest convention should win. SI wins on all counts. I think we should put something along the lines of "(deprecated, confusing)" besides the column title "Binary usage", however my "so dear friend" Shreevatsa reverted my changes both times. Is Wikipedia (its mecanisms) losing here? Compvis (talk) 19:22, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

The purpose of the table (and articles on Wikipedia) is informational, not to decide what "should win". Shreevatsa (talk) 19:53, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
It's not informational to suggest that these powers of ten are equal to these powers of 2. It's confusing. It's not informational to not precise what is the most widely consistent with commerce, and business, most logical and clearest usage of the two. It's confusing. Compvis (talk) 20:12, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
The real world use of the terms is inconsistent and confusing. It sucks, but we have to deal with it. --Cybercobra (talk) 20:51, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
You're right! This is how I'm dealing with it! I think it is irresponsible intellectually to suggest that both usage have equal value. I'm not against mentionning that this has sometimes been the usage, since it's true. I'm just saying that there is absolutely NO ambiguity with the prefix kilo everywhere you look, except in the computer industry. The computer industry has virtually no rights to modify these definitions. If they want other meanings, they should create new words. The most interesting characteristics of a unit is universality, precision, and unambiguousness. Do you really think it is desirable to have two definitions of kilobyte, etc., and to always have to specify which you mean? Also I'm not against creating a new definition for a word if there is a good justification for the new meaning, or no good reason to restrain the word to the old definition. In this case, there are no good reason to have a new definition ("I don't want to use my calculator", "we've always done it that (wrong) way", and "I prefer round numbers" are not acceptable), and there are very good reasons to keep the old one. Compvis (talk) 21:13, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Fully agree, but this remark should be made on Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates_and_numbers)#Quantities of bytes and bits. There have been intense discussions there, which resulted in the current regrettable guideline. By the way, I prefer the version of this template as here. −Woodstone (talk) 03:27, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia writing style does not affect the acknowledgment of facts. A kilobyte has 2 meanings in the real world regardless of how editors decide to use it in the text of articles. --Cybercobra (talk) 03:59, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Agree again. That the real world has created ambiguity is a fact. But that does not mean that we should not attempt to avoid ambiguity in WP. One of the purposes of WP is to explain and clarify the facts of the world. −Woodstone (talk) 04:50, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
(Although I probably agree with both of you) Since this is turning into a discussion about the style to use on Wikipedia, and not about what this template should look like, let's not have this discussion here on this talk page. Shreevatsa (talk) 04:57, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
NPOV doesn't suggest that we should never point out incoherence. I agree with you, however some ideas are better or more coherent than others. To not point out significant incoherences is to be intellectually dishonest. One of the reason why an idea would be less valid is if it is incoherent with itself or with previous widely adopted and reasonable conventions, such as the SI. And by the way, megabyte has 3 meanings (1000^2, 1024^2 and 1000*1024), and before I changed it the entry for Petabyte mentionned 1024 * 1000^4 bytes... I'm sure you see where this is going... Compvis (talk) 05:49, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
At any rate, these issues of criticism are too complex to be covered in the template, they belong in one of the related articles or as part of a WP:UNITS debate. --Cybercobra (talk) 06:47, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
What part of the following is unclear or too complex for you? NIST SI prefixes: "Because the SI prefixes strictly represent powers of 10, they should not be used to represent powers of 2. Thus, one kilobit, or 1 kbit, is 1000 bit and not 210 bit = 1024 bit." Compvis (talk) 00:34, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

It's too complex for here. Please continue discussion on Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)#binary SI prefixes vs decimal SI prefixes only. −Woodstone (talk) 06:47, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Discussion on decimal and binary values in tableEdit

Please see the Template talk:Quantities of bytes page for a discussion on how we should display the decimal and binary values in these tables. This discussion is initiated because of the edit that substantially changed the approach. —Quantling (talk | contribs) 15:35, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Abbreviations were wrong; I corrected themEdit

I corrected the abbreviations for the ISO/IEC 80000[1] and JEDEC memory standards such as 100B.01 and JESD21-C.

Although its predecessor, IEC 60027-2[2], assigned the abbreviation Kibit to the kibibit, with the rest being succeeded by -b instead of -bit, ISO/IEC 80000 replaced that abbreviation with just the -bit ending.

And the JEDEC memory standards don't have words behind the abbreviations; the abbreviations are effectively standalone: "All JEDEC standards avoid the use of the terms megabit, megabyte and gigabyte and refer to memory capacity as a number followed by the units. (64Mb, 256MB, 1GB.)"[3]

I wanted to include this quote as a caption in the table, but I couldn't figure out how. Could someone else please take the liberty of doing so?

NOTE: I say, specifically, that I "corrected" the abbreviations not from an assumed position of prescriptivistic arrogance, but because what I was correcting was information purporting to reflect the standards. But they didn't, and the thing about de jury standards is that if something is different than what the documentation states, it's wrong. Thus, assuming my information was correct, then what I did really was to correct them.


1. World Heritage Encyclopedia. "Binary Prefix" › "Specific Units of IEC 60027-2 A.2 and ISO/IEC 80000", Reproduced by World Public Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0). Accessed 2015-11-19 (UTC-5).

2. United States, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Prefixes for Binary Multiples". Accessed 2015-11-19 (UTC-5).

3. World Heritage Encyclopedia. "JEDEC Memory Standards" › "Redefinition of Some Standard SI Prefixes", Reproduced by World Public Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0). Accessed 2015-11-19 (UTC-5). — Preceding unsigned comment added by SarahTehCat (talkcontribs) 00:43, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

I reverted your edit because the IEC symbol for bit is 'bit', not 'b'. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 10:37, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Sarah, the "world heritage encyclopedia" site has merely copied the WP articles from sometime in the past. That's what they do - they are in no way a RS. The NIST site you linked clearly shows that they use "B" for byte, but "bit" for bit. i.e. NIST specifies no abbreviation for "bit". Jeh (talk) 11:22, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

JEDEC columnEdit

Should it be there at all?Edit

I have removed the JEDEC column: there is no basis for such a column. In particular, JEDEC appears to say nothing at all about "Kbit", etc. in the binary prefix sense. Without a source, we should not be synthesizing information. —Quondum 21:13, 2 July 2021 (UTC)

The longstanding consensus is to keep the column. I'd be fine changing the column name if evidence can be shown that JEDEC has never referring to a kilobit as defined in the table. —Locke Coletc 00:50, 3 July 2021 (UTC)
Would you care to show what consensus you are referring to, with diffs? You are curiously short on detail. The onus is on you to find a reliable source. —Quondum 01:13, 3 July 2021 (UTC)
Actually the onus is on you to gain consensus if you want to change from the status quo. Simply revert warring to force through your preferred edits is disruption. —Locke Coletc 05:58, 3 July 2021 (UTC)
@Locke Cole: Can you supply a RS showing that the JEDEC symbol for 1024 bit is Kbit? Dondervogel 2 (talk) 12:05, 3 July 2021 (UTC)
Why would I do that? —Locke Coletc 12:31, 3 July 2021 (UTC)
Because you are the editor insisting on the column. There was never common "consensus" for the column, only the desire to stop the edit warring about its misleading and unsourced status. There were editors who objected to its inclusion. kbrose (talk) 13:24, 3 July 2021 (UTC)
As I said above, I'm open to another name besides "JEDEC". Unless now the dispute is that anyone ever has referred to a "kilobit" as 1024 bits (and if that's the case, here you go). —Locke Coletc 13:26, 3 July 2021 (UTC)
@Kbrose: I see we're back to claiming consensus for things again, apparently this lying thing is catching. —Locke Coletc 18:00, 3 July 2021 (UTC)
@Locke Cole: Please refrain from further personal attacks, and focus instead on improving the template. If not JEDEC, what do you suggest as a header for the Kbit column? Dondervogel 2 (talk) 19:14, 3 July 2021 (UTC)
@Dondervogel 2: Please refrain from lying then and I won't have to call you out on it? Deal? I would be fine with "Traditional" instead of "JEDEC". At the risk of giving you an inch and watching you take a billion kilometers, I'd be willing to admit that the usage on this is much less clear compared to kilobyte/kibibyte, etc. and would consider "Historical" but only after it has been demonstrated that kilobit/etc. are not currently being used by major manufacturers/developers to mean 1024 bits/etc. —Locke Coletc 02:46, 4 July 2021 (UTC)
@Locke Cole: The personal attack is noted. Stop your infantile bullying. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 08:58, 8 July 2021 (UTC)
@Dondervogel 2: Calling things a personal attack that you don't agree with doesn't magically make them personal attacks. Stop misusing that phrase. The solution to your "problem" is to stop engaging in the behavior that earns you that label. —Locke Coletc 16:36, 8 July 2021 (UTC)
@Locke Cole: I am through with your childish tactics and hostile editing, and this is the last time I will respond to a personal attack, or any other hostile post. I urge you to restrict your editing to constructive posts, like everyone else on this page. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 07:59, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
@Dondervogel 2: Can you direct my attention to any part of this whole debacle where you've been constructive (and I would define "constructive" here very narrowly; are you actually working to improve the encyclopedia or are you just pushing a point of view that deviates from 99% of the world)? —Locke Coletc 19:56, 10 July 2021 (UTC)

'JEDEC' or 'Memory'?Edit

My vote is on Memory. If not for the extra space, it should be Semiconductor memory or Solid-state memory. Traditional is somewhat misleading, and JEDEC is factually wrong since JEDEC are simply using those units and prefixes, not defining them. --Zac67 (talk) 20:24, 7 July 2021 (UTC)
Ideally the column should not be included, because units of information have only one standards-based definition. The table is not about usage scenarios. But if included, traditional is misleading, because transmission rates, to name just one example, have traditionally always been used in the metric meaning. kbrose (talk) 01:33, 8 July 2021 (UTC)
...factually wrong since JEDEC are simply using those units and prefixes, not defining them. It's literally in their online dictionary, unless you're suggesting dictionaries don't define things, that is precisely what JEDEC is doing. —Locke Coletc 01:36, 8 July 2021 (UTC)
@Locke Cole:JEDEC might need to define usage for their own but they are in no capacity to define those things for the world, imho. The term "JEDEC prefixes" is likely to be even more surprising and obscure to the casual reader than "IEC prefixes". --Zac67 (talk) 07:12, 8 July 2021 (UTC)
@Zac67: I'm curious, what standards for computing does IEC prescribe that any manufacturer or player in the industry follows (and to be clear, I'm thinking a standard they actually produced, and not simply documenting standard practice and slapping their name on it)? At least JEDEC standards are followed by manufacturers of computers and memory components... in the realm of "surprising", JEDEC being followed is not. I think we give far too much weight to IEC when clearly the computing industry, media and even students and scholarly works pay them no heed. We have notability guidelines for a reason, we shouldn't be giving life to things like this that almost nobody uses. —Locke Coletc 07:54, 8 July 2021 (UTC)
@Locke Cole:JEDEC is a "semiconductor engineering trade organization and standardization body", defining technical interoperability standards (protocols, packaging, ...). IEC is "an international standards organization that prepares and publishes international standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies". Accordingly, IEC should have significantly more authority on units and prefixes – normally, those units are defined by BIPM which unfortunately has no definition for binary units/prefixes. To me, IEC is second best then. As you insist that IEC prefixes should be avoided (largely ignoring WP:COMPUNITS), we don't use IEC prefixes - but a construct like "JEDEC prefixes" is quite a bit more obscure and even WP:OR. So, my proposal is to use Memory as column label instead of JEDEC for the ambiguous binary G, M, K prefixes as long as we have to use them. --Zac67 (talk) 09:32, 8 July 2021 (UTC)
@Zac67: Accordingly, IEC should have significantly more authority on units and prefixes... and yet, they do not have much "authority" on these units in the real world. We're well over 20 years since these units were initially "created", and so far we have less than 2% of scholarly works using them, and less than 1% of sources overall using them (and close to 0% of newspapers/magazines using them). And yet they feature prominently in this table, as if they have equal exposure/usage as the units that have been around since the beginning. Memory suggests it wasn't used in other areas of computing when it was (heck, even JEDEC does that), but apparently Traditional is "misleading". I have serious misgivings about the IEC column remaining given the sheer lack of widespread adoption and use in our sources. —Locke Coletc 16:16, 8 July 2021 (UTC)
'Traditional' is misleading, for the reasons stated by kbrose. 'Memory' is confusing because Kibit is also used for memory. And 'JEDEC' is simply incorrect because (as far as I know) JEDEC does not define the symbol Kbit for anything. Perhaps a case could be made for 'JEDEC', but only if the symbol is changed to Kb. I see two possible solutions:
  • Remove the column
  • Revert to 'JEDEC' and use the symbol Kb in that column
Dondervogel 2 (talk) 09:13, 8 July 2021 (UTC)
@Dondervogel 2: JEDEC defines "K" here. The "kilo (K)" prefix is further defined here. The implication is that Kb (Kbit, Kilobit) and KB (Kbyte, Kilobyte) are natural constructions with those prefixes. (Lowercase b" is defined as "bit" here, and uppercase "B" is defined as "byte" here). Removing the column absent any discussion of whether or not it has any widespread historical usage is unacceptable. I am open to discussing alternative titles for the column. The IEC units are the outlier here IMO. —Locke Coletc 16:16, 8 July 2021 (UTC)
I have never disputed that JEDEC defines 'K' in the binary sense. It also defines 'b' (not 'bit') as the symbol for bit, which is why the association of 'Kbit' with JEDEC does not make sense. There are problems with 'Memory' and 'Traditional' as well, so where does that leave us? One possible solution is to replace Kbit with Kb (as I previously suggested). Another is to remove the Kbit column entirely. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 09:59, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
It also defines 'b' (not 'bit') as the symbol for bit... why on Earth would they need to define "bit" as a symbol for itself...? Another is to remove the Kbit column entirely.. well that doesn't fly, see the Intel source below which has used both. —Locke Coletc 19:56, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
  • The IEC symbol for bit is ‘bit’. The IEC/ISO symbols for kilo- and kibi- are ‘k’ and ‘Ki’, respectively. The corresponding symbols for kilobit (1000 bit) and kibit (1024 bit) are therefore kbit and Kibit. That’s how it works.
  • What the post below shows is that Intel either changed its symbol for 1024 bits from ‘Kbit’ to ‘Kb’ or it can’t make up its mind. The fact that it is unclear makes Intel an unreliable source. I conclude you do not have a reliable source to justify continued use of ‘Kbit’, so the only way that column can stay is to switch to ‘Kb’, as preferred by JEDEC.
Dondervogel 2 (talk) 20:38, 11 July 2021 (UTC)
@Dondervogel 2: site:jedec.org "kbit" Golly, I wonder if any one of those might meet your needs. Also, The "kilo" definition at JEDEC clearly states it is a prefix to units of semiconductor storage capacity. A "prefix" is something one affixes before something else. JEDEC is stating it is a "prefix" for "units of semiconductor storage capacities". A "bit" is one such unit. Ergo: "Kbit". That’s how it works. —Locke Coletc 21:13, 11 July 2021 (UTC)
JEDEC for example is one such industry player who follows IEC norms, because they explicitly defer to IEC in their documents by stating that the binary usage of metric prefix is deprecated and the new prefixes are available. Either you are completely ignorant about the use of IEC prefixes, or, more likely, your personal sentiments drive you to want to mislead and gaslight others into your hate of these units, which are used in thousands of cutting-edge applications and computer administration tools these days. The denial is remarkable and embarrassing, like science deniers and such. Just what is the cause of your hatred, please leave it out of Wikipedia. kbrose (talk) 13:14, 8 July 2021 (UTC)
@Kbrose: JEDEC ... defer to IEC in their documents by stating that the binary usage of metric prefix is deprecated... this is demonstrably false. They clearly and unambiguously define kilo/mega/giga/etc. and then note that a standards body has come up with an "alternative system". They quote that document which itself states that the classic units are "deprecated", however, JEDEC does not state this and says the defined units within the JEDEC dictionary reflect "common usage". As to your attacks on me personally, it's adorable, it truly is, that you cling to this notion that your "holy unit" is somehow relevant when you make baseless claims like [the units] are used in thousands of cutting-edge applications and computer administration tools these days. Stop embarrassing yourself with such nonsense. Apple, Microsoft and other major players in the computing industry continue to use the traditional prefixes with no sign they intend to stop. Needlessly confusing our readers to push your nonsense is the very definition of crank philosophy. —Locke Coletc 16:16, 8 July 2021 (UTC)
Some reactions
  • The use of K, M, G with their binary meanings is deprecated by all major internationsl standards bodies, and JEDEC acknowledge that deprecation. BIPM deprecates use of K, M, G with their binary meanings[1], as do other standards bodies (eg ISO[2], IEEE[3], NIST[4]). If the Kbit column stays at all (an open question) it should be labelled 'deprecated'. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 09:52, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
As noted by Raymond Chen, one of the longest working employees at Microsoft as part of the team that works on the shell/Windows Explorer, the real world has largely ignored these self-important standards bodies. If they stand on the roof of the Burj Khalifa and scream about kibibit, mebibit, gibibit, tebibit, et al. they would likely have better luck convincing people of the world to use those terms than they've experienced thus far. If the Kbit column stays at all (an open question) it should be labelled 'deprecated'... surely you've mixed up the IEC column by accident, and that's OK. It's the outlier here with little to no practical real world use. —Locke Coletc 19:56, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
Dondervogel 2 (talk) 09:52, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
The IEC prefixes are by far the most widely used method of disambiguation in scientific publications.. I'm lucky we're at {{Quantities of bits}} and not {{Quantities of bits used for disambiguation}}. Clearly as a unit of measure with scant use by anyone but the standards bodies pushing them, they have no place in an encyclopedia that documents the world as it is. —Locke Coletc 19:56, 10 July 2021 (UTC)


  1. ^ SI brochure (2019), p31
  2. ^ ISO 80000-1:2009, p7
  3. ^ IEEE SI-10 (2016), clause 3.2.5
  4. ^ SP811 - 2008 edition, p34


So as recently as 2008, Intel (they're this small manufacturer of microchips, they're used in a few devices by companies interested in that sort of thing), had a definition in this PDF for kilobit, megabit and gigabit in a nicely laid out table (page iv in PDF, reproduced below):

Other Common Notation

# Used after a signal name to identify an active-low signal (such as USBP0#)
GB Gigabyte (1,073,741,824 bytes)
GB/sec Gigabytes per second
Gbit Gigabit (1,073,741,824 bits)
KB Kilobyte (1024 bytes)
Kbit Kilobit (1024 bits)
kbits/sec 1000 bits per second
MB Megabyte (1,048,576 bytes)
MB/sec Megabytes per second
Mbit Megabit (1,048,576 bits)
Mbit/sec Megabits per second
xxh An address or data value ending with a lowercase h indicates a hexadecimal value.
x.x V Volts. Voltages are DC unless otherwise specified.
* This symbol is used to indicate third-party brands and names that are the property of their respective owners.

But I know not everyone thinks Intel is a relevant player in the computing industry anymore, so maybe them using these terms like this doesn't hold much weight. After all, IEC, and I mean everyone has heard of IEC before (can I get a high-five?), they've standardized an alternative system of units for computing technology. Obviously we'd be fools to listen to Intel, or Apple, or Microsoft or any of those manufacturers. —Locke Coletc 00:07, 9 July 2021 (UTC)

Just in case there's any concern over the 2008 date of that file, here's a recent specification from April 2021 (also page iv). This file doubles down on Mb (for megabit) and Kb (for kilobit). —Locke Coletc 05:26, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
In other words, Intel have not double down on anything. Instead they switched horses from Kbit to Kb. Yet another reason to drop 'Kbit' from the template. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 10:03, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
In other words, you're moving the goalposts. First the column needed to be "deprecated" or removed completely, now you're nitpicking on Kb vs Kbit? Let me know when you settle on what it is you're arguing for so I can meet your "requirements" instead of trying to switch it around after I've invested time in the discussion. —Locke Coletc 17:05, 10 July 2021 (UTC)

Use by specific companiesEdit

bytes bits
Site kilobyte kibibyte terabyte tebibyte kilobit kibibit terabit tebibit
intel.com 1,500 3[1] 2,240 4 668 0 301 0
microsoft.com 4,370 135 8,210 91 784 2 553 0
amd.com 75 0 252 0 3 0 6 0
apple.com 2,620[2] 359[2] 6,180[2] 281[2] 1,130[2] 8[2] 765[2] 6[2]
netgear.com 58 1[1] 349 9[1] 4[1] 0 4[1] 0
crucial.com 25 0 63 0 1 0 1 0
  1. ^ a b c d e Some or all of these are end-user community/forum posts, not company documents.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h A not insignificant number of these appear to be Apple App Store, Apple Music, or forum posts.

Also worth mentioning a Google search of site:intel.com kibibyte currently turns up three hits (one of them on community.intel.com, an end user forum), while site:intel.com kilobyte turns up 1,500 hits. I've also added microsoft.com as a point of comparison, and included results for bits and bytes units. I'll try to expand this as I get time.

Looking at these results turned up this interesting article by Raymond Chen, a developer with Microsoft who has worked on Microsoft Windows since some of its earliest days on the shell/Windows Explorer. In the article he explains why Microsoft has not embraced the IEC prefixes. —Locke Coletc 17:05, 10 July 2021 (UTC)

Any comparison of this type is meaningless, first of all because in documentation the names of units are not usually written out in full and secondly because KB, MB etc are often used in their decimal sense and these are included in the count.−Woodstone (talk) 13:12, 11 July 2021 (UTC)
I disagree. It demonstrates that the IEC units are used very rarely, or not at all. To your first point, clearly the names are written out in full in some instances to register thousands of times. For the second point, that's irrelevant: if the IEC units were being used with any significant amount we'd see more than a handful (or certainly greater than zero) of uses. Remember, the onus for inclusion of IEC is on those proposing to have it on such prominent display. I'm just trying to help demonstrate how comically bad the situation is for anyone not involved in these discussions. —Locke Coletc 16:41, 11 July 2021 (UTC)

Memory or TraditionalEdit

The previous discussion seemed to have a (slight) bias less averse to Memory, so I went ahead and changed the binary K/M/B/T column that way. That edit had been in place for a month until today, consistency with the sister templates broken again. Possibly we can reach a consensus here before another edit war is started.

I'd like to ask you which variant is more agreeable to you? Please give a clear Memory, Traditional, Either, or Neither, feel free to elaborate, but please keep your vote concise. --Zac67 (talk) 08:16, 19 September 2021 (UTC)

Memory - bit as a unit is in common use as a size only for semiconductor or solid-state memory. File sizes aren't commonly referred to in kilo/mega/gigabit. Using traditional here at least borders on WP:OR. --Zac67 (talk) 08:16, 19 September 2021 (UTC)
Memory is better. We need a short way of summarising "Traditionally used for applications in computer memory". 'Traditional' is too vague. Consistency with other templates also matters. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 09:00, 19 September 2021 (UTC)
JEDEC is my preferred version, because that's what the supporting source/definition comes from, Traditional second. Memory is inaccurate and the least appropriate. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 11:31, 19 September 2021 (UTC)
Traditional – It's widely used for file sizes, so Memory is too restrictive; traditional fits better since usage grew that way.−Woodstone (talk) 13:52, 19 September 2021 (UTC)


Couple of responses

  • @Headbomb: I can live with JEDEC if
    • the Memory/Traditional/JEDEC section of the table is edited to omit the 'tera' row and the 'Kbit' column (because JEDEC defines neither), leaving the entries for 'Kb', 'Mb' and 'Gb' only.
    • the sister templates are updated for consistency
  • @Woodstone: 'Traditional' doesn't work because 'kilobit' and 'megabit' are traditionally used to mean one thousand and one million bits, respectively. They had this decimal meaning before the binary one became popular and they still have this meaning today. And in my experience file sizes are mostly reported in bytes, not bits.

Dondervogel 2 (talk) 14:14, 19 September 2021 (UTC)

Traditional is in the context of computing. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 16:07, 19 September 2021 (UTC)
Part of this discussion is the consistency between the various templates. Bit and byte should use the same headers. File sizes are often in binary multiples, so "memory" is a bit of a misnomer for them. I'm not convinced that there was a clear transition from decimal to binary use. It was more the sloppy use for convenience that became a tradition.−Woodstone (talk) 11:45, 20 September 2021 (UTC)

New proposal: LegacyEdit

The discussion below was rapidly conducted over ten days, then quickly closed as "consensus" after only six days without notifying other editors who were heavily invested in the discussions above that spanned many months. The change went unnoticed for some time before being challenged as disruptive. At various points, despite the initial conversations being threaded correctly, editors supportive of the change have disruptively moved talk page comments around to suit their inclinations. Please understand that this specific section does not represent "consensus" as claimed by the final comment, and that with the other !votes below, is clearly "no consensus" for this change. —Locke Coletc 18:18, 27 September 2022 (UTC)

I'm not at all comfortable with 'Traditional', for the reasons given, and even less so when the other two templates use 'Memory'; the three templates should be consistent. I also agree the terms are not limited to memory, so how about 'Legacy' as the heading for the old "JEDEC" column, for all 3 templates? Dondervogel 2 (talk) 09:46, 10 November 2021 (UTC)

Support for Legacy (even though it's not likely to go through) – Dondervogel 2, please make sure you add a note to the other templates' talk pages, too. --Zac67 (talk) 13:14, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
Good point. Done. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 19:36, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
Support - sounds like a good name for the column; better than "memory", which is too limiting; more neutral than "traditional" good choice for consistency in templates. −Woodstone (talk) 13:49, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
No because Legacy implies it's deprecated, while it's not. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 14:17, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
Uhhh, binary use of SI prefixes is very clearly deprecated by the international standards bodies BIPM (SI Brochure, 9th edition, p143[1]) and ISO (ISO 80000-1:2009, p7[2]). Dondervogel 2 (talk) 18:29, 11 November 2021 (UTC)


  1. ^ "The SI prefixes refer strictly to powers of 10. They should not be used to indicate powers of 2 (for example, one kilobit represents 1000 bits and not 1024 bits)."
  2. ^ "SI prefixes refer strictly to powers of 10, and should not be used for powers of 2. For example, 1 kbit should not be used to represent 1024 bits (210 bits), which is a kibibit"
Deprecated also by IEC (obviously), IEEE, NIST, ISO, SAE, and many more – see Binary prefix#IEC prefixes. --Zac67 (talk) 20:59, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
Talking real world here. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 18:33, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
Support - The status of these is in fact deprecated, which does not imply non-use. kbrose (talk) 17:28, 14 November 2021 (UTC)

Having seen no further comments for over a week, I implemented the change. For consistency, I will now update the 2 sister templates. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 17:33, 20 November 2021 (UTC)

Resumption of discussion in September 2022Edit

Oppose, I agree with Headbomb "Traditional" was accurate as it is still used, and has been since the dawn of computing. "Legacy" implies it is falling or has fallen out of disuse, which it has most demonstrably not done. I'll note again that Dondervogel is again being disruptive, re-animating discussions nearly two months after the last reasonable "participation" in an attempt to try and wear down and catch his opponents off-guard. I'll be reverting this change for the disruption it is. —Locke Coletc 04:08, 21 September 2022 (UTC)
Locke Cole Your latest edits contradict this discussion. Please return the templates to their previous state – as discussed here – and start a discussion for your version. Since this is a controversial issue we need consent before substantial changes. --Zac67 (talk) 06:43, 21 September 2022 (UTC)
Absolutely not. It is unacceptable to reward disruption like this, and I will not do so. Further, I challenge anyone supporting this change to provide a source that refers to those units as "legacy". Otherwise, you're all engaging in WP:OR. —Locke Coletc 16:36, 21 September 2022 (UTC)
I'll note again that Locke Cole is again being disruptive, re-animating discussions 10 months after the last reasonable "participation" in an attempt to try and wear down and catch his opponents off-guard. I'll be reverting this change for the disruption it is. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 19:39, 22 September 2022 (UTC)
That's a nice copy and paste. You're still disruptive. You can clearly see I was fully engaged above, but you didn't ping any of the prior participants above because you knew you'd lose. That's not consensus, it's just plain disruption. And I won't let you be rewarded for it. —Locke Coletc 20:19, 22 September 2022 (UTC)
If you don't like the consensus, the onus is on you to establish a new one. You made a bold edit and were reverted. Now it's time to discuss here. Pinging all editors involved in this thread: @Quondum:@Locke Cole:@Kbrose:@Zac67:@Woodstone:@Headbomb: Dondervogel 2 (talk) 21:55, 22 September 2022 (UTC)
In the face of a lack of consensus, we should revert to the oldest stable version and use JEDEC, which is accurate and dodges these issues. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 01:03, 23 September 2022 (UTC)
JEDEC does not have the same international standing as ISO, IEC, or BIPM. Nevertheless, I have never objected to JEDEC as a matter of principle. It's just a matter of undue weight. If it is acceptable to others, it is acceptable to me if we remove Tbit from the table, and we update the sister templates accordingly. As a matter of process, you have not mentioned an important detail: It would help tremendously if Locke Cole were to stop edit warring. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 07:57, 23 September 2022 (UTC)
JEDEC is the authority on memory and other standards. It is not undue weight, it is accurate. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 09:49, 23 September 2022 (UTC)
@Headbomb JEDEC is the leading authority for semiconductor/solid-state memory, mostly on the chip level. It has much less to no authority for higher-level solid-state memory (esp. SSD), none at all for magnetic storage, telecommunications, networking, software, and many other areas where "bits and bytes" are used. Claiming its authority for all those areas is giving undue weight, I'm afraid. --Zac67 (talk) 12:39, 23 September 2022 (UTC)
Renaming JEDEC 'legacy' is wrong. Period. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 15:14, 23 September 2022 (UTC)
ISO/IEC/BIPM do not have any standing whatsoever on these units, international, national, or even intergalactic. I think even aliens still use gigabytes for binary. And I'm not edit warring, I'm simply reverting disruption. As I will continue to do so long as you remain disruptive. —Locke Coletc 19:05, 23 September 2022 (UTC)
I'm still awaiting those sources for "Legacy". I note with interest that you've ignored that, probably because you know you can't. On Wikipedia, when someone adds unsourced "facts" to articles or text, we remove it if it's clearly not true until sources are provided. I look forward to your sources. —Locke Coletc 19:05, 23 September 2022 (UTC)
No, traditional does not imply that it is still in use, only that it was once used. Legacy means that something old is still used, without telling exactly why. Deprecated implies that a new standard has been formed, but the old is still in use and commonly recognized. kbrose (talk) 16:13, 23 September 2022 (UTC)
I disagree, traditional to me is synonymous with "defacto", which I would accept as well. "Legacy" implies that there is some movement to deprecate and supplant it, which is demonstrably not true. IEC has unsuccessfully attempted to force these units onto society. So far very few people have actually taken to them (to the tune of <1%). That it's listed in this table at all is frankly infuriating because it's a neologism. It does not have widespread use or support and the IEC column does not belong here. "Deprecated" has similar connotations to "Legacy", and presupposes that organizations are moving away from them (when the opposite is true). —Locke Coletc 19:05, 23 September 2022 (UTC)

The proper description instead of legacy is deprecated. JEDEC was wrong from the beginning, accepted because everyone got tired of the issue. JEDEC is the last hope of the refuseniks of unambiguous units, because JEDEC docs do list the deprecated usage as acceptable. JEDEC does NOT set standards for units. Their documents simply state common practice in the industry, and this is clearly documented in their work products, as has been pointed out in the past. They make it clear that the binary use is DEPRECATED, but still in use. This is what deprecated means, something else is preferred in place of traditional use. Legacy has similar meaning but does not imply as strongly that a new standard is accepted. kbrose (talk) 15:52, 23 September 2022 (UTC)

JEDEC sets JEDEC standards, and JEDEC standards are still used. They aren't deprecated standards, and they aren't legacy standards. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 17:38, 23 September 2022 (UTC)
They may set standards, but not for units of measure. That is not their purview. They accept units defined by the appropriate bodies, and the JEDEC docs state exactly that when they state that the binary use is deprecated, but still in use by their members. JEDEC members are free to use metric measures as they do for many other products than memory. JEDEC does not standardize the use of units for these products, per their own explanation. JEDEC explicitly states "this practice frequently leads to confusion and is deprecated". kbrose (talk) 17:51, 23 September 2022 (UTC)
If IEC/ISO/etc are so reliable for units of measure, can you point me to all the major organizations utilizing mebibit/mebibyte, gibibit/gibibyte, etc? —Locke Coletc 19:06, 23 September 2022 (UTC)
@Kbrose: Also, please stop being dishonest with your selective quoting of JEDEC. Here is the FULL QUOTE: 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." source Note that they first state that their definitions reflect common usage, and they go on to quote IEEE/ASTM SI 10-1997 which says that, NOT JEDEC. Are you and Dondervogel's positions so weak that you must LIE to try and force your way through? —Locke Coletc 19:41, 23 September 2022 (UTC)
Exactly: reflect common usage, and not a binding specification or definition. Exactly my point. Nobody disputes that the deprecated use is still common. JEDEC recognizes that as does everyone else. But they stated that this is DEPRECATED, because new definitions exist, and the old ones are confusing. People don't change over night. Unit changes historically have taken decades or generations to evolve. But the new and young programmers overwhelming adopt these new units in countless new software applications and new operating systems. Your continued personal attacks are only useful for you to distract from the actual subject matter, for which you have no real arguments, other than your personal antagonism against the truth, and accepted standards. kbrose (talk) 19:50, 23 September 2022 (UTC)
But they stated that this is DEPRECATED Where do they state this? —Locke Coletc 19:58, 23 September 2022 (UTC)
Your continued personal attacks It's not a personal attack if it's true. for which you have no real arguments I have plenty of real arguments, I note with interest that you lot have yet to reply to those because you're actually projecting here: YOU don't have any real arguments. accepted standards You never mentioned your interest in stand-up comedy. I wish you well on that endeavor. People don't change over night. Unit changes historically have taken decades or generations to evolve. It's been 23 years since they adopted this as a "standard". Wikipedia even briefly adopted it in WP:MOSNUM before walking it back because, shockingly, nobody was following along and it only confused readers. —Locke Coletc 20:05, 23 September 2022 (UTC)
"They may set standards, but not for units of measure." They do, in the industry they are relevant, i.e. semi conductor memory. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 20:42, 23 September 2022 (UTC)
Oppose - When I see "traditional" I think of things that were done a long time ago and are still in common use (eg, like the traditional roast on Christmas day). When I see "legacy" I think of things that were once used but are no longer used (eg Windows 10 has legacy support of Win95 programs, even though new Win95 programs are rare).  Stepho  talk  01:12, 24 September 2022 (UTC)
Traditional is wrong for the same old reason that the usage is in fact not traditional in the general sense, which this table represents. It was only used primarily for storage, not for many other contexts. The only correct designation is DEPRECATED, as correctly stated by JEDEC, because it implies that a new standard exists, but old usage has not seized. Merriam-Webster supports this as well: to withdraw official support for or discourage the use of (something, such as a software product) in favor of a newer or better alternative. Legacy is wrong for similar reasons, as it implies perhaps that no one is using the old anymore. kbrose (talk) 18:02, 24 September 2022 (UTC)
You seem to have a different sense of traditional than me. I think of traditional as something that has been around for quite a while and is still in reasonably common use (as per previous example of traditional Christmas roast). The binary sense of units like 4 Mbytes is still extremely common at many levels. I fully accept that JEDEC is doing their level best to deprecate it. I also fully accept that practically everyone else is saying "yaaaaawn" and ignoring them. I work in designing embedded devices and even when selecting memory chips we talk about 4 Mbytes or 32 Mbits - we never say 4 MebiBytes or 32 Mebibits in spite of the memory chip datasheets saying it that way. Any word along the lines of "legacy" or "deprecated" that implies that the use of 4 Mbytes chips is on the way out is trying to read a future that isn't here yet (if ever).  Stepho  talk  05:08, 25 September 2022 (UTC)
I am not disputing your sense of traditional. It is not wrong. It is not comprehensive, because the usage is only traditional for memory or storage, not for many other contexts of use, many of which don't even need to be measured in binary, as is so convenient for digital memory. The term deprecated is universal. Whether people today ignore it, is not of primary importance, People ignore rules and laws all the time, but we don't consider that in documentation. There is huge momentum behind keeping the status quo for memory, because of cost of retooling and perception and whatever. Look how long it has taken for acceptance of metric units in health care for example in the US, or the adoption of the metric system even. In software the move away from traditional binary usage is well underway. Not so much in other areas, such as established operating systems, like Windows, ugh. People don't change easily or quickly and you will probably use the old terms until you die, but the next generations may not, because the data sheets and text books and scholarly papers have changed, and they learn the new terms in school. But the table is not supposed to reflect people's habits. It is a general statement of the definitions based on standards. And therefore, the correct term is deprecated. What is used traditionally is well known, and is probably discussed at nauseam, yaawn, in all of the articles that use the table. Deprecated does not read the future, it is the PAST decision made by the standards bodies. Deprecated does not imply non-usage, in fact it acknowledges a transition period in underway, but no one knows for how long and that cannot be documented. If you want the header to be traditional, then it should say traditional for memory. A similar labeling was in fact in the table at one time, but of course the refuseniks of unambiguous units fought and bullied it away with their incivility and editing wars. kbrose (talk) 05:55, 25 September 2022 (UTC)
Comment: Intel apparently didn't get the memo from the IEC about a gigabyte not being 1,024 megabytes. —Locke Coletc 03:04, 24 September 2022 (UTC)
Your continued distractions and bullying are not constructive. kbrose (talk) 18:04, 24 September 2022 (UTC)
@Kbrose: Still trying to find that source that has JEDEC saying these units are deprecated? Or you just gonna keep repeating that lie and hope nobody else notices? —Locke Coletc 21:47, 24 September 2022 (UTC)
CUT YOUR BULLSHIT AND POLEMIC. You know exactly the reference. Quote from JEDEC Standard 100B.01, page 8:
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 the megabyte representing 1 024 000 bytes to define the capacity of the 1.44-MB high-density diskette. An alternative system is found in Amendment 2 to IEC 60027-2: Letter symbols to be used in electrical technology – Part 2. kbrose (talk) 02:04, 25 September 2022 (UTC)
The JEDEC text Kbrose quoted is online for anyone to verify at https://www.jedec.org/standards-documents/dictionary?title=mega+(M). In light of that quote, using "JEDEC" as table header does not seem reasonable. --Zac67 (talk) 18:49, 25 September 2022 (UTC)
Thank you for restoring the timeline. (I was deliberately staying away from this page while ANI took its course, but your edit makes it possible to resume the debate).
Thanks also for pointing out the link. I still think one can make a case for any of deprecated, JEDEC and legacy, with potentially different caveats applying to each.
Dondervogel 2 (talk) 19:13, 25 September 2022 (UTC)
@Dondervogel 2: Thank you for restoring the timeline. And destroying the threaded conversation... I've restored it. Please stop moving my comments and replies of others against our wishes. Thanks also for pointing out the link I, too, am grateful for the link. It clearly shows what we've known for years: JEDEC has not deprecated these units. —Locke Coletc 04:19, 26 September 2022 (UTC)
@Zac67: Can you point out where JEDEC says the terms are deprecated? —Locke Coletc 04:19, 26 September 2022 (UTC)
@Locke Cole: Please have someone read the linked passage out loud to you. JEDEC clearly states that their use reflects common usage only (which no one here denies) and continues to cite the binary mega deprecation by IEEE. JEDEC use units and prefixes, and it's not their place to define or deprecate them, the cite explicitly reflects that. Accordingly, the JEDEC header is misleading for readers. You obviously haven't registered that the ultimate authority for units and prefixes is IEC.
Regarding your repetitive messing with the chronological order here: you move a (possibly intermediate) result way to the bottom where it doesn't make sense (presumably intentionally). How is anyone not participating here supposed to understand the logic? Yet again, this behavior shows your lack of communicative competence. --Zac67 (talk) 05:10, 26 September 2022 (UTC)
@Zac67: Please have someone read the linked passage out loud to you. Oh, I've read it. Repeatedly. As before, I shall try to help you all understand it again. The very document link you use is what is called a "uniform resource identifier", or what we in the industry call a "URI". These links are typically plaintext. The link you cited above (which I also cited in the diff from earlier) is this: https://www.jedec.org/standards-documents/dictionary?title=mega+(M). You'll note I've highlighted the word "dictionary" in the URI. A "dictionary", in case you didn't know, is where words are "defined". The page itself also says "Dictionary" at the top, and the page title as defined in the HTML for the page states it is a "dictionary". and it's not their place to define You sure about that? You obviously haven't registered that the ultimate authority for units and prefixes is IEC. Apparently neither has 99% of the world.
Regarding your repetitive messing with the chronological order here The order was fine for many replies until you decided to take it upon yourself to ignore the threading of my and other replies to restore the unthreaded "closure" by Dondervogel 2 to an inappropriate place. As the discussion is not over, it's not appropriate to have a comment that might mislead readers into thinking it is finished. Especially as I've linked to this section from WT:MOSNUM in an attempt to gather further input. How is anyone not participating here supposed to understand the logic? I'm honestly past the point of caring whether or not you understand anything, to be honest. It's exhausting explaining, re-explaining, and then doing it all again a year later over something as fucking simple as a DICTIONARY DEFINITION in a JEDEC standard. Yet again, this behavior shows your lack of communicative competence. Coming from someone preaching WP:AGF and bemoaning the lack of civility, I'll take that as a complement. Maybe next time get someone to read it to you out loud. —Locke Coletc 05:36, 26 September 2022 (UTC)
@Kbrose: I'm grateful you've quoted this. Can you point out where JEDEC says they (JEDEC) deprecated the terms? —Locke Coletc 04:19, 26 September 2022 (UTC)

What are the options for the disputed heading?Edit

Two editors are questioning the consensus reached in November 2021 for replacing 'JEDEC' with 'legacy'. Can we identify a new consensus in September 2022? Let's use this space to identify the options. The most promising ones I see are JEDEC (the version we started with, and remained in place between 2017 and 2020) and legacy (the heading that was stable for about 10 months before the present dispute). Are there any other options worth including in the list? Pinging Headbomb Kbrose Locke Cole Stepho-wrs WoodstoneZac67 Dondervogel 2 (talk) 11:41, 27 September 2022 (UTC)

The heading in place before the November 21 edits was Memory. I'd rather continue with that instead of the current JEDEC. Looking at the continuing discussion seeming to lead nowhere, I'd seriously suggest returning to that revision for the time being. As stated above, JEDEC is factually wrong as they quote the deprecation of those ambiguous prefixes and have no authority for defining those things to start with. --Zac67 (talk) 11:49, 27 September 2022 (UTC)
If we want to go for a complete review of options, included should be at least (in alphabetical order):
  • Common Usage
  • Customary
  • Deprecated
  • Legacy
  • Memory
  • Traditional
Let's delay opinions and arguments till after the list is agreed.−Woodstone (talk) 16:10, 27 September 2022 (UTC)
I would oppose it, but "Historical" might also be valid on that list (in my view that would be the same as "Deprecated" or "Legacy"). —Locke Coletc 18:32, 27 September 2022 (UTC)
Honestly, "Metric" might make sense here as well and would at least cover a broader sense than "Memory". —Locke Coletc 22:31, 29 September 2022 (UTC)
I would add
  • also common
  • common
The differences from "common usage" may be subtle - apart from simply being shorter - but might render them more widely acceptable. NebY (talk) 12:21, 30 September 2022 (UTC)
I agree with the temporary restoration of "Memory" pending a consensus-based change. As stated above, JEDEC is factually wrong as they quote the deprecation of those ambiguous prefixes and have no authority for defining those things to start with. You're telling me that JEDEC (Joint Electron Device Engineering Council), the organizational standards body behind RAM specifications and storage specifications like MMC, that JEDEC have no authority for defining those things? Do you have a source for that statement or is it just your personal opinion? —Locke Coletc 18:32, 27 September 2022 (UTC)
It is your personal opinion that JEDEC defines units, while they clearly state that they don't, a fact that is already sourced. Where are your sources? JEDEC clearly defers to those bodies that define UNITS. If you still don't get that, stop this farce. This is leading nowhere. kbrose (talk) 18:34, 29 September 2022 (UTC)
It is your personal opinion that JEDEC defines units No, it is not. It's JEDEC's opinion as well, as I have explained above, repeatedly. while they clearly state that they don't Wonderful! Where do they say this? Where are your sources? Same as before. JEDEC clearly defers to those bodies that define UNITS. Where do they do that? If you still don't get that, stop this farce. This is leading nowhere. See, this is the difference between us: I read what is written. You read what you want to see. The farce here is promoting a unit that is not used by 99% of our sources as if it were on equal footing with what has been the standard units since the dawn of computing... —Locke Coletc 22:31, 29 September 2022 (UTC)
As this discussion also affects other templates, and we had a nearly identical discussion last year, it seems prudent to make sure we ping folks that were involved in Template_talk:Quantities_of_bytes#Recent_Edit_to_Table (and resultant subthreads), does it not? —Locke Coletc 19:12, 27 September 2022 (UTC)
An administrator suggested moving the entire discussion to the Village pump. Wherever the discussion is held it makes sense to a) restore the templates to a stable version (they are in complete disarray) and b) alert sister Talk pages. What do others think? Dondervogel 2 (talk) 19:37, 27 September 2022 (UTC)
AFAIK, VP is not for such a discussion but some editors may appreciate a heads up there. Some related talk pages got notifications already, haven't checked them all though. --Zac67 (talk) 20:56, 27 September 2022 (UTC)
@Gusfriend: You suggested we start a discussion at VP, but as you can see we are unsure how. Where is an appropriate place to start a discussion on the subject of this thread (the choice of heading for the JEDEC column)? Dondervogel 2 (talk) 09:34, 9 October 2022 (UTC)
The process that makes the most sense to me is an WP:RFC. These can be elaborate or simple, but in all cases the question and choices should be worded as neutrally as possible with all presented views being treated fairly. In so far as which RFC categories it would fall under, I'd think Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Maths, science, and technology would be the primary topic, and for the secondary topic I think there's really two choices: Wikipedia:Requests for comment/History and geography or Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Society, sports, and culture. I'm personally leaning towards history, which would make {{rfc|sci|hist}} the invocation once we're ready. —Locke Coletc 23:54, 27 September 2022 (UTC)

I completely missed Quondum. Pinging him now, with my humble apologies for previous omission @Quondum: Sorry! Dondervogel 2 (talk) 10:22, 28 September 2022 (UTC)

You also forgot @Greg L:, I can help with that for you. —Locke Coletc 21:50, 28 September 2022 (UTC)
What is the reason for wanting to involve Greg L? Dondervogel 2 (talk) 23:35, 28 September 2022 (UTC)
I wonder perhaps if you could explain why you'd exclude him? —Locke Coletc 00:10, 29 September 2022 (UTC)
You seem to imply you invited him to the discussion because you are confident he will support your position. Is that a good criterion for involving a new editor? Dondervogel 2 (talk) 15:48, 29 September 2022 (UTC)
The reason is clear. These guys are never going to accept the facts, and only exist to confuse, muddle, and attack the progress with unambiguous units. There is a militant-like army in the shadows, that is called upon when needed. kbrose (talk) 18:40, 29 September 2022 (UTC)
You'll have to tell me when you start bringing some facts. So far I'm just seeing a lot of opinions based on half-readings of JEDEC standards. —Locke Coletc 22:31, 29 September 2022 (UTC)
You seem to imply you invited him to the discussion because you are confident he will support your position. Where did I imply this? I expect an answer to this Dondervogel 2. —Locke Coletc 22:31, 29 September 2022 (UTC)

Hello, all. I assume this is about using terminology like “gibibits” and so on… Time out… excuse me, but my spell checker on my laptop computer just auto-corrected “gibibits” so I had to retype it to reinforce that I really meant to type that. There! Retyped: G-i-b-i-b-i-t-s.

Indeed, a consensus was reached in November 2021. Has something changed insofar as real-world usage by mainstream computer manufacturers like Dell and Apple, or in the mainstream computer press (like this PC World review or this MacWorld review), that warrants changing the status quo? Greg L (talk) 23:27, 29 September 2022 (UTC)

Complete list of optionsEdit

OK, so we now have the following list of options

  1. Also common
  2. Common
  3. Common Usage
  4. Customary
  5. Deprecated
  6. Historical
  7. JEDEC
  8. Legacy
  9. Memory
  10. Metric
  11. Traditional

It's a long list. How do we whittle it down to a more manageable number? Dondervogel 2 (talk) 23:53, 1 October 2022 (UTC)

And if we are aiming for completeness, we should also consider the possibility of removing the column altogether. Let's refer to that as option 12 (or option 0?) Dondervogel 2 (talk) 12:36, 2 October 2022 (UTC)
We should also consider placing the common/common-usage column before the IEC column., and that it should be completed. NebY (talk) 15:10, 2 October 2022 (UTC)
Agree with this. —Locke Coletc 16:51, 2 October 2022 (UTC)

Attempt to establish consistency in 3 sister templates as interim measure during dispute about JEDEC headingEdit

  • As a consequence of a disputed heading, the Quantities of bits, Quantities of bytes and Bit and byte prefixes templates (henceforth referred to for brevity as b, B and bB templates) are in disarray at the time of this post. I tried to get them into a version that was consistent (JEDEC heading) and stable for up to 3 years with these 3 edits on b, B, and bB
  • These edits were modified by Headbomb and Andrybak [5] [6] at b and Woodstone [7] at bB, and in both cases we were able to converge briefly on an apparently stable outcome.
  • The stability was short lived because they became inconsistent (and hence unstable) again with Locke Cole's edits at B and bB
  • The JEDEC heading is not my personal preference, but it stood the test of time. Before Locke Cole's edits, all 3 templates [8][9][10] had JEDEC in the disputed column, and all 3 had JEDEC defining K, M and G (and not T). The JEDEC heading is opposed by at least 3 editors (Quondum, Kbrose and Zac67), but these editors are not complaining at my attempt to stabilise. The only editor who changed them from those (historically) stable versions is Locke Cole, who has once again made them inconsistent.
  • I now plan to revert the most recent changes to bring them back into line (into a version that I repeat is NOT my preferred version), so that we can resume the discussion with minimal disruption to the templates themselves.
  • For convenience, the current versions of the 3 templates are shown below.

Dondervogel 2 (talk) 11:42, 2 October 2022 (UTC)

Back in the day as well as now I strongly object to using JEDEC as the header. This makes NO sense, because they don't define units and they cite the deprecated status of those usages. They DO NOT AGREE with the content of the column. I am sick of even having to pay attention here, not to speak of writing something. This nonsense is not healthy. Frankly the column should simply be removed, and the outdated usage discussed in proper context in articles. kbrose (talk) 21:55, 2 October 2022 (UTC)
@Kbrose: I selected the JEDEC heading as an interim version because it was stable for 3 years in at least 1 of the 3 templates, and is favoured by at least 1 editor (Headbomb). Can you accept the JEDEC column (limited to K, M, G) as an interim measure while we discuss an alternative header? Dondervogel 2 (talk) 22:24, 2 October 2022 (UTC)
@Kbrose: JEDEC is the leading authority in memory, and the one that sets the standards for all things memory. You may choose to ignore them, but that is your personal choice. They likewise haven't deprecated these units, they simply note that a different body (IEEE/ASTM) deprecated that usage.
The most widespread consumer OS in the world, Windows, list file size in MB, and they mean the binary megabyte (i.e. JEDEC memory size), not the decimal megabyte. Likewise for Android. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 00:20, 3 October 2022 (UTC)
This arguing makes no sense. All this is NOT about memory specifications, but about units. These units have applicability beyond memory. Now you are diverting into Windows.... What does JEDEC do for Windows? kbrose (talk) 14:45, 3 October 2022 (UTC)
JEDEC simply does not set standards for these units. they state so themselves by pointing to others and citing the confusion created from improper units. They explicitly state that "the units are only cited because of common usage.' What could be clearer? Whether Windows or anything uses the old units has no bearing on this. It is a pragmatic choice of those companies. JEDEC nor anyone can do anything about a company using one or the other usages, as practice has shown. So JEDEC has no "authority" at all over this. What is way more important to JEDEC is that one memory chip is interchangeable with another vendor's product.Another confirmation of this is that they only list three of these units, not the entire suite. If they defined anything why wouldn't they define all of them? kbrose (talk) 02:39, 3 October 2022 (UTC)
The question remains: Why is JEDEC even used for the header? They are just an entity involved in the use of units, no more or less than Microsoft or Apple. And certainly, Microsoft has a lot more power to influence usage than JEDEC does. So why don't you want to create a column with the header Microsoft and then you can probably even fill the entire column. So what is the purpose of this column? Just to make those people happy that want to keep the old usage around, the prejudiced Wikipedia editors. What is supposedly expressed in that column, the confusion in the industry, cannot be expressed in a single column, because this usage is not universal. Storage alone, in particular binary memory, is the hardcore user of these meanings. The confusion should be addressed in articles, not a single column. Delete it. Readers don't need to be puzzled by the cryptic heading of that column, no matter which is chosen.
And another thought about JEDEC. It is an organization of competent managers, engineers, and scientists. Same applies to IEC, IEEE, ITU, NIST, SI, and so forth. It is completely against the scientific and engineering mindset and endeavor to want to define something as a standard that is the working responsibility of another body. Engineers and scientists don't waste their time duplicating the complex and costly processes of creating standards when another body has the responsibility or taken an interest. They all communicate in some way or another and don't create competition and duplication. There is not the time and funding for that. The language chosen by JEDEC in describing their listing of the units exactly expresses that, in that they refer to others for standards. Companies, on the other hand, have a commercial interest in making proprietary things and names and rules. And that sometimes runs against the grain of the standards bureaus. Apple can't standardize on common connectors, others like creating proprietary or competing protocols, etc. etc... kbrose (talk) 03:39, 3 October 2022 (UTC)
Wikipedia is descriptive, not prescriptive. Our mission is to inform readers about the world that is, not about an ideal standardised world. As for "Engineers and scientists don't waste their time duplicating the complex and costly processes of creating standards", that is exactly what has happened in many fields for many, many years; with intense professional competition and scorn for other inferior engineering and standards bodies. We see it on an international scale with products like AC power plugs and sockets but it's also been the case between industry sectors within a single country. In my lifetime, I've seen a lot of effort put into convergence, sometimes successfully and sometimes frustrated not least by the immense power of commercial interests over the standard-making process but also by the weight of existing products and practices. This is the real, messy, human world that Wikipedia documents. NebY (talk) 15:24, 3 October 2022 (UTC)
128 × 8 TB ((1024 × 1024 × 1024 × 1024) × 8) files = 1 PB (1,125,899,906,842,624 bytes)
131,072 × 8 TB ((1024 × 1024 × 1024 × 1024) × 8) files = 1 EB (1,152,921,504,606,846,976 bytes)
Speaking of descriptive: Microsoft Windows clearly shows what a terabyte and a petabyte (see image) is in their user interface. Should I go for an exabyte? :D —Locke Coletc 17:53, 3 October 2022 (UTC)
Added an exabyte example. —Locke Coletc 05:45, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
The JEDEC column issue is what's being discussed kbrose, and honestly I think "Common" or "Common usage" make the most sense (as would acknowledging tera/peta at a minimum for the binary use as Microsoft and Android also use the terms this way, and that's a huge base of people who know the terms because of how those OS's display their data). —Locke Coletc 19:50, 3 October 2022 (UTC)
Value  Metric 
1000 kbit kilobit
10002 Mbit megabit
10003 Gbit gigabit
10004 Tbit terabit
10005 Pbit petabit
10006 Ebit exabit
10007 Zbit zettabit
10008 Ybit yottabit
10009 Rbit ronnabit
100010 Qbit quettabit
Value  IEC  JEDEC 
1024 Kibit kibibit Kbit Kb kilobit
10242 Mibit mebibit Mbit Mb megabit
10243 Gibit gibibit Gbit Gb gigabit
10244 Tibit tebibit
10245 Pibit pebibit
10246 Eibit exbibit
10247 Zibit zebibit
10248 Yibit yobibit
Orders of magnitude of data
Multiple-byte units
Value Metric
1000 kB kilobyte
10002 MB megabyte
10003 GB gigabyte
10004 TB terabyte
10005 PB petabyte
10006 EB exabyte
10007 ZB zettabyte
10008 YB yottabyte
10009 RB ronnabyte
100010 QB quettabyte
Value IEC Memory
1024 KiB kibibyte KB kilobyte
10242 MiB mebibyte MB megabyte
10243 GiB gibibyte GB gigabyte
10244 TiB tebibyte TB terabyte
10245 PiB pebibyte
10246 EiB exbibyte
10247 ZiB zebibyte
10248 YiB yobibyte
Orders of magnitude of data
Prefixes for multiples of
bits (bit) or bytes (B)
Value SI
1000 103 k kilo
10002 106 M mega
10003 109 G giga
10004 1012 T tera
10005 1015 P peta
10006 1018 E exa
10007 1021 Z zetta
10008 1024 Y yotta
10009 1027 R ronna
100010 1030 Q quetta
1024 210 Ki kibi K kilo
10242 220 Mi mebi M mega
10243 230 Gi gibi G giga
10244 240 Ti tebi T tera
10245 250 Pi pebi
10246 260 Ei exbi
10247 270 Zi zebi
10248 280 Yi yobi

I have updated the 3 templates to bring them back into consistency. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 12:28, 2 October 2022 (UTC)

The third one is best (bits and bytes), though it's appearance should be updated to match the first version. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 14:12, 2 October 2022 (UTC)
Maybe instead of trying to start forest fires over non-issues you should focus on the behavioral question I've posed to you on your talk page. —Locke Coletc 20:59, 2 October 2022 (UTC)

RFC: Column name/position/content for binary computing unitsEdit

This is a multiple question RFC:

1. What should the column name for the column shown in this revision as "JEDEC" be going forward?

  • Also common
  • Common
  • Common Usage
  • Computing
  • Customary
  • Deprecated
  • Historical
  • Legacy
  • Memory
  • Metric
  • Traditional
Please indicate your choice from the list above, or if you have an alternative choice not listed, state that.

2. Should the above named column be positioned before the "IEC" column? Please answer yes or no.

3. Should the full list of entries be provided up to yottabyte/yottabit? Please answer yes, no, or the maximum value you would support.

Thank you for your participation. —Locke Coletc 01:19, 10 October 2022 (UTC)


  • Computing, this matches the language used at one of our sister projects, the English-language Wiktionary (see petabyte). Common or Common Usage would be second choice, Traditional would be third choice. Yes/before to the question of position, and Yes to the full list. —Locke Coletc 01:19, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
  • Deprecated, as per SI and Binary prefix#IEC prefixes, second choice Memory, Customary, Common Usage or Legacy; No/after for position; No for yottabyte/bit, overdone and the bottom link covers that for now. --Zac67 (talk) 05:12, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
  • Customary this is in line with the naming of miles and pounds; "Common" would be a second choice. Memory is too limited, because files sizes use it often. "Metric" is nonsensical. "Computing" makes no sense because what else are Bytes used in? "Deprecated" is correct but too controversial. JEDEC is too little known. Historical, Legacy and Traditional put too much emphasis on time. Keep the decimal column first. Extend binary to TB. −Woodstone (talk) 12:59, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
  • My responses are
    • Deprecated, JEDEC and Legacy are all acceptable headings as these all seem concise and accurate. I can also live with Memory because computer memory seems the main use of this notation. (Note added 2022-10-17: Memory doesn't work as a heading because IEC prefixes are also used for computer memory) 'Customary' or 'Traditional' don't work for the binary meaning because (for hard drives and communication speeds) the decimal meaning is also both customary and traditional. 'Historical' implies they are no longer used when we know they are. None of the others make sense to me (all prefixes are for Computing, Common is too vague, and ... why 'Metric'?!?)
    • No
    • It depends. If 'JEDEC' is selected, prefixes listed should be up to giga (not tera) because K, M and G are the only prefixes defined by JEDEC. If 'Deprecated' is chosen, the column can go up yotta because all prefixes are deprecated. If 'Legacy' or 'Memory' is chosen, I can see the table going up tera, and perhaps peta.
  • Dondervogel 2 (talk) 21:19, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
    'Customary' would become acceptable if qualified to clarify the column does not apply to hard drive storage. For example Customary (RAM). Dondervogel 2 (talk) 00:26, 15 October 2022 (UTC)
    (see threaded responses below in discussion section)
  • Deprecated and legacy are not acceptable, because these are neither deprecated nor legacy units. These are the mainstream units used by the vast majority of sources and operating systems. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 00:22, 13 October 2022 (UTC)
  • Customary, second choice common usage, third choice common (only if we wish to take up less space than "common usage"), The idea that usage must be in a standard to be listed here is at best a distraction, terms like "legacy" and "traditional" give the misleading impression that the usage is not a current norm, and "deprecated" is thus doubly misleading. Before IEC to reflect general usage and reading experience. TB at least, open to PBand EB. NebY (talk) 17:57, 13 October 2022 (UTC)
  • Customary seems least worst, as the analogy with imperial weighs and measures has merit. I think there could be room in the template for an asterisk leading to a footnote saying Used by Windows and Android. Keep the column positions as they are. Go up to YB because why not? Leaving the PB+ entries blank just raises questions. Barnards.tar.gz (talk) 21:37, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
  • 1 - Jedec is good, the wikilink shows the source; 2 - current position is good; 3 - yottabyte is ok for table length. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 20:29, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
  • Deprecated looks most accurate to me. "Historical", "Legacy", "Customary", "Traditional", "Common" etc. imply that there was a de facto standard for these units at one time, but there wasn't. No, the IEC column should stay to the left of the "Deprecated" column. No the "Deprecated" column should only go up to giga-. In fact, why does this column even exist? Most uses of bits are 1000-based, right? It was only *bytes* that were sometimes measured in multiples of 1024? Oh, EEPROMs use "1-Kbit" or "1-Kb" for 1024 bitsOmegatron (talk) 18:05, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
    • Nonstandard would be a good column name, too. — Omegatron (talk) 03:04, 18 November 2022 (UTC)
  • Deleted (preferred) or Deprecated. Deprecated per Omegatron's reasoning. Deleted (not an option in this RfC, unfortunately) because the vast majority, if not all the mainstream computer industry doesn't use terminology like “gibibytes,” nor does any portion of the mainstream computer press; it’s proposed standard that hasn’t seen anything close to widespread adoption. Having such units mentioned in Wikipedia’s regular articles is contrary to WP:COMPUNITS, which hashed this out 14 years ago, and does our readership a disservice because it sows confusion. Greg L (talk) 04:08, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
  • Delete column - there is no common usage, historical or otherwise, to use kilobit to mean 1024 bits. If there is, please provide sources to the contrary. The argument that kilobyte means 1024 bytes isn't enough. Historylikeyou (talk) 10:08, 30 October 2022 (UTC)
    Also used for memory or similar wording. It was pointed out in the discussion below that kilobits are used for memory chip capacities. Historylikeyou (talk) 13:49, 30 October 2022 (UTC)
  • Customary is acceptable for the extended scheme. JEDEC also acceptable. Deprecated or Historical are not acceptable, because those are the current units used in the industry. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 13:51, 30 October 2022 (UTC)


I added "Computing" after seeing it in use at petabyte, otherwise this matches the full list above. —Locke Coletc 01:19, 10 October 2022 (UTC)

Computing would mean it is the predominant form there which isn't true (the whole world of networking doesn't use binary prefixes); JEDEC is a trade organization not normative for units/prefixes and not known to all/many readers, binary prefixes likely predate them; Metric is entirely wrong; Historical might be misleading as they're still in common use. --Zac67 (talk)

In so far as most units go that are seen by the public, the overwhelming majority utilize binary prefixes. The terms are used in many computing contexts as described here, networking is really the outlier. —Locke Coletc 05:47, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
128 × 8 TB ((1024 × 1024 × 1024 × 1024) × 8) files = 1 PB (1,125,899,906,842,624 bytes)
131,072 × 8 TB ((1024 × 1024 × 1024 × 1024) × 8) files = 1 EB (1,152,921,504,606,846,976 bytes)

@Dondervogel 2: With regard to where the units should end, wouldn't it be at least Exabyte/EB (see images)? Microsoft Windows, which according to Usage share of operating systems for desktops/laptops represents about 75% of users (for gaming it rises to 96% for Steam desktop users) uses PB and EB in the binary sense. This also addresses your concern that the units aren't used to refer to storage, clearly Microsoft and Google/Android believe the units do. As the IEC units are also unknown to the vast majority of the world, aren't used in the vast overwhelming majority of our sources, it does our readers a disservice to list them first. —Locke Coletc 21:31, 10 October 2022 (UTC)

Yes, I see your point about peta and exa. On this basis I find exabyte acceptable for 'Legacy' or 'Memory', though not for 'JEDEC'. I prefer to settle on a name for the heading before worrying too much about the order. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 21:55, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
On the other hand I'm having second thoughts about 'Memory' because IEC prefixes are also used for computer memory. My preference remains with Deprecated, JEDEC, or Legacy. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 23:46, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
All memory manufacturers that I'm aware of still utilize MB/GB when referring to memory (especially in marketing and support for consumers). Can you provide some reliable sources for your statement that IEC units are used for computer memory? —Locke Coletc 03:51, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
Here are a few examples (there are plenty more available): Ayers 2018, Balkesen 2013, Beniamine 2015, Chen 2020, Chrobot 2011, Deakin 2017, Fichte 2020, Gruhn 2016, Hildenbrand 2021, Hunter 2021, Jouppi 2017, Karkkainen 2017, Rae 2016, Schurmann 2014, Son 2017, Song 2015, Tatar 2018, Uecker 2013, Vano Garcia 2018, Verdejo 2017s, Wardana 2018. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 09:00, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
Those all appear to be from academia, and while there is some evidence they use these symbols, there's also a lot of evidence they continue to use the standard/common form significantly more often. Do you have any sources that use these units for memory outside of academia? Manufacturers, major software vendors, media outlets? —Locke Coletc 15:44, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
  • I stated that IEC prefixes are used for this purpose and they are. I found all of these from Google Scholar, which naturally emphasises academic sources, and there are plenty more where these came from. I contend that IEC prefixes are by far the primary or preferred means of disambiguation used by academic sources, with other forms of disambiguation being virtually non-existent.
  • Users outside academia include HP, IBM and Ubuntu. It's not hard to find sources.
Dondervogel 2 (talk) 20:58, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
HP appears to still use standard binary units (site:hp.com "gibibyte" returns zero results; site:hp.com "gigabyte" returns thousands of results). Also, it doesn't matter if they are used for disambiguation, it matters whether they are used at all. And by and large, they are not. —Locke Coletc 21:26, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
  • Of course it matters whether they are used for disambiguation. That is what IEC prefixes are for, and both HP and IBM use them for this purpose.
  • Why does your reply not mention Ubuntu?
Dondervogel 2 (talk) 00:31, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
...for disambiguation. That is what IEC prefixes are for... Do you have a source for that claim? My reply also didn't mention IBM, but as you only took issue with Ubuntu, I'll start by stating the obvious: Linux is used in only a fraction of consumer-facing systems. Wikipedia presents the world as it is, not as individual editors or standards bodies would like us to present it. That it is used in a handful of places by HP or IBM, or at all by Ubuntu, is irrelevant when these same manufacturers/vendors utilize the mixed usage in public-facing areas such as HP in their online catalog and marketing. These are the things our readers see and are familiar with, and this is what our sources support. —Locke Coletc 17:21, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
  • The source is the IEC itself "Mathematics dictates that the disparities resulting from the mixed and incorrect use of decimal prefixes will become increasingly significant as capacities and data rates continue to grow. In IEC 80000-13:2008, all branches of the IT industry have a tool with which to iron out this inconsistency. It eliminates confusion by setting out the prefixes and symbols for the binary, as opposed to decimal, multiples that most often apply in these fields."
  • I did not read the 2 links you gave carefully enough and assumed one was for HP and one for IBM
  • It seems to me that HP, Ubuntu and IBM use IEC prefixes where they wish disambiguate a binary meaning. In their marketing literature they often do not disambiguate. The purpose of WP is not to market computer products but to educate interested readers.
Dondervogel 2 (talk) 19:41, 18 October 2022 (UTC)

On extending the JEDEC column to PB and EBEdit

@Woodstone: With the images from Windows 10 (see right/above) showing uses of PB and EB in Windows Explorer, would you support extending to those? Headbomb also indicated these units are used by Android as well, which is a large installed base as well for mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc). See also this Intel support page for storage. In so far as "Computing" goes, as I explained, petabyte refers to this definition as "Computing" but the IEC definition as "SI". For these column headers we would have "IEC" as we have now and "Computing" to cover the widespread use of the binary meaning in the larger computer (hardware and software) industry. —Locke Coletc 03:51, 11 October 2022 (UTC)

If these examples are real, I do not object to extend to higher values. However "computing" as a header makes little sense, because where else would these unit be used?−Woodstone (talk) 09:31, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
I think that's the crux of the issue here, we have IEC units attempting to be used widely on the basis of being a "standard" but being largely dismissed by the "computing" industry at-large (hardware, software, media, etc). —Locke Coletc 15:44, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
I don't see anyone attempting to use IEC units widely (are you referring to a WP editor? who did you have in mind?). Even if they were, this has little or no bearing on the template, the purpose of which is to provide information where needed. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 21:07, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
Even if they were, this has little or no bearing on the template Of course it has bearing, our articles must be well sourced, verifiable, and not present undue weight to topics. I won't discuss conduct issues here, but there are editors who are using these units in articles where neither the sources nor our MOS support it. —Locke Coletc 17:22, 12 October 2022 (UTC)

I agree with Locke Cole and share the same concerns. Having this table used in any other article than Binary prefix (and perhaps some closely related articles) induces other editors—many of whom are novices to Wikipedia and don’t know about WP:COMPUNITS—to use the binary prefixes in wholly inappropriate ways; this isn't news to anyone here.

Since probably only about one milliuno of the computer industry uses the binary prefixes, it makes no sense to have these units in articles as doing so only seeds confusion. I think we need another version of this table without the binary prefixes for most ordinary articles about computers. Greg L (talk) 23:39, 12 October 2022 (UTC)

It is clear that these are just attempts at censoring the use of standards-based unambiguous units on WP, because some people just don't want to see them used and resist the change, which is well in progress. These forces have systematically tried to eradicate them here, despite ever increasing usage in new software. New writers come to WP all the time too, introducing new units into articles, but this guard removes them because at one time they and their sock-puppets were successful in writing them out of the style manual. A long time has passed since and there is simply no justification for this. The dishonesty in this is exemplary, incredible. Any competent software engineer working in open-source software these days encounters these units daily, many are required to use binary and metric units per official definitions, or else the software cannot be distributed in a variety of operating systems. The train has long left the station for acceptance and it will simply take time for the old-timers to die out. There is no standards org left that promotes or defines old usage. Some large companies are the laggards, sure, the reasons are more or less clear, but this should not be justification for censorship. The 'rules' in WP policy need to be reexamined and changed. Everywhere else on WP we can can observe a drive to disambiguate unclear terms and such, but not here? I have never encountered an author, IIRC, that is as militant about using the new units, as these refuseniks are about censorship. Open-minded, competent people just walk away and shake their head, knowing where things are headed. kbrose (talk) 00:42, 13 October 2022 (UTC)

This incredible notion of eliminating confusion by censoring the use of the official binary units is so outrageously stupid, because there always was confusion before their definition, and this was the very reason for their introduction. The industry had come to a point where they needed to be unambiguous, just like many other fields had to convert to metric units for compatibility, trade, safety. It is true today, that one can never be certain anymore which system of storage units is in use in many places. It is unfortunate, surely, but the way to get past this is not to go backward–this is definitively impossible–but to be progressive and eliminate every ambiguous use, except perhaps in the discussion of historical facts and contexts. kbrose (talk) 01:08, 13 October 2022 (UTC)

You clearly feel, kbrose, that the "unambiguous" units are swell and should be used more and more. Unfortunately, your opinion, which is predicated on arguing the virtues of the binary prefixes, is against MOSNUM (specifically WP:COMPUNITS), which was the product of a well-established consensus. And, per WP:CONLEVEL, a consensus among a limited group of editors, at one place and time, cannot override community consensus on a wider scale. In short, that ship has sailed and won’t be re-prosecuted here.
So now the only thing that matters is how we better align Wikipedia's articles with our policies. Greg L (talk) 01:24, 13 October 2022 (UTC)

@Headbomb: Can you state a position on the 2nd and 3rd questions please? Thanks! —Locke Coletc 20:44, 13 October 2022 (UTC)

@Dondervogel 2: And yet Microsoft Windows utilizes it for hard drive storage. As do other operating systems. —Locke Coletc 04:45, 15 October 2022 (UTC)

@Locke Cole: The place for discussion is the discussion section. Please move your comment there, so we can discuss it without disrupting the Responses. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 09:27, 15 October 2022 (UTC)
Yes, I accept that Microsoft uses MB, GB, TB ... in the binary sense, but such use is relatively new, especially for the larger prefixes, while hard drive manufacturers have used those same symbols with a decimal sense for decades, so the decimal use is customary for hard drives. The customary use of the binary sense is limited mainly to computer memory. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 20:27, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
They've used the binary versions of KB, MB, GB, etc. since as far back as at least Windows '95, and while I'd need to look into it more, I suspect they even used it in MS-DOS. —Locke Coletc 23:28, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
Agreed. Microsoft used kB since the stone ages. There was no MB and GB at the time. The point is moot anyway. Having this table salted in articles in which the binary prefixes aren’t supposed to be used is inappropriate and serves only to keep the dream alive for a handful of the faithful who must learn to abide by a wider and crystal-clear consensus. And that consensus is that Wikipedia will use “gigabytes” like all the mainstream computer industry and computer press does. And in the rare cases where it’s truly necessary to disambiguate, we can do so—again—like the mainstream computer industry and press does. Greg L (talk) 03:46, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
MB was used in the late 1970s/early 1980s in the decimal sense, long before it came into mainstream use in the binary sense. Similarly with GB (though probably a decade later). And this decimal use continues today, 40 years later, so the customary (or traditional) use of these prefixes is decimal, not binary. You are pointing out that the customary use for RAM (which came much later) is the binary one, which is why I suggested Customary (RAM) for the header. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 08:57, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
The use of KB, MB, GB etc in a binary sense was customary and normal for any binary usage before the invention of KiB, MiB, GiB etc., which were created as a reaction to that established use and have still not entered general use. The very fact that KB, MB, GB etc are the customary binary units as well as being the customary decimal units has been what has so upset you and others, and been the driver for your campaign over so many years to replace them as binary units in Wikipedia. NebY (talk) 09:29, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
@NebY: Yes, that's another way of saying the same thing, and is my main reason for opposing the unqualified 'Customary' as a heading for the JEDEC column. Your post suggests a possible alternative heading to be Customary (binary). I think that's better than 'Customary (RAM)', which would receive my support if added to the RfC options. (There could also be a new 'Customary (decimal)' column for good measure) Dondervogel 2 (talk) 11:55, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
A hasty, badly formatted demo of an another layout for Multiple-byte units
unit Symbol values
decimal binary
SI & customary customary
kilobyte kB 1000 1024
megabyte MB 10002 10242
gigabyte GB 10003 10243
terabyte TB 10004 10244
petabyte PB 10005 10245
exabyte EB 10006 10246
zettabyte ZB 10007 10247
yottabyte YB 10008 10248
unit symbol values
kibibyte KiB 1024
mebibyte MiB 10242
gibibyte GiB 10243
tebibyte TiB 10244
pebibyte PiB 10245
exbibyte EiB 10246
zebibyte ZiB 10247
yobibyte YiB 10248
Orders of magnitude of data
"Customary" applies to both uses, we wouldn't want to repeat "(binary)" immediately below "binary", and we certainly don't need to puzzle everyone by duplicating a column to support another heading. It may be that part of the problem with headings springs from the table design. The layout suits a normative function rather than a descriptive one; it suits telling people what to do (which units they should use) rather than what they're reading. Wikipedia is of course descriptive, so we run into problems. Here's a quck example of a descriptive approach, reshuffling the bytes table; it's very poorly formatted with odd leftovers from the original but I hope it demonstrates the difference. NebY (talk) 15:37, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
This reminds me a little bit of an old version of the bytes template, and I honestly think something formatted similar to this would likely result in fewer issues and misunderstandings. —Locke Coletc 17:20, 18 October 2022 (UTC)

Binary use of decimal prefixes is deprecated by international standards bodiesEdit

(Trying to start a new thread here but I don't know how - this'll have to do until someone comes along to fix it). @Headbomb: The claim Deprecated and legacy are not acceptable, because these are neither deprecated nor legacy units is incorrect. The use of decimal prefixes with a binary meaning is deprecated by international standards bodies ISO and BIPM. For example:

  • ISO 80000-1:2009 "SI prefixes refer strictly to powers of 10, and should not be used for powers of 2. For example, 1 kbit should not be used to represent 1024 bits (2^10 bits), which is a kibibit (1 Kibit)."
  • BIPM SI Brochure 9th edition (2019), p143 "The SI prefixes refer strictly to powers of 10. They should not be used to indicate powers of 2 (for example, one kilobit represents 1000 bits and not 1024 bits)."

Dondervogel 2 (talk) 19:30, 18 October 2022 (UTC)

Of course they are deprecated. Only standards orgs that have a say over standards, have the ability to deprecate old usages or definitions. When users change to a new method as a matter of fashion, it does not constitute deprecation, only disuse or preference, or something. But it is here not anymore about the correct official status, but a hard-necked resistance to accept modern standards terminology, for only personal reasons, and to prolong the confusion by censoring new writers and emerging trends. The picture they want to paint that nobody uses the new units is patently and intentionally false, because it seems impossible to ignore the mass of modern software that has made the transition. This is just endless repetition of the same bullshit, wandering from article to article. It is time to change the matter at the heart and change the obsolete language in WP policy statements, which were simply forced by this kind of reckless disregard for standards, with the help of proven sock-puppets. Serious editors frankly don't participate in these issues as fervently as the refuseniks, because they have more productive things to do. kbrose (talk) 20:37, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
They aren't deprecated by the industry, which is what matters. That's like saying inches and feet are deprecated in construction because meters are around. They aren't. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 22:36, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
No, that is a false analogy. Industry has no means to deprecate something they have no primary control over. They can only defy standards or adopt them. That is exactly reflected in the language by JEDEC. The standards bodies that define the the metre do not specify that the inch should not be used because of some kind of ambiguity. Certain industries have adopted metric measures because of the cost and danger of confusion, but that is not deprecation per se. Perhaps a government can dictate deprecation for their jurisdiction. An industry can deprecate norms that they created or control. kbrose (talk) 22:52, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
The use by certain companies of the binary interpretation is no valid reason to perpetuate their use in new products, specifications, or documentation. These companies have a long standing investment in their products and the support systems thereof. They are extremely risk-averse because additional confusion by changes in the product line would likely cost enormously. Instead, we see exactly what one would expect, namely new systems and software using the new prefixes and use the metric interpretation of the old ones rigorously. This is a long-term process as one would expect. kbrose (talk) 23:08, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
A spell checker from a computer company thinks that 16 gigibits must be 16 servings of chicken giblets

Why are you still arguing the merits of terminology like “kibibits” and advocating its adoption, Kbrose? This was settled in 2008 by a widely established consensus. Hardly anyone but some odd Sheldon Coopers who program in Linux know what that weird terminology means. My spell checker (from a computer company, no less) just flagged “gigibits” and suggested “giblets”; so much for its “adoption” by the industry in any shape, form, or fashion. It’s time for the die-hard fans to straighten up and get with the program.

Now the task at hand is to get all our computer articles in compliance with WP:COMPUNITS. Tables featuring these odd prefixes only serve to keep the dreams of a handful of hold-out wikipedians alive that by continually salting every computer-related article they can possibly find with these tables, like billboards every 16 kibifeet along a highway (4.9938 kilometers), that less experienced editors who don’t know to read MOSNUM will start *oopsy*-using the units and the grass roots swell of adoption will force the hands of Dell and Apple and the rest of the computer world, who will finally see the light and follow Wikipedia’s way. Well…

Perhaps. Maybe that will happen. But the community spoke and it’s time to cease with fervently wishing for the Pleasant Outcome Fairy to grant our wishes.

WP:COMPUNITS is clear. Mentioning the units at every turn for no other reason than to mention the units at every turn doesn’t cut it and never did. It’s time to use the table of binary prefixes only in articles directly discussing the units. The decision now is what, precisely, a table for regular computer-related articles, as WP:COMPUNITS intended, will look like. Greg L (talk) 00:28, 19 October 2022 (UTC)

Childish diatribes like this just confirm and underscore the unserious, personally opinionated and motivated nature of these characters. Quod erat demonstrandum. kbrose (talk) 17:20, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
@Greg L: No. The task at hand is to decide how to harmonise presentation of the 'JEDEC' column in this and its two sister templates, which after 10 months of stability have become inconsistent. If you have something sensible to say about the RfC, say it. Or if you want to start a second RfC on how this template is used, do that instead. In the meantime, stop cluttering this talk thread with irrelevant nonsense about kibifeet and chicken giblets. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 07:05, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
It may not have been a good idea to start this thread. It seemed Dondervogel 2 wanted to reopen the idea of using "deprecated" as a heading, but it might have been better to acknowledge the opposition to that and consider alternative approaches. For example, it would be possible to add a note to the layout I offered above to the effect that BIPM and IEC deprecate the customary use of decimal prefixes (as in MB, KB) for binary values. NebY (talk) 12:41, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
@NebY: I started this thread to correct a factual error. Do you consider correcting a factual error to be a bad idea? Dondervogel 2 (talk) 13:26, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
I thought you might not like the way it went. Ah well. Would you like to respond to the suggestions I've made for moving forward? NebY (talk) 13:37, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
  • The only part I didn't like was Greg_L's childish reaction. At some point some innocent bystander is going to be tasked with closing this RfC, and we can all make her task less complicated by discouraging such nonsensical distractions.
  • I fully accept that 'Deprecated' is not favoured by others, but please let's acknowledge the indisputable factual statement that they are deprecated. I am willing to consider alternative layouts, and I appreciate your good faith suggestion to clarify the deprecated status. That would be a step in the right direction.
Dondervogel 2 (talk) 13:58, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
Oh, please desist, Dondervogel 2, with inflammatory rhetoric like declaring other editors are “childish,” which—given your history—is intended to make other editors lash out so you can taken them to ANI with complaints of AGF and impugning your character.
You have been editing against a widely felt consensus that was settled in 2008, and such behavior has many of the hallmarks of tendentious editing, which is disruptive, so you must start trying to find the strength to go with the flow.
Now, in the last month, you got caught with your hand in the cookie jar, are clearly intent on continuing to use the binary prefixes against a wider consensus that is memorialized on WP:COMPUNITS, persist on advancing (re-raising ad nauseam) arguments from the discussions that were raised, heard, and rejected in 2008, and play every game in the book to redirect the conversation to ways to make the binary prefixes *prettier* in scores of articles that shouldn’t have them even mentioned because doing so causes confusion that results in less knowledgeable editors, who are unaware of all the wikidrama that went into the decision to not use those unrecognized units on Wikipedia, using them right in the middle of articles (e.g. The computer had 16 mebibits of RAM). Those bizarre units that our readership hasn’t seen anywhere else except here should only be mentioned in one or two articles on that very subject. Please stop asking everyone to pretend that causing other editors to edit this way was an unforeseeable and unfortunate accident.
It’s time now for someone to go make their own sandbox with a proper table of prefixes that we can use on all regular computer articles. Once that’s ready, we’ll discuss whether the table is well formed, accurate, and complete, and then we'll swap out articles that have this table with the proper one. Greg L (talk) 14:44, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
  • I never said you were childish. Your post was childish and I stand by that.
  • You have so far made zero contribution to the substance of the RfC (what heading to use for the "JEDEC" column). Instead you make false accusations against me and other editors without a shred of evidence to support your unfounded claims, which in any case are unrelated to the RfC. Do you really have nothing better to do with your time?
Dondervogel 2 (talk) 08:21, 22 October 2022 (UTC)
@Kbrose: Please stop adding your comments wherever you feel like and use threaded conversation. Or don't contribute at all. I don't care. I'm also sorry that 99.99% of the world doesn't use the terms you seem to have a vested personal interest in promoting here on Wikipedia, so much so that you refer to people opposed to using them as "refuseniks" and other colorful names. Maybe in 50 years when I'm buying a 100 yottabyte storage unit to upload my consciousness to I'll think back to you and wonder if I shouldn't call it a yobibyte for old times sake. Serious editors frankly don't participate in these issues as fervently as the refuseniks, because they have more productive things to do. Maybe you should go do those things before you find yourself blocked from editing. —Locke Coletc 15:31, 22 October 2022 (UTC)
My work is to reflect the reality of standards and their adoption, which you intentionally ignore or try to cover up by childish and stupid insinuations, bullying, and such. The most widely used operating systems in the world are already using these standards in one way or another. Get a grasp of reality and do something useful. kbrose (talk) 21:16, 22 October 2022 (UTC)
My work is to reflect the reality of standards and their adoption I wonder if your work might also include accepting that there is little, if any, significant adoption of these units even after 24 years? The most widely used operating systems in the world Microsoft Windows is the most widely used desktop operating system in the world. It doesn't use those terms. Android is the most widely used mobile operating system in the world. It doesn't use those terms. Adobe Creative Cloud is the most widely used graphic design and media production software in the world. It doesn't use those terms. Get a grasp of reality and do something useful. Yes, please do. —Locke Coletc 03:36, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
You really have no clue as to your statements, but I'd rather suspect you do know, and this is just some kind MAGA game. The Linux kernel is documented using binary prefixes for memory blocks and metric units where needed. Just picked a random quote when opening the manual: "The generator will repeatedly access two 100 MiB sized memory regions one by one. " The units are used consistently and pervasively. kbrose (talk) 06:59, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
The Linux kernel The Linux kernel that is used in less than 1% of desktop operating systems? Really? That's your silver bullet? Nevermind the fact that Android, which is derived from the Linux kernel, uses a user interface that uses the traditional KB/MB/GB units and not the IEC units (thus hiding it from users, almost as if... they know their users won't comprehend gibibyte/etc). —Locke Coletc 01:26, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
@Locke Cole: 99.99% of the world doesn't use the terms seems to be the world as you know it = OR. In the consumer world, MS Windows is by far the most popular desktop system (75% of the desktop market[11] but only ~30% overall[12]) and we know it's completely ignoring IEC prefixes. However, in the professional world things may be very different. A clear majority of web services runs on Linux[13] which does use and acknowledge IEC prefixes. But @all, that discussion would need to take place for WP:MOSNUM, here's not the right place. Let's focus on the problem at hand which is deciding about the column header. Also, major changes to the table need a separate thread imho. Currently, those issues and all the bickering water down the focused discussion which we should seek to continue. --Zac67 (talk) 08:47, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
(Is it hard to put your comment in the right place or am I gonna be forced to clean up after editors going forward?) The onus is on those wishing to make the change to prove their position. Not on those defending the status quo. Besides, Google is your friend (well, actually, not your friend as Google shows how infrequently terms like "gibibyte" and "tebibyte" are used in the wild relative to "gigabyte" and "terabyte"). That's not OR. That's looking at a cross-section of sources quickly to determine the validity of the claim that IEC units are somehow widely used and none of us happened to notice. (Hint #1: they aren't widely used, and kbrose protesting the opposite repeatedly won't change that singular fact from being true; Hint #2: and usage in operating systems/software is just one place where IEC units fall flat; broaden your view to hardware manufacturers, system builders, tech news sites, and the media at-large and it gets even worse for gibibyte and friends) —Locke Coletc 01:26, 24 October 2022 (UTC)

Back to the exam questionEdit

Unnecessary, the RFC is above, and is still running. This is disruptive and as Neby indicated, RFC closers are more than capable of closing this discussion at the end of the RFC without you coloring or skewing the discussion. —Locke Coletc 18:34, 23 October 2022 (UTC)

If someone tried to close this RfC now they would find it hard to see the wood for the trees. The main exam question is what heading to use for the 'JEDEC' column (for want of a better name - I use the term 'JEDEC' here because it's use was stable for 3 years). A brief review of responses so far reveals support (at least acceptable) for either Customary or Customary (RAM) (5 editors), Common or Common usage (4 editors), Deprecated (2 editors), JEDEC (2 editors), Legacy (2 editors). This suggests we might make some progress with a reduced set of options such as:

  • Common
  • Common usage
  • Customary
  • Customary (RAM)
  • Deprecated
  • Legacy

Would this help?

Dondervogel 2 (talk) 12:04, 23 October 2022 (UTC)

This is a multiple question RFC; Dondervogel 2 has recast it to omit the second two questions and removed options. Dondervogel 2, please don't understimate closers; much lengthier RFCs have been closed before. Also, there are constructive suggestions in the above discussion, in amongst the vituperation and rehashes.
Anyway, the 3 questions are:
1. What should the column name for the column shown in this revision as "JEDEC" be going forward?
Also common
Common Usage
Please indicate your choice from the list above, or if you have an alternative choice not listed, state that.
2. Should the above named column be positioned before the "IEC" column? Please answer yes or no.
3. Should the full list of entries be provided up to yottabyte/yottabit? Please answer yes, no, or the maximum value you would support. NebY (talk) 14:04, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
Just to clarify, I have not recast the RFC. I have suggested recasting it to make it simpler for the closer. The default it to leave the original wording unless there is consensus to change. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 14:48, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
The conflicting views only emphasize the confusion about and the inadequacy of the deprecated use. Delete the column entirely, and only present what the standards are. There can be no confusion or disagreement with that. Deviations from the standards should not be tabulated, but discussed in prose where needed and context can be provided. kbrose (talk) 17:24, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
The wording of the RfC was never discussed, but with hindsight, deleting the column should have been one of the options as there are several editors who favour deletion of the JEDEC column for bits. Should it be added? Dondervogel 2 (talk) 18:28, 23 October 2022 (UTC)

Use of 'kilobit' to mean 1024 bitEdit

@Historylikeyou: there is no common usage, historical or otherwise, to use kilobit to mean 1024 bits – memory chip capacities are generally stated in "kilo/mega/gigabits" referring to powers of 1024. I don't think we need a source for that... --Zac67 (talk) 12:41, 30 October 2022 (UTC)

@Zac67: Several editors have questioned the binary use for bits. A source would be helpful, if only to establish how this non-standard representation of 1024 bit would be written. Would that be kbit, Kbit, kb or Kb? Dondervogel 2 (talk) 13:07, 30 October 2022 (UTC)
@Zac67 you're right, but I didn't know that. Here is an example (PC Hardware in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition by Robert Bruce Thompson, Barbara Fritchman Thompson (O'Reilly)). Most of the discussion on this talk page is about bytes which is not relevant, obscuring the issue. Historylikeyou (talk) 13:42, 30 October 2022 (UTC)
@Dondervogel 2: As per WP:MOSNUM, multiples of 1024 bit are written as Kbit on WP (with capital K=1024 and "bit" not abbreviated as b). Needless to mention that I'd prefer Kibit. --Zac67 (talk) 14:23, 30 October 2022 (UTC)
I'm not asking how they appear in Wikipedia articles, but how they appear in reliable sources. And my question extends to binary interpretations of megabit, gigabit, etc. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 15:11, 30 October 2022 (UTC)
@Dondervogel 2: EEPROMs are specified using "1-Kb" or "1-Kbit" to mean 1024 bits. Only example I can think of, but that's a good enough reason to leave the column in the template.
@Zac67: I, too, would like standard units to be used throughout the encyclopedia, and it was proposed a long time ago, with broad support, but a few users strongly disliked the IEC prefixes and refused to compromise, so there was no consensus. 🤷‍♂️ I don't know what happened after that; I quit Wikipedia for a while and have tried to stay out of it since, for my own sanity. (Someone pinged me to comment on this proposal, though.) — Omegatron (talk) 03:25, 18 November 2022 (UTC)
@Omegatron: Thank you. Can I assume 'Mb' or 'Mbit' would be used for mebibit (and 'Gb' or 'Gbit' for gibibit)? Dondervogel 2 (talk) 14:13, 18 November 2022 (UTC)
@Dondervogel 2: I've never worked with ones that big, but they do appear to exist: "1-Mb" = 131,072 × 8 bits = 1,048,576 bits. "1 Gb" … "128 Mbyte"Omegatron (talk) 01:00, 19 November 2022 (UTC)
Thank you for clarifying. In that case the JEDEC column seems to make sense in its present form, up to 'Gbit' for gibibit. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 01:07, 19 November 2022 (UTC)


Requested closure here as the RFC was delisted some time ago and comments have mostly came to a stop. —Locke Coletc 00:05, 29 November 2022 (UTC)

New prefixesEdit

Editors might like to join the discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Physics#Add ronna- and quetta- to units articles?. NebY (talk) 23:22, 18 November 2022 (UTC)