Are binary prefixes REALLY an official international standard?

Chat about just about anything else
User avatar
otacon14112
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:43 pm

Are binary prefixes REALLY an official international standard?

Post by otacon14112 »

I've been taking the word of books and websites regarding prefixes for digital data sizes, such as 1 KB (kilobyte) = 1,000 bytes, 1 KiB (kibibyte) = 1,024 bytes. Some of them are very well-respected, such as Newton's Telecom Dictionary, but none of them are the official standard source. So last night, I wanted to prove to myself that the binary prefixes, e.g., KiB, kebibyte, MiB, exbibyte, etc., are definite standards, but I wasn't able to find a definitive reference. I found references that would be "good enough" for most people, such as

Newton's Telecom Dictionary
https://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/binary.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_prefix#kibi
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO/IEC_8 ... technology
http://journals.iucr.org/a/issues/2000/ ... ml#SEC15.1

but like I said, I could not find an authoritative reference, i.e., an acceptable source that can be used in a scholarly paper.

The closest I came to finding definitive proof that binary prefixes are a standard, was this brochure on page 143, https://www.bipm.org/utils/common/pdf/s ... e-9-EN.pdf, but even then, the standards organization says that it recommends that these units should be used to denote base-2 values.

In the fourth source in the list above, toward the end of the section, it says "Clause 4 of the Standard defines standard binary prefixes" (emphasis is mine), but I can't verify that, because you need to pay for it, and I don't feel like paying almost $200, or whatever it converts to from euros.

The official units page of the BIPM doesn't mention the binary prefixes, only referencing decimal base-10 units.
https://www.bipm.org/en/measurement-units/

So my question is, is there just a simple, matter-of-fact page on an official standards organization's website that can lay this matter to rest by saying, "1,024 bytes = 1 KiB (kibibyte), etc."? I don't need an expensive document that has everything organized in chapters, sections, subsections, like a federal law; just a simple "here ya go, these are an official standard" from an official website would settle it once and for all for me.

Does anybody know of one? I tried to check my college's library database, but they changed the password and I haven't obtained the new one yet.
Otacon: You remember pre-ripped jeans? Manufacturers thought that just because people loved old, broken-in jeans, they would want to buy new jeans that looked old. So they purposefully...
Solid Snake: What do jeans have to do with nature and order?

gm10
Level 20
Level 20
Posts: 11000
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:11 pm

Re: Are binary prefixes REALLY an official international standard?

Post by gm10 »

The IEC standard is named in e.g. the Wikipedia article you linked, and clearly you understand that because you say you do not want to pay for the standards document. So what are you asking for - directions to a public library that has it? :?:
Tune up your LM 19+: ppa:gm10/linuxmint-tools

User avatar
lsemmens
Level 9
Level 9
Posts: 2964
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:07 pm
Location: Rural South Australia

Re: Are binary prefixes REALLY an official international standard?

Post by lsemmens »

This appears to be the SI standard

If I were publishing; I'd define my terminology in my introduction, or an appendix to ensure that there is no ambiguity.
Fully mint Household
Out of my mind - please leave a message

User avatar
otacon14112
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:43 pm

Re: Are binary prefixes REALLY an official international standard?

Post by otacon14112 »

gm10 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:31 pm
The IEC standard is named in e.g. the Wikipedia article you linked, and clearly you understand that because you say you do not want to pay for the standards document. So what are you asking for - directions to a public library that has it? :?:
I don't care what the name of the standard is; I want to verify that binary units have been standardized for myself. Also, physically driving to a library to view a copy of it is very inconvenient; I don't want to drive for an hour to verify something physically if it can be viewed online. What I asked for is at the end of my OP... I spent almost an hour to painstakingly word the post as clearly and as unambiguously as possible. I don't know how I can possibly make it any clearer for you.
Otacon: You remember pre-ripped jeans? Manufacturers thought that just because people loved old, broken-in jeans, they would want to buy new jeans that looked old. So they purposefully...
Solid Snake: What do jeans have to do with nature and order?

User avatar
otacon14112
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:43 pm

Re: Are binary prefixes REALLY an official international standard?

Post by otacon14112 »

lsemmens wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:36 pm
This appears to be the SI standard

If I were publishing; I'd define my terminology in my introduction, or an appendix to ensure that there is no ambiguity.
This was flagged as an unofficial source in my first post. I don't doubt the accuracy of the webpage; the question is, is this available on an official standards organization's webpage without needing to spend the money to purchase the standard, like the metric units are? If I had access to my college's online database, that would have been the first place I would have looked. I just want to see it come from a standards organization.

The first time I quoted your post, I typed text intended for the other person, so I changed it. But yeah, totally agreed. I would at least make a quick reference page or something for practical use, just for people who don't need the whole document.
Otacon: You remember pre-ripped jeans? Manufacturers thought that just because people loved old, broken-in jeans, they would want to buy new jeans that looked old. So they purposefully...
Solid Snake: What do jeans have to do with nature and order?

gm10
Level 20
Level 20
Posts: 11000
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:11 pm

Re: Are binary prefixes REALLY an official international standard?

Post by gm10 »

You are making no sense at all. The standard is the authoritative source. Yes, the document costs money, most people don't work for free. End of story.
Tune up your LM 19+: ppa:gm10/linuxmint-tools

User avatar
otacon14112
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:43 pm

Re: Are binary prefixes REALLY an official international standard?

Post by otacon14112 »

gm10 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:50 am
You are making no sense at all. The standard is the authoritative source. Yes, the document costs money, most people don't work for free. End of story.
Thank you have a nice day.
Otacon: You remember pre-ripped jeans? Manufacturers thought that just because people loved old, broken-in jeans, they would want to buy new jeans that looked old. So they purposefully...
Solid Snake: What do jeans have to do with nature and order?

rene
Level 14
Level 14
Posts: 5130
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:58 pm

Re: Are binary prefixes REALLY an official international standard?

Post by rene »

They certainly are standardized. Yes, the actual standard seems to be not free; perhaps you find this to be authoritative enough: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEC_60027, or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO/IEC_80000, section "Units of the ISO and IEC 80000 series" (edit: I see you had that last link yourself).

If still not then indeed you'd be shelling out EUR300 or so...

User avatar
otacon14112
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:43 pm

Re: Are binary prefixes REALLY an official international standard?

Post by otacon14112 »

rene wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:01 am
They certainly are standardized. Yes, the actual standard seems to be not free; perhaps you find this to be authoritative enough: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEC_60027, or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO/IEC_80000, section "Units of the ISO and IEC 80000 series" (edit: I see you had that last link yourself).

If still not then indeed you'd be shelling out EUR300 or so...
Well I found a database that I'd never used before, and that password hadn't changed, so I was able to log into it. Indeed, even there I wasn't able to find ISO/IEC 80000 in order to read it. I hoped that at least a research/scholarly database would have access to it. Oh well, maybe there isn't a free, basic reference table for standard binary prefixes hosted specifically by a standards organization itself. A lot of must-include requirements, I know. I've spent enough time looking for now. Until I find one, I'll cite p 143 of the brochure as the most authoritative source for binary prefixes.

https://www.bipm.org/utils/common/pdf/s ... e-9-EN.pdf

I'm typing a document for work, and I just wanted a go-to source for "standard" binary prefixes. Thanks everyone :lol:
Otacon: You remember pre-ripped jeans? Manufacturers thought that just because people loved old, broken-in jeans, they would want to buy new jeans that looked old. So they purposefully...
Solid Snake: What do jeans have to do with nature and order?

User avatar
absque fenestris
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1950
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:42 pm
Location: Confoederatio Helvetica

Re: Are binary prefixes REALLY an official international standard?

Post by absque fenestris »

I've used the Convertall program for years: nothing against the program - but if you can't agree on a really binding standard?
GB > GiB?
Really, are you serious ..?

GiBiBiBi ... :mrgreen:

If a GB is a multiple of a Byte - or a KiloByte or a MegaByte - why the hell are there different statements?

And if, for marketing reasons, bits are used instead of bytes - Yes, Good Night.. :mrgreen:
Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia (Mate) 32-bit - Acer D250 Netbook (Intel Atom N270, 2 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD)
Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa (Mate) 64-bit - MacBook Pro 15" (Intel Core2 Duo, 8 GB RAM, 240 GB SSD) - with some separation difficulties...

rene
Level 14
Level 14
Posts: 5130
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:58 pm

Re: Are binary prefixes REALLY an official international standard?

Post by rene »

absque fenestris wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:07 am
If a GB is a multiple of a Byte - or a KiloByte or a MegaByte - why the hell are there different statements?
It is fairly unclear what you are in fact asking, but there are different prefixes for GB, gigabyte, and GiB, gibibyte, since "giga" is and has since ages been a defined SI prefix meaning 10^9, whereas in e.g. the field of memory technology "giga" was and is used for 2^30. Not for example in network technology, where even in the context of computers "giga" simply means 10^9, so in order to fix that mess a new prefix was needed, and especially at the point that differences actually started to be significant; 1024 vs 1000 is only 2,4%, 1024^3 vs 1000^3 already 7,4% -- etc. for larger sizes.

User avatar
absque fenestris
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1950
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:42 pm
Location: Confoederatio Helvetica

Re: Are binary prefixes REALLY an official international standard?

Post by absque fenestris »

But that's exactly what I mean: 1024 is not 1000!

Who comes up with the crazy* idea to mix this up..?

* I wrote "saublöd"...
Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia (Mate) 32-bit - Acer D250 Netbook (Intel Atom N270, 2 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD)
Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa (Mate) 64-bit - MacBook Pro 15" (Intel Core2 Duo, 8 GB RAM, 240 GB SSD) - with some separation difficulties...

User avatar
absque fenestris
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1950
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:42 pm
Location: Confoederatio Helvetica

Re: Are binary prefixes REALLY an official international standard?

Post by absque fenestris »

Just so: if I enter a screw dimension or the pitch of it incorrectly or roughly in a CAD drawing, I can get problems.

How it is handled in KB, MB or GB is strange to me...
Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia (Mate) 32-bit - Acer D250 Netbook (Intel Atom N270, 2 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD)
Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa (Mate) 64-bit - MacBook Pro 15" (Intel Core2 Duo, 8 GB RAM, 240 GB SSD) - with some separation difficulties...

User avatar
lsemmens
Level 9
Level 9
Posts: 2964
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:07 pm
Location: Rural South Australia

Re: Are binary prefixes REALLY an official international standard?

Post by lsemmens »

The problem is not so much with the terminology, but the people who should know better using incorrect terminology. Computers have always been binary beasts and, as such, all addressing has been in binary. For some reason 8 bits makes a byte.
The IBM System/360 introduced byte-addressable memory with 8-bit bytes, as opposed to bit-addressable or decimal digit-addressable or word-addressable memory, although its general purpose registers were 32 bits wide, and addresses were contained in the lower 24 bits of those addresses. Different models of System/360 had different internal data path widths; the IBM System/360 Model 30 (1965) implemented the 32-bit System/360 architecture, but had an 8 bit native path width, and performed 32-bit arithmetic 8 bits at a time.
From Wiki
Fully mint Household
Out of my mind - please leave a message

User avatar
absque fenestris
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1950
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:42 pm
Location: Confoederatio Helvetica

Re: Are binary prefixes REALLY an official international standard?

Post by absque fenestris »

Exactly such discussions have destroyed my trust in any institutions.
Standards?
Yes which? Nobody knows what. My state, my administration - yes, if I want to communicate with assholes ...
Binding standards? I still work with the meter and fractions of it.
Maybe in 2020 I'll have to switch to my thumb and my elbow.
Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia (Mate) 32-bit - Acer D250 Netbook (Intel Atom N270, 2 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD)
Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa (Mate) 64-bit - MacBook Pro 15" (Intel Core2 Duo, 8 GB RAM, 240 GB SSD) - with some separation difficulties...

rene
Level 14
Level 14
Posts: 5130
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:58 pm

Re: Are binary prefixes REALLY an official international standard?

Post by rene »

absque fenestris wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:46 am
Who comes up with the crazy* idea to mix this up..?
Oh, right. "An accident of history". While 1024 may not be 1000 it is of course still fairly close, and given the fairly inherent power-of-2-nes of binary computers at one point the convenience of calling it "a kilobyte" outweighed this being incorrect...
Last edited by rene on Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
absque fenestris
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1950
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:42 pm
Location: Confoederatio Helvetica

Re: Are binary prefixes REALLY an official international standard?

Post by absque fenestris »

I grew up and was trained in meticulous measurements. The standards were clear and could not be discussed.
Today, 2020 it all seems somehow blurred - boing Boeing - clowns and monkeys decide the future path.
At least on planes I'm careful - in operating systems I'm joking ...
Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia (Mate) 32-bit - Acer D250 Netbook (Intel Atom N270, 2 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD)
Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa (Mate) 64-bit - MacBook Pro 15" (Intel Core2 Duo, 8 GB RAM, 240 GB SSD) - with some separation difficulties...

rene
Level 14
Level 14
Posts: 5130
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:58 pm

Re: Are binary prefixes REALLY an official international standard?

Post by rene »

absque fenestris wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:12 am
I grew up and was trained in meticulous measurements.
Yes, well, we can't all be Swiss...

User avatar
absque fenestris
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1950
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:42 pm
Location: Confoederatio Helvetica

Re: Are binary prefixes REALLY an official international standard?

Post by absque fenestris »

rene wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:16 am
absque fenestris wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:12 am
I grew up and was trained in meticulous measurements.
Yes, well, we can't all be Swiss...
I'm 62 now. All that was years, years ago. In 2020, I would like to get along with my existing 5 cats move out of the city. As a mobile pedestal, I imagine a 2 CV station van. When it comes to computers, I'm open to high-end systems... :mrgreen:


Image


This is a car that I can drive. I have scales in meters, centimeters and millimeters that I can use. I don't know why GB, MB and KB are designed as required ...
Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia (Mate) 32-bit - Acer D250 Netbook (Intel Atom N270, 2 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD)
Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa (Mate) 64-bit - MacBook Pro 15" (Intel Core2 Duo, 8 GB RAM, 240 GB SSD) - with some separation difficulties...

rene
Level 14
Level 14
Posts: 5130
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:58 pm

Re: Are binary prefixes REALLY an official international standard?

Post by rene »

absque fenestris wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:31 am
I don't know why GB, MB and KB are designed as required ...
Well, as this thread is about, they're not any more; a GB is again simply 10^9 bytes, a GiB is 2^30 of them, and any other use is "historical", i.e., wrong.

Which, mind you, isn't to say that I myself haven't been wrong, nor that I will not be wrong. Only people under 30 should be held accountable...

Post Reply

Return to “Open chat”