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SubjectRe: Configure.help editorial policy
Stephen Satchell <list@fluent2.pyramid.net>:
> What kills me is that people forget the origin of KB as a standard
> designation for "kilobyte" in the first place. Does anyone remember the
> KSR-33 teletype, the early dot-matrix printers, and other output devices
> that output only upper-case characters? Maybe you youngsters don't recall
> that lower-case character devices were EXPENSIVE -- I still have a TI
> Silent 700 terminal that did output lower-case when connected to systems
> that understood the full ASCII alphabet, but those systems were few and far
> between in business applications -- upper-case-only was "good enough." How
> about tab machines that never did have lower-case, such as the 407 printing
> accounting machine?

That's right, kids. And furthermore, we had to walk to the computer
center uphill. Both ways. In the snow. Empty out the chad buckets
twice a day. And crimp backplane wires with our teeth, while the
machine was *on*!

> So here we are, campers, arguing about abbreviations when in fact there is
> no real NEED for abbreviations outside of the config symbol space. Why not
> just take the few extra bytes (they are not a penny each anymore) to spell
> out what you really mean?

Alas, this is not a solution -- because expanding all the abbrevs would
just get us into the argument over "kilobytes" vs. "kibibytes". And,
while I can just barely make myself choke down "KiB" for the sake of
clarity, "kibibytes" is beyond my tolerance. Aaarrggghhh....
--
<a href="http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/">Eric S. Raymond</a>
All governments are more or less combinations against the
people. . .and as rulers have no more virtue than the ruled. . .
the power of government can only be kept within its constituted
bounds by the display of a power equal to itself, the collected
sentiment of the people.
-- Benjamin Franklin Bache, in a Phildelphia Aurora editorial 1794
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