[NTG-context] Units -- a few things

Ville Voipio ville.voipio at kpatents.com
Fri Jan 20 18:58:52 CET 2006


There seems to be a small glitch in m-units.tex. The unit \Bit typesets 
"Bit". This is wrong, as bits are always in lowercase first letter:

   a single bit: bit
   a byte: B

It is also possible to use b (for bit) and Byte (for B). However, bits 
are always small and Bytes large. The best practice seems to be to spell 
bits out (bit) and use abbreviation for Bytes (B). This minimizes confusion.

I fixed this problem in my ConTeXt installation by tweaking rows 664 and 
666.

For more discussion, see:

   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byte

It might be worth it to implement the octet (o), as well. It is a good 
unit (more precise and descriptive than byte) but the abbreviation is 
horrible.

---

Another related thing is whether ConTeXt should implement IEC 60027-2 
binary prefices (Ki, Mi, Gi, Ti). More info on this:

   http://www.iec.ch/zone/si/si_bytes.htm

---

Well, then to a more practical thing... This is a very trivial question, 
but still. When writing a number and the unit, it would be nice to have 
automatic formatting. What I mean is that when I have a million two 
hundred thousand kilograms, I would like it to be typeset:

  1(small space)200(small space)000(small space)kg

Everything on a single row despite where it is. Now I write:

  1\,200\,000\,\Kilo\Gram

It would be more legible, if I could just write:

  \unit{1200000}{\Kilo\Gram}

Taking care of all the fancy small spaces should be computer's problem. 
not mine... (Or does this mechanism already exist?)

- Ville


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