int vs float divide: abbreviating numbers w/SI units

Erik Max Francis max at alcyone.com
Sat Jul 28 21:34:02 CEST 2001


David Eppstein wrote:

>         SI Units are used to convert the number to a human-readable
>         range.
>         For example, abbreviateNumber(3141592) returns '3.1M'.
>         In most cases (except when the number is too big or too small
>         for the units defined in the SI system) the resulting string
>         will be at most four characters long.

Those are SI prefixes, not units.  (Under strict SI rules, you're not
supposed to use the prefixes without units; 3M to represent 3 x 10^6 is
badly formed SI usage.)

>         By default, the program uses decimal k (i.e. 1k = 1000).
>         To use binary k, as is more typical e.g. for numbers of bytes,
>         call with a second argument k=1024.

There is a standard for binary prefixes, too:  Ki, Mi, Gi, Ti, etc.; not
that they're used much.

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