Moved to my work-related web site.
Thanks for a great article. As a programmer, I found myself reflected very humorously (yet very accurately) in your comments about “blind conservatism”. I sat there, reading your quote of the typical programmer wondering how you were able to read my mind. LOL. I, personally, may not have been so insulting about it, as I doubt I would ever tell anyone “what are you stupid?”, but still, it was eerily accurate. It gave me a big laugh… one of those “It’s funny because it’s TRUE” scenarios.
Anyhow, I just wanted to let you know that I honestly came into reading your article after much smug huffing and internal blustering while reading Wikipedia articles on the new prefix designations. But, having read your honest and funny article, I have to say, I’m convinced, you’re absolutely right. I’ll try to use the new prefixes, though out of habit, I may slip every now and again.
By the way, I don’t think we programmers get upset over such things out of blind conservatism… not really blind, anyhow. I think the conservatism is more about being consistent with what’s already established, in order to avoid confusion. Changes to measurements and names and such things can cause tremendous confusion, especially when the change is arbitrary. Engineering types don’t like such confusion, so once we have an entrenched standard, we stick to it, even if it’s not perfect. On the other hand, if a change is more clarifying or otherwise beneficial, you’re absolutely right, it’s a good thing. It’s just hard to deviate from a normally good habit, even if for a good reason. It’s like asking a zebra to wear spots to blend into a new environment. A good idea, but it still just doesn’t feel quite right.
Give us time, we’ll all get on board eventually.
Thanks for the comment. You’re right, “mindless” is a bit too insulting, I think “knee-jerk” is better. Revised accordingly.
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