Democracy Triumphs in Disk Units

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Richard Stallman

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Aug 28, 1991, 6:09:19 AM8/28/91
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Last week users poured out into the streets of the network to rally to
the cause of 1024-byte blocks for measuring disk space. When people
finally chose sides, it was amazing how few actually stood with the
POSIX Central Committee and its apparatchiks. Only 20 out of 750
supported the 512ist coup.

In the aftermath, the GNU system has declared its independence,
throwing off the power of the POSIX party. We are rapidly moving to
eliminate all vestage of 512ist domination. We have already taken
direct control of df, du, and several other programs, converting them
to use 1024-byte units for measuring output, and to provide ways to
specify input quantities in units of K.

We promise to respect the rights of minorities--even tiny ones. So
there will be options to request output in units of 512. Even those
who cannot bear to deviate from the POSIX party line will be provided
for--they can define the environment variable POSIX_ME_HARDER.

But what we really hope is that the POSIX party will itself modernize
its hardline position, and add its support to 1024ist reform. If the
KGB could do it, there must at least be a chance for POSIX.

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