One Megabyte = .000,976,6 Gigabytes
How to write numbers and their digits universally
A - Current official rules leave some choices
NIST, Wikipedia and other authorities (official or not) apparently concur to recommend or impose to group the digits by 3 starting from the (single) "decimal separator", the groups of 3 digits being separated with "thousand separators", with dropping that (then unique) thousand separator when the number of digits left or right from the decimal separator is 4.
The choice of the particular DEC and THND separators is left to actual popular use, which depends on the language.
For a long time that actual popular choice for DEC and THND separators was "DOT and COMA" in English (US, UK, etc), and the reverse ("COMA and DOT") in French:
- The speed of light in a vacuum is 299,792.46 kilometers per second
- La vitesse de la lumière dans le vide est 299.792,46 kilomètres par
In the recent decades that has changed in French, and even in English, to "DOT and SPACE" (the fictive example below is built after Wikipedia Speed of light and Vitesse de la lumière):
- The speed of light in a vacuum is 299 792.46 kilometers per second
- La vitesse de la lumière dans le vide est 299 792,46 kilomètres par seconde
B - Applying those rules and choices
B1. The old rules ("DOT and COMA" and "COMA and DOT") had the bad effect of ambiguity when reading in another language. The new tacit rule (THND represented with an NBSP) succeeds in removing that ambiguity with minimum hurt to national habits, yet introduces a side hurt to the accuracy or reliability of the writing: the NBSP inevitably gets too often replaced with a visually indistinguishable ordinary space, making the number line-broken hence too often wrongly read, no matter the reader being an human or a program.
B2. English, French and other languages, aside from all their contradictions, at least concur, in ordinary literal writing, on using DOT to separate sentences and COMA to separate sub-sentences; so in a phrase (or sentence) you can have several comas, but ONE dot. Unifying that principle to numbers, and trying to make it as simple, clear, universal, as possible, leads logically and naturally to represent DEC with DOT and THND with COMA; so in this case (oppositely to Unit Systems), IMO the French (and others) should have simply switched to the English way: ONE DOT at the end of the phrase (or number), SEVERAL COMAS between sub-phrases (or 3-digit groups).
B3. The above should apply IMO same way before and after the DEC (decimal separator)
B4. When there are no digit before the DEC, official rules recommend or impose to put a leading zero. I would oppositely drop it, or at least make it optional; for instance in a long vertical column, the visual length of the numbers would remain, one more digit to the right, a correct representation of the order of magnitude of the involved number; accessorily the one-char saving is sometimes useful (e.g. in some large tables).
B5. Finally the choices I would recommend, as compliant as possible to official rules, simple to write, easy to read and friendly to anyone on the planet, looks as shown in this example:
- One Megabyte = .000,000,953,674,316,406,2 Terabytes = .000,976,562,5 Gigabytes = 1 Megabyte = 1024 Kilobytes = 1,048,576.00 Bytes
Versailles, Thu 27 Feb 2014 22:28:20 +0100, edited (formatting) 22:42:40