The wikipedian could write a decent introduction, however he seems to be uninclined to do so.
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The wikipedia is an international project. There is an ongoing controversy on the use of metric units in wikipedia's articles. Some editors suggest giving preference to U.S customary units in articles related to the U.S., for the sake of our american readers.
Let me state this once for all: I am a pro-metrication editor. For this, I give preference to metric units whenever that is possible.
Occasionally, I may come across articles which give measures only in imperial (miles, gallons, pounds, feet...). Since most of the world uses metric, I feel its better to give equivalent (converted & rounded) metric measurements, which might be more familiar and user-friendly than inches, feet or even stones!. I WILL NOT delete previous imperial units and will leave them in brackets (that isn't pro-metrication, but metrication-nazism).
- For instance:
- "Construction of the 45 km (28 mi.) barrier around the three western sectors began on Sunday 13 August 1961 in East Berlin"
- (Part of the Berlin wall wiki).
I personally dislike some articles that give total preference to imperial measurements.
"U.S. Highway 66 or Route 66 was and is the most famous road in the U.S. Highway system and quite possibly the most famous and storied highway in the world. US 66 originally ran from Chicago, Illinois through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California before ending at the beach at Santa Monica for a total distance of 2,448 miles (3,940 km)."
In my opinion, this should read:
"U.S. Highway 66 or Route 66 was and is the most famous road in the U.S. Highway system and quite possibly the most famous and storied highway in the world. US 66 originally ran from Chicago, Illinois through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California before ending at the beach at Santa Monica for a total distance of 3,940 km (2,448 mi.) ."
(metric first. If using abbreviation for kilometres, please do so with miles (mi)).
Some people have argued that since this topic is related to the U.S., there will be a high probability the reader will american, therefore more familiar with miles than kilometres (even if he/she has been taught metric at school!).
This is not the american wikipedia, but the english wikipedia, and most english speaking countries are metric (with the US being the sole exception). Feel free to give equivalent customary figures in articles, but don't leave metric in second place.
I understand some specialities use non metric measurements on a daily basis as an standard. These are (but are not limited to) aviation (feets for heigh), nautic (nautical knoots and miles)or computer storage (hard disk drives, floppies).
In these situations I favour the use of imperial measures, but always followed by metric equivalents, for example 123 feet ( xxx metres).
Also, if the source is originally imperial (see 88 MPHFlux capacitor 142 km/h), I will leaving imperial in first place, although I believe 142 km/h (88 MPH) is still good.
- I favour replacing dpi with dots per centimetre, but it is still rare.
- I am not going to start a british english vs american english spelling war. If you don't like 'metres' and prefer 'meters', that's fine for me.
Not everyone will find acceptable this policy and as a result of this, he/she might revert my edits. If you are reading this , chances are you might be one of them. Please discuss your reasons at the talk page and join the Wikipedia:Measurements Debate. Alternately, you may want to read what the Usenet Oracle has to say about this.