What kind of measurement to we want to have on the site?

The most common ones are

  1. the metric measurements (Liter, Meter, Celsius) that are commonly used in most of Europe.
  2. the US-imperial measurements (Inch, Foot, Gallon, Fahrenheit) that are commonly used in the US (and some of them someplace else as well).

Should we stick to one of them? Or should we don't care and let every member choose for themselves? Should we edit question that use the "wrong" one?

Context of this question is a (now deleted) answer I read that recommended using 5x4 (or so) wooden bars that referenced to 5 inches x 4 foot (or so) planks and I was pretty much lost on this (a comment was sufficient to get an explanation, yet still I would have preferred to understand it at once).


Either. Let people use the measurement they are familiar with in their own posts.

It would be a hassle for a lot of people if we only allowed one system of measurement on the site. Now if you want to edit so that the post contains both, that's your use of your time here, and certainly won't hurt anything.

Of course, as Zach states in his answer,

We should enforce that some type of units are required for measurements.

And as Sterno said in a comment:

we should never change someone's existing measurements to a different type

  • I agree that "we should never change," but if you're editing a post anyway, it's fine to add in the other measurement in parentheses, if you so wish; I've done so myself in some edits.
    – Shokhet
    Jan 1 '15 at 20:03

Your confusion on the question comes more from the lack of units on the values rather than the units used. Had the question put 5"x4' or 5in by 4ft you could have easily made the calculation yourself to the metric system. We should enforce that some type of units are required for measurements.

I don't think it's an issue big enough to mandate an edit simply to change the units. If there are other parts in the post that need editing and you want to add the other type of unit, that's perfectly acceptable as it doesn't take away from the post's value or meaning.

  • I actually would have had to ask what 5"x4' means :) (5inx4ft would be good though) Jan 1 '15 at 17:44

I think we should have both and should (be encouraged to) edit the missing one into the post if the OP did not provide both.

While I am very much metric centric, I can totally understand that somebody might want to use their used-to system.

For questions: You can get more better results if your question allows more people to properly understand the problem.

For Answers: The more future visitors can understand an answer the more people can profit from it. And if at least one of them needs to calculate the measurements into a different system, it is useful to have them both.

  • 2
    Editing in extra sounds fine, but we should never change someone's existing measurements to a different type on them. Even if we don't edit in the extra though, that calculation is just one google result away for anyone who wants to use an existing answer that is in measurements they aren't used to.
    – Sterno
    Jan 1 '15 at 15:03
  • @Sterno I think so. Jan 1 '15 at 17:43
  • I'm surprised this has gotten so much DVs. Technically it says the same as the other answers. Jan 2 '15 at 10:09

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