Who controls dimensionality? (survey)

Who controls dimensionality? (survey)

In the recent text “Reality exists and it must be taken into account” there is a small contradiction – the reality of the phenomenon that is proposed to be fought is not shown.

Do people really make mistakes related to incorrect units of measurement and dimensions of quantities? Maybe there is no problem, and there should be a mass use of tools that help programmers and researchers avoid mistakes when operating with quantities that have a physical meaning?

Let’s find out (further detailed explanation and the survey itself)

Who controls dimensionality? (poll)

The investigated problem has two manifestations and the first is that there is more than one system of measurement units. Two systems are widespread:

And the problem is that there are people who use the Imperial system for various reasons.

Two events related to this problem are widely known.

1) “Gimli Glider” (1983) – when Canada switched to the metric system, fuel was poured into the plane, out of habit, thinking that the numbers indicated gallons and pounds, but they were already liters and kilograms.

2) “Mars Climate Orbiter” (1999) – an automatic interplanetary station received braking data that was calculated in imperial units of “pound-force”, and worked as if it were metric “Newtons”.

There are no more such stories. Perhaps such cases do not go beyond the boundaries of internal accident reports, or perhaps there really is no problem.

Because the solution to the problem exists and has been known for a long time – to work not with bare numbers, but with nominal values. Then the program can convert everything and calculate correctly.

For example, yes.

The second manifestation of the problem is that you can simply make a typographical error in the name of a variable or an arithmetic operation and get a mathematically correct but meaningless result.

For example, if the acceleration is not “multiplied” by “time”, but divided, the result will not be “speed”, but the devil. But if you use named values, then the erroneous operation can be detected and corrected in time.

And if you do not use dimensional control, then you can get the number 12.5 and be sure that the calculation was successful.

There are many such tools both at the programming language level and in the form of specialized libraries, etc. Such tools have existed for a long time.

Yes, not everything is perfect there and it has its own peculiarities, difficulties and problems.

But they, these tools of control over dimensions, exist.

And here is the question, do you use them? Do you even know they exist?

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