Show HN: USA.css – units set in inches, 1776 bytes

(bennettfeely.com)

457 points | by bennettfeely 34 days ago

29 comments

  • chrismorgan 34 days ago

    Feels strange to have single decimal places in your inch figures. I’d have expected something like eighths, sixteenths and thirty-seconds of inches, even though the decimal representation of them is unwieldy (1⁄32″ becomes 0.03125in). That also helps you avoid fractional pixels, which is worth doing if convenient: 1⁄32″ is 3px, because 1in is defined as 96px.

    (As an Australian, the main place I’ve ever seen fractions of inches is old tools like spanners from before the adoption of the metric system, and that’s all fractions with powers-of-two denominators. But maybe Americans use decimal fractions of inches? I suppose I have seen laptop screens described in that way, e.g. 13.1″, 15.4″ and 15.6″, though people typically truncate to the inch.)

    • amyjess 34 days ago

      All small measurements in the US are done in power-of-two fractions of an inch. In fact, much of the initial opposition to the metric system here was led by the construction industry, who has found from experience that 1/2" 1/4" 1/8" 1/16" etc. measurements are too convenient to ever give up.

      • skrause 33 days ago

        How this that convenient when you then have to use something like 13/16?

        Just look at the standard wrench sizes (https://www.cnm.edu/programs-of-study/programs-a-z/automotiv...):

        * Standard Combination Wrenches: 1/4, 5/16, 11/32, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8, 11/16, 3/4, 13/16, 7/8, 15/16, 1.

        * Metric Combination Wrenches: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19. Measured in millimeters.

        • mikecoles 32 days ago

          Perfectly convenient.

          The standard system excels when doing actual work. If you have a rod with 1" diameter and you need to take it down to 13/16", you can use a lathe to make 3/32" cut. Or if you need to divide up 13/16 into 4 parts, for example, 13/64.

          The metric system's strength is teaching in elementary schools where skills with fractions are not as strong.

          • VyperCard 33 days ago

            Thanks for this illustration.

          • SAI_Peregrinus 33 days ago

            Not exactly. Things are done in decimal fractions until you get down to around 1/64", but any farther and they're done in thou (1/1000" aka mils) or tenths (1/10000"). There's overlap, machinists will use thou up to and sometimes beyond a full inch.

          • skybrian 34 days ago

            Rulers, drill bits, and wrenches typically use fractions of an inch where the denominator is a power of two, but circuit board design often uses decimal fractions of an inch. The holes in a breadboard are commonly .1 inches apart.

            • xellisx 34 days ago

              Then the whole mils thing...

              • segfaultbuserr 34 days ago

                Routing a PCB is like constantly flipping your ruler around: Old, classic through-hole parts are in inches/mills, while new, modern surface-mount parts are in millimeters. All electrical aspects (traces, spacing, lengths) are measured in inches/mills, and often the mechanical aspects are measured in millimeters (if the enclosure is not made in the U.S.). And if you use the wrong system, you engineering tables and formula stops working, the whole thing is out-of-context (e.g. measuring the gap in a differential pair in millimeters, the number makes no sense), and an integer becomes a float with three significant digits after the decimal point.

                So here is the joke: The electronics industry is moving towards the metric system, one mill at a time. At least CAD programs have a button to switch between the two instantly.

            • cjsawyer 34 days ago

              Engineering and machining specifications are usually in 0.001” and referred to as thousandth’s or “thou’s”. Tools like wrenches or drill bits use fractions in the form x+1/2^n like 2 1/2 == 2.5”. It goes down to 1/64, I think.

              • userbinator 34 days ago

                They also speak of tenths which are 0.0001" units, i.e. "tenth of a thou". This jargon tends to confuse those who are new to it, but has been around for over a century.

                • DerekRobot 33 days ago

                  It's a really well-sized unit for that kind of work. I know exactly what a thou is and how to keep things in spec, but I'm lost using mm.

                  • beojan 33 days ago

                    Thous, and tenths even more so, are more akin to microns in metric.

                • Symbiote 34 days ago

                  Since several of the lengths are in fifths of an inch, I thought it was a secret desire for the metric system.

                  • jedberg 34 days ago

                    We usually use fractions, but sometimes we're forced to use decimals, usually when related to computers, since the usual fractions don't translate well to decimal.

                    • jholman 34 days ago

                      Wait, what?

                      You're saying that Americans preferentially use base-2 fractions (nearly) everywhere except on computers; on computers you preferentially use base-10, even though said computers are going to store the values as base-2?

                      That's the funniest thing I've heard all week.

                      • vandahm 34 days ago

                        > "on computers you preferentially use base-10, even though said computers are going to store the values as base-2?"

                        I don't understand this comment at all. Most people are not computer programmers and therefore have no insight into how computers represent numbers. They just populate text fields in Excel, or whatever, with numbers. It's easier to use decimal points to do that than fractions.

                        When I'm not using computers or calculators, I do prefer American-style fractions over decimal point representations. Fractions are a lot easier for me to manipulate in my head. If I'm out in my garage, upside down, underneath a car, and trying to decide which drill bit to use, I don't have convenient access to the calculator on my cell phone or a pencil and paper, and reliable mental math is important. The fractions are easier, so that's what I want.

                        • ghusbands 33 days ago

                          I believe they're saying it's ironic that, despite the base-2 values being ideal for binary computers, users are having to use base-10 to enter them into the computer and hence getting none of the possible advantage. I don't believe they're making a value judgement.

                          • Symbiote 33 days ago

                            You find it more difficult to choose between 1mm, 2mm, 3mm, 3.5mm, 4mm, 4.5mm, 5mm, 6mm, 7mm, 8mm drill bits than 1/16 5/64 3/32 7/64 1/8 9/64 5/32 1/4 7/32 3/16 inches?

                            What's 3/16" in 64ths, while under your car?

                            (Imperial numbers copied from a website selling a set, metric from my memory of my 10-bit set. I doubt these sets are similar.)

                            • beojan 33 days ago

                              > What's 3/16" in 64ths, while under your car?

                              12. You just double it, twice.

                              I'm British, and generally partial to metric units, but power-of-two fractions actually seem quite nice to me.

                          • brudgers 34 days ago

                            A feature of some English measures is unbiased division into three equal parts, e.g. Three teaspoons to the tablespoon, twelve inches to the foot, and twelve ounces to the pound (for one of several definitions of “ounce”).

                            Thirds don’t fit neatly into binary nor do they fit neatly into decimal. This is what the comment refers to.

                      • klyrs 34 days ago

                        Weirdly, bennettfeely had 1776 karma when I clicked their profile. Conspiracy? Coincidence?

                        • Stratoscope 34 days ago

                          And 1812 when I clicked just now.

                          This must mean something!

                          • iliaznk 34 days ago

                            1812 – that's when Napoleon invaded Russia.

                            • Bjorkbat 34 days ago

                              1901 when I upvoted, the year when Teddy Roosevelt became President.

                              I now have a strong urge to keep peace on the continent and rough-ride over a company under an antitrust investigation.

                              • unnouinceput 34 days ago

                                1821, proudly made by me. You know, when he died on St. Helen

                                • Svip 34 days ago

                                  I think they were referring to the War of 1812. A war the US lost, and where the song "The Star Bangled Banner" comes from.

                                  • swilliamsio 34 days ago

                                    Hey, are you Svip from Paradox forums, of Ulm fame?

                                    • adventured 34 days ago

                                      > I think they were referring to the War of 1812. A war the US lost

                                      The outcome of history indicates the US won that war. Technically it was considered a stalemate. The US lost no territory, repelled a malevolent empire again, kept its economy & trade fully intact, and won numerous major battles throughout the war. In the following decades the US became an economic juggernaut, while the British Empire began to fade into the history books.

                                      A supposedly mighty empire failed twice in less than 40 years to bring a small nation to its knees. Quite humiliating.

                                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_1812

                                      - "In 1813, the US won the Battle of Lake Erie, gaining control of the lake, and they defeated Tecumseh's Confederacy at the Battle of the Thames, defeating Britain's largest Native American ally, a primary war goal."

                                      - "In 1814, the British burned Washington, but the US later repulsed British attempts to invade New York and Maryland, ending invasions from Canada into the northern and mid-Atlantic states."

                                      - "Attempts to smother American maritime trade failed, however, and soon both sides began to desire peace."

                                      - "In early 1815, after a peace treaty had been signed, but before this news had reached the Americas, the US defeated the British Army near New Orleans, Louisiana."

                                      - "Peace negotiations began in August 1814, and the Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24, 1814. News of the peace finally reached America in February 1815 about the same time as news of the victory at New Orleans. The Americans triumphantly celebrated the restoration of their national honor, leading to the collapse of anti-war sentiment and the beginning of the Era of Good Feelings, a period of national unity. The treaty was unanimously ratified by the US Senate on February 17, 1815, ending the war with no boundary changes"

                                      • swilliamsio 34 days ago

                                        > repelled a malevolent empire again

                                        That's just straight up wrong. The US started the war when they invaded Canada. The British Empire did not want to fight the war. To them, the United States was just a sideshow of the much larger and much more important Napoleonic Wars.

                                        If anything, it was the British and Canada that repelled a malevolent United States, who had had eyes on annexing Canada since independence.

                                        > In the following decades the US became an economic juggernaut, while the British Empire began to fade into the history books.

                                        Uh, what. The 19th century was the golden age of the British Empire, whilst the US remained a small player on the world stage. You must be confusing the War of 1812 to the first or second world wars.

                                        I know its the Fourth of July for you yanks, but this comment is just straight up propaganda.

                                        And quoting Wikipedia to prove that it was a victory for the US is ironic given that Wikipedia states that the war resulted in stalemate and status quo ante bellum. The only real losers were the Native Americans.

                                  • klyrs 34 days ago

                                    Burn down the white house?

                                    • quickthrowman 34 days ago

                                      Those chaps from across the pond really liked to burn things down in the 19th century, the Old Summer Palace in Beijing being burnt and looted was a bit harsher.

                                        "This is the reward for perfidy and cruelty"
                                    • scoopertrooper 34 days ago

                                      1932 now, this is getting dark.

                                • gerikson 34 days ago
                                  • OJFord 34 days ago

                                    Huh, I didn't know about this, that feet and inches used to differ across the world. If only they'd done pints, fluid ounces, and cups, etc. too!

                                    (Cups are particularly annoying: there's British, US, US Legal, and metric. The best recipe-following advice is that it's never going to matter. But it's annoying.)

                                    • petepete 34 days ago

                                      I thought the whole point of cups was that the actual quantity didn't matter, so long as your ratios were consistent.

                                      • irrational 34 days ago

                                        Measuring by volume was from a time period before we had reliable digital scales. These days all baking measuring should be done by weight since it is far more accurate. I won’t even consider a recipe that goes by volume. Fortunately those are all written by amateurs.

                                        • progman32 34 days ago

                                          For where precision matters, 100% agree. For people like me who just want something halfway tasty but also quickly, the convenience of volumetric scoops is compelling.

                                          • joe5150 34 days ago

                                            I have a lot of junk in my kitchen drawers (admittedly a personal problem) and will opt for measuring directly from the bag into the bowl on a scale over digging around for that quarter cup every time.

                                            • frank2 34 days ago

                                              Replace "convenience" with "low cost of equipping the kitchen" then.

                                              • iainmerrick 34 days ago

                                                A set of measuring cups and a digital kitchen scale probably cost about the same.

                                                Just checked this with a quick search on Amazon -- most results are in the $15-20 range, with some available for $10 or less.

                                                (I dare say there are probably very cheap measuring cups available, and for a scale you’ll have to fork out occasionally for batteries, if you want to split hairs.)

                                                • Symbiote 33 days ago

                                                  Mechanical scales were normal in the UK for most of the 20th century. Everyone I knew had one in the 1990s, from around 2000 people started buying digital scales, and I took my mum's mechanical scale when I left for university.

                                                  Measuring ingredients by weight has a long history on Britain. The old, Victorian cookbooks use weights.

                                                  https://archive.org/details/b20392758/page/698/mode/2up

                                                  • iainmerrick 32 days ago

                                                    I’m generally a fan of simple mechanical devices over electronics, but I think digital scales are a good example where electronics really do makes things simpler; and as it’s a commodity (like calculators and digital watches) the electronic version is amazingly cheap too.

                                                    The ability to zero the count as you add each ingredient to a single bowl is very useful.

                                          • masklinn 33 days ago

                                            > These days all baking measuring should be done by weight since it is far more accurate.

                                            It also has no "tamping" problem e.g. volumetric measurement of flour can differ in the amount of actual flour by a factor of 2+ if the floor is tamped versus aerated. Volumetric measurements are supposed to use aerated aka first make flour fly everywhere then try to coerce it into your cup.

                                            • jpalomaki 34 days ago

                                              I’d say measuring by weight is also faster, cleaner and easier for my overloaded brains (how many cups did I put, was that cup semi-full, ...)

                                            • OJFord 34 days ago

                                              That works if everything is measured in them. (At which point obviously you can call it whatever you want, it's nothing more than a ratio as you say.)

                                              • TheSpiceIsLife 34 days ago

                                                I have two suggest volume tablespoon measures.

                                                One is 15mL and the other is 20mL.

                                                That's a fair difference, but doesn't seem to matter a whole lot.

                                              • Symbiote 34 days ago

                                                I lived in Britain for over 25 years, and never saw British cups used as a measure.

                                                A recipe given in ounces and pints might be using Imperial or US ounces and pints, but a recipe in cups is American.

                                                (It can matter when something is in another unit, like "4 eggs".)

                                                • OJFord 34 days ago

                                                  They're extraordinarily rare in recipes for sure, basically only in old ones.

                                                  But if you buy a 'cups' measure it ~never says which of the four it is, and it may well be there old Imperial size. (I have one. Was a popular one on Amazon, nothing obscure.)

                                                • avipars 33 days ago

                                                  the whole imperial system is off and doesn't make sense.

                                                • masklinn 34 days ago

                                                  The units were already defined in relation to metric units (officially through the Medenhall Order in the US though the OWM had officiously been doing that for some time, officiously through the Weights and Measures Act of 1897 in the UK as while it defined the meter in terms of yard, as the precision of the meter increased the yard followed rather than led), but different countries used slightly different conversion factors.

                                                  Hence international inches, not metric inches.

                                                  • hedora 34 days ago

                                                    I’m sure it inherits from the DPI your monitor reports.

                                                    I wonder if any manufacturers let you specify which one you mean, or if it’s like drives, where they always pick the smaller one to make a few extra pennies.

                                                    The standards boards should step in to avoid confusion.

                                                    • PedroBatista 34 days ago

                                                      American inches.

                                                    • dc_ist 34 days ago
                                                      • bob1029 34 days ago

                                                        I think its really great that this exists. Bonus points for it being a public project on GitHub that any American can contribute to. It's also really hard to argue with the licensing terms.

                                                      • zacksinclair 34 days ago

                                                        I didn't even know you could set inches!

                                                        Happy 4th!

                                                        • mediumdeviation 34 days ago

                                                          Mostly useful for print stylesheets. On screens it seems to be defined as a constant 96px[1], which means it has no correspondence to physical inches.

                                                          [1]: https://hacks.mozilla.org/2013/09/css-length-explained/

                                                          • missblit 34 days ago

                                                            But the CSS spec suggests around 1/96th of an inch for the size of a CSS pixel. So if you squint hard enough it kind of works out.

                                                            • CivBase 34 days ago

                                                              Welcome back to HNC News. Tonight's top story: US law makers have introduced a new bill that would require all digital displays in the United States to feature a pixel density of 96 ppi. White house officials say the new bill represents "the first step on the march to bring freedom to the cyber world". More on this after the break.

                                                              • Shared404 34 days ago

                                                                Anchor: "Let's bring in a Congressman who agreed to comment on this extraordinary turn of events"

                                                                Congressman: "I'm glad to support the expansion of freedom to all realms. Thankfully, it is now safe for us to do this that we can defend ourselves against the dangerous 'cypherpunks'. Thank you to everyone who has helped make this possible"

                                                                • kalleboo 34 days ago

                                                                  Ah, but since the retina iPhone, a CSS pixel != a screen pixel

                                                                  • pcunite 34 days ago

                                                                    I would scream from my office. Almost no one would understand my pain.

                                                                    • tempodox 34 days ago

                                                                      But it would make screens great again! Especially retina screens.

                                                                  • earthboundkid 34 days ago

                                                                    Screens around the world are sold based on diagonal inches. USA! USA!

                                                                    • simias 34 days ago

                                                                      As a European whose only familiarity with inches is that "it's about 3cm" that actually annoys me.

                                                                      Back when screens were small it sort of worked, I knew what 13", 15", 17" and 20" screens looked like. Since most monitors fell in that range (yeah, I'm showing my age) that was good enough. Anything bigger than that was "damn huge", anything smaller was "damn small".

                                                                      But now monitors and especially TVs are immense. I see TVs with diagonals of 30", 55", 65"... That means absolutely nothing to me. I have to convert into centimeters for it to make sense. Fortunately some resellers do put the metric measurement next to the inches, but not everybody does it.

                                                                      • penagwin 34 days ago

                                                                        If it makes you feel any better, I'm from the US and the unit is kinda meaningless. It's not like I can visualize 42" (without converting to feet first), and because it's the diagonal length it makes it basically impossible to visualize - I have to have seen it to know anyway.

                                                                        • TheSpiceIsLife 34 days ago

                                                                          Hah! Yeah I hadn't even noticed that I do this too.

                                                                          I'm writing this on a 42" display, it was sold as a "TV" but it's just a dumb display as far as I'm concerned, so cheap 1080p monitor really.

                                                                          Everything bigger than 42" is, in my mind, just unnecessarily big as you have to sit progressively further away from the display to comfortably watch motion pictures.

                                                                          So, from my perspective, huge displays are what you need for unnecessarily huge houses.

                                                                          • earthboundkid 34 days ago

                                                                            In Japanese, they don’t translate “55"” normally, instead it becomes a “55 unit” TV. FWIW, as an American, the diagonal is unhelpful, so you need to look up the horizontal and vertical measurements anyway to know what will fit on your shelf.

                                                                          • realusername 34 days ago

                                                                            Depends where you are, in France typically inches are used almost only for phones & laptop screens. Anything above (like TV) tend to use centimeters.

                                                                      • novok 34 days ago

                                                                        Definitely only tested on chrome. The .usa-conic item doesn't render at all in firefox :)

                                                                        • elagost 34 days ago

                                                                          I'm no web dev, so feel free to improve upon it. Think I got the proportions right though.

                                                                          <div class="usa-stars" style="height:134;width:190;float:left;"></div>

                                                                          <div class="usa-stripes-horizontal" style="height:250;width:475;"></div>

                                                                          • noncoml 34 days ago

                                                                            Coming to US after living in UK for a few years, what astonished me was not the fact that US is using the imperial system, but the US Gallon is different to the UK Gallon...!

                                                                            • bjourne 34 days ago

                                                                              Cool! This is the kind of things that I love to see on HN.

                                                                              • max0563 34 days ago

                                                                                This is fantastic. Happy Independence Day!

                                                                                • andrewnicolalde 34 days ago

                                                                                  Beautiful!

                                                                                  • alexseman 34 days ago

                                                                                    As an European this is really cool and unlike others self-loathing Americans here in the comments I understand the idea, humor and originality. Happy 4th USA, you are great today due to the greatness of your forefathers and the men that built this nation.

                                                                                    • dang 34 days ago

                                                                                      Given your previous comments, this looks like trolling. Please stop posting like this to HN.

                                                                                      • TheSpiceIsLife 34 days ago

                                                                                        No women were involved?

                                                                                        • AmazingTurtle 34 days ago

                                                                                          You're just trying to hop on the train, ain't you?

                                                                                          • TheSpiceIsLife 34 days ago

                                                                                            No.

                                                                                            How hard would it be to write "men and women" (or "women and men").

                                                                                            What do you reckon? The fellas who "did all the work" in US history, you reckon they did all their own cooking and cleaning, you reckon their intimate partners, or close-others didn't contribute any to the people whom history attributes greatness?

                                                                                            Probably not old boy, fair chance the wives, partners, and mistresses went a long way to getting us where we are.

                                                                                            And that's if they weren't directly responsible but not attributed. How's that saying go, next to every great man is an even greater women. It's often true, except that the woman part could be generalised to partner or carer.

                                                                                            Some people act alone, outliers though.

                                                                                            And to still, in this socio-political climate, not to bother to include women is, at least, tone deaf, if not outright intentionally exclusive.

                                                                                            • quicklime 34 days ago

                                                                                              Maybe try to assume best intent, and assume that this person doesn't speak English as their first language?

                                                                                            • d33 34 days ago

                                                                                              I actually believe that their question was a right one to ask.

                                                                                            • nautilus12 34 days ago

                                                                                              Seriously?

                                                                                              • hedora 34 days ago
                                                                                              • nautilus12 34 days ago

                                                                                                Thank you! I for one am not self loathing and proud of my country and thinks it doesn't need to be destroyed as a prerequisite to getting better

                                                                                              • khanan 34 days ago

                                                                                                ALL COUNTRIES MATTER!

                                                                                                You, sir, are racist.

                                                                                              • nautilus12 34 days ago

                                                                                                Good to see some patriotism in a time when American patriotism has become faux pas. We live in a great country that doesn't need to be completely deconstructed in order to get better

                                                                                                • nxc18 34 days ago

                                                                                                  Patriotism is about fighting for the principles and values espoused in the constitution, and working towards improving an imperfect republic, not worshiping the flag.

                                                                                                  It’s a fun project and I like the colors, but let’s not pretend that the flag and the idea of ‘patriotism’ are anything other than distractions from the work that needs to be done.

                                                                                                  • mazeltovvv 34 days ago

                                                                                                    Interestingly, everytime I hear this I feel like the constitution is treated like the bible, some holy book holding the truth. That is very dangerous imo

                                                                                                    • macinjosh 34 days ago

                                                                                                      The Constitution is THE Supreme Law of the land. It literally is the ‘bible’ in how America is to be governed. The difference is that The Constitution has mechanisms within itself for change. This is the opposite of dangerous. It is the reason slavery was abolished, women have the vote, etc. It is a living document and it serves the people.

                                                                                                      • Leherenn 34 days ago

                                                                                                        I would say one of the tenet of the Bible and other holy books is that there are immutable. It's the words of God, and he doesn't make mistakes. (In theory at least, I've heard the Bible's translations haven't always been kind to the original text.)

                                                                                                        That's a huge difference with the constitution, a fundamental one I'd say. And, most of the time, the people I see treating the constitution as gospel denies this very important mutability. The founding fathers were right and will always be right. The constitution must not be ammended, it is already perfect.

                                                                                                    • nxc18 34 days ago

                                                                                                      The constitution is the document that defines the existence of the United States and all of the rights, freedoms, and protections it provides and aspires to provide. It’s not perfect, but it is a heck of a lot better than blind adherence to the flag and whoever waves it.

                                                                                                      Seeing as the constitution defines the United States, I think you get a lot closer to the truth when reflecting on it than you do when worshiping the flag or the military or whatever else it is that July 4th is supposed to be about.

                                                                                                      It is also important to remember that the constitution is a living document, meant to grow and evolve over time. If there are problems - and there are - it is up to us to change it.

                                                                                                      • hedora 34 days ago

                                                                                                        > whatever else it is that July 4th is supposed to be about

                                                                                                        The Declaration of Independence; an aspirational document saying why the constitution was needed, and also a big F-you to Britain and tyranny around the world.

                                                                                                • quda 34 days ago

                                                                                                  Awful kitsch!

                                                                                                  • eevilspock 34 days ago

                                                                                                    This is one of the more Trumpian things I've seen on HN.

                                                                                                  • lucidlogic 34 days ago

                                                                                                    How is this relevant?

                                                                                                    • Minor49er 34 days ago

                                                                                                      It's something techie on America's birthday

                                                                                                      • lucidlogic 34 days ago

                                                                                                        You know there's a bunch of other countries other right? This shouldn't be number 1 on hn.

                                                                                                        • dylan604 34 days ago

                                                                                                          Let us know when you spend some time honing your CSS skills to develop a timely relevant bit of theming, and we can all come back and leave some irrelevant opinions about it.

                                                                                                          • nautilus12 33 days ago

                                                                                                            So? Was it those other countries birthdays

                                                                                                            • lucidlogic 34 days ago

                                                                                                              I always thought hn was impartial and scientific, this is not.

                                                                                                              • saagarjha 34 days ago

                                                                                                                Americans generally make up the majority of visits to most websites, including Hacker News, so you're generally going to see a slant towards it.

                                                                                                                • jfkebwjsbx 34 days ago

                                                                                                                  That would be very surprising considering how small it is compared to eg Europe alone.

                                                                                                                  So citation needeed, I guess.

                                                                                                                  • saagarjha 34 days ago

                                                                                                                    The United States is the world's third most populous country, and home to a number of technology businesses–one of the main draws of the site. I don't know if anyone has officially disclosed Hacker News's traffic data, but a lot of people have done analysis of what kind of traffic they get from being on the front page and it's invariably dominated by the United States: https://nicklafferty.com/blog/what-happens-when-you-re-on-th...

                                                                                                                    • jfkebwjsbx 33 days ago

                                                                                                                      1) Even if you combine the top 3, they would be quite smaller than the rest combined.

                                                                                                                      2) The actual markets is what you should look at, since you are talking about business, trade, etc. The EU is bigger than the US.

                                                                                                                      3) You wrote "most websites", not just HN. That is just incredibly wrong. Even if you had written "most English-speaking websites", you would still be wrong for the most popular sites.

                                                                                                                • gnuisance 34 days ago

                                                                                                                  All content on this site is submitted and commented upon by living, breathing humans with biases that make them human.

                                                                                                          • hosteur 34 days ago

                                                                                                            Why?

                                                                                                            • ancarda 34 days ago

                                                                                                              Because it's a bit of fun, why not?

                                                                                                              • pbhjpbhj 34 days ago

                                                                                                                If you need to cut your website with primitive wood working tools ...

                                                                                                                • dylan604 34 days ago

                                                                                                                  Whose to say they didn't build their own Arduino controlled CNC to do the wood working?

                                                                                                                • webmobdev 34 days ago

                                                                                                                  Because freedom units ( https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=freedom%20un...) are better than the metric system.

                                                                                                                  • Yetanfou 34 days ago

                                                                                                                    Just make sure not to use this stylesheet when describing the route towards a distant planet so as to avoid ending up in a smoking crater instead of in the promised land.

                                                                                                                    • dvtrn 34 days ago

                                                                                                                      instead of the promised land

                                                                                                                      There’s plenty of options out there in the wild black yonder of space. Just try to avoid Europa. Bit of a dispute over land rights with that one.

                                                                                                                      • wumms 34 days ago

                                                                                                                        Use them together. Use them in peace.

                                                                                                                      • hedora 34 days ago

                                                                                                                        Or, use a type safe language.

                                                                                                                        Will web developers and rocket scientists ever learn?

                                                                                                                  • banksy__ 34 days ago

                                                                                                                    People who enjoy waving flags don't deserve to have one –Banksy

                                                                                                                    https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/410220-people-who-enjoy-wav...

                                                                                                                    • purpleidea 34 days ago

                                                                                                                      Relevant units: https://i.redd.it/582slv24n1741.jpg

                                                                                                                      PSA, don't use old deprecated units still pushed by confused country.

                                                                                                                      • dang 34 days ago

                                                                                                                        Please don't post nationalistic flamebait to HN.

                                                                                                                        https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

                                                                                                                        • purpleidea 34 days ago

                                                                                                                          Sorry, but it wasn't nationalistic, if anything I'm advocating for moving a confused country forwards with humour (click the link!) Cheers.

                                                                                                                          • dang 34 days ago

                                                                                                                            It's a classic flamewar topic, you put down a particular country, and you just did it again. That's flamebait enough and nationalistic enough for the internet.

                                                                                                                            Please don't post like this to HN again.

                                                                                                                        • serf 34 days ago

                                                                                                                          >PSA, don't use old deprecated units still pushed by confused country.

                                                                                                                          I understand perfectly.

                                                                                                                          Everyone, stop measuring weights in stone -- England has been declared confused!

                                                                                                                          • wizzwizz4 34 days ago

                                                                                                                            I mean… the only thing still measured in stone is babies, and even that's falling out of favour.

                                                                                                                            • joshuaissac 34 days ago

                                                                                                                              Most adults in the UK still measure their weight in stones and pounds, at least in my personal experience, and I have never come across anyone (except those raised in other countries) using either plain pounds or metric units for this purpose.

                                                                                                                              • learnstats2 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                Adults in the UK who take sport in any way seriously are more likely to quote their weight in kg, in my experience.

                                                                                                                              • Symbiote 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                Babies weigh less than 1 stone (14 lb), they would traditionally be weighed in pounds and ounces.

                                                                                                                                From searching "baby weight NHS", it looks like all the advice uses grams, so I assume that's current practise.

                                                                                                                                • wizzwizz4 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                  Well, I must've completely misunderstood several conversations, then. Which would be characteristic.

                                                                                                                            • jjcon 34 days ago

                                                                                                                              Why would aliens work in base10?

                                                                                                                              • 8organicbits 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                Looks like they had 3 fingers per hand, so base 6 seems a likely choice. 6 works great as its divisible by 2 and 3.

                                                                                                                                I wonder what base we would use if we (somehow) had a prime number of fingers. 2, 6, 30, 60?

                                                                                                                                • masklinn 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                  > Looks like they had 3 fingers per hand, so base 6 seems a likely choice.

                                                                                                                                  Depends how they use their fingers and whether they use other body parts. There is evidence for human cultures having ranged from 4 to 10, 12, 16, and 20 (technically there are higher ones but they usually have sub-bases in that range).

                                                                                                                                  You can count to 12 on a single hand (24 on two hands) by pointing phalanges with the thumb for instance. Some native cultures had base 8 using the space between the fingers rather than the fingers themselves.

                                                                                                                                  • jhardy54 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                    Opinion: Highly composite numbers make good bases.

                                                                                                                                    2, 6, 12, 60, etc

                                                                                                                                    Number of fingers doesn't matter, although you can shoehorn almost any base into them. For example, base 6 lets you count to 5 on one hand and use your other to coujt multiples of 6. This lets you count to 35 on two hands.

                                                                                                                                    More info here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superior_highly_composite_nu...

                                                                                                                                    • learnstats2 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                      etc: 360 is a useful number of days for a calendar system

                                                                                                                                    • cryptoz 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                      But what you call base 6 they might call base 10

                                                                                                                                      every base is is base 10...from a certain perspective

                                                                                                                                      • jackcosgrove 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                        The ancient Sumerian number system was base 6. Our units of time are still based on that.

                                                                                                                                        60 seconds, 60 minutes, 24 hours.

                                                                                                                                        • def8cefe 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                          They may have 10 of something else...

                                                                                                                                          • jsilence 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                            Only on HN...

                                                                                                                                          • hedora 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                            Given all the probing they do, they’re clearly after our best ideas.

                                                                                                                                            They’ll be converting to imperial units and base 10 any day now.

                                                                                                                                            Converting the flying saucers to coal will take a bit longer.

                                                                                                                                        • eevilspock 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                          What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us?... What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.

                                                                                                                                          ~ Fredrick Douglass

                                                                                                                                          • rrss 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                            1852.

                                                                                                                                            "It was a great thing to achieve American Independence when we numbered three millions, but it was a greater thing to save this country from dismemberment and ruin when it numbered thirty millions."

                                                                                                                                            ~ Frederick Douglass, 1881.

                                                                                                                                            May the United States of America acknowledge what is bad, celebrate what is good, and go on to do greater things in the future.

                                                                                                                                            • pcunite 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                              Amen, he writes well:

                                                                                                                                              "As I have said, this southern threat lost many votes, but it gained more than would cover the lost. It frightened the timid, but stimulated the brave; and the result was—the triumphant election of Abraham Lincoln."

                                                                                                                                              [1] https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Life_and_Times_of_Frederick_D...

                                                                                                                                              • ixtli 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                Marx wrote a letter of congratulations to Lincoln when he was elected as well, as a referendum on slavery. It would be silly to think that is uncritical support of the country tho.

                                                                                                                                              • eevilspock 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                wypipo. always cherry picking for comfort and absolution.

                                                                                                                                                • dang 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                  Please stop.

                                                                                                                                            • blackhope 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                              This is a reminder that the USA still held black folks as slaves in 1776.

                                                                                                                                              This was woven into American society from the very start.

                                                                                                                                              Recall that the Native Americans were referred to in the Declaration as "merciless Indian Savages", and have been systematically attacked and abused, also since the very start.

                                                                                                                                              If you're celebrating Independence Day today, this is what you are actually celebrating.

                                                                                                                                              It should be a day of sad contrition and sorrow for the racism and other evils wrought upon many generations, not a celebration.

                                                                                                                                              Consider this if you're enjoying Independence Day today.

                                                                                                                                              • brightball 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                No, it’s not. Before American independence the British crown held slaves.

                                                                                                                                                Prior to independence both SC and Virginia actually requested to pause or slow down the slave trade. They had to make this request to England and it was refused. The Declaration of Independence laid the groundwork for the eventual end of slavery that culminated in the Civil War.

                                                                                                                                                After US independence, Britain began to wash their hands of slavery eventually in 1834. It’s also worth keeping in mind because during the War of 1812 the British attempted to arm both slaves and native Americans to help their war effort...while still practicing slavery themselves. You can imagine the effect such an action had on local relations as well.

                                                                                                                                                America’s independence should be celebrated by everyone. Selective history should not.

                                                                                                                                                • blackhope 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                  > Before American independence the British crown held slaves.

                                                                                                                                                  Well exactly. And it was a practice that continued for many, many years afterwards. Arguably the early US economy was mostly built upon slavery. All that wealth created by people forced into labour who received no compensation for their hard work, but instead just enriched the slave owners.

                                                                                                                                                  It's selective history to ignore this and pretend that America was some beautiful egalitarian society striving towards anti-slavery from the start, and that any slavery that remained was solely the fault of the British.

                                                                                                                                                  This should be a day of shame and dishonor, if we're not being selective about history.

                                                                                                                                                • gnuisance 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                  Tunnel visioning on slavery is a pretty bad mindset. There are many facets to American society beyond slavery. It's almost impossible to imagine a person today who supports slavery. We've come a long way, and nobody is celebrating slavery.

                                                                                                                                                  • blackhope 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                    This is implicitly what you are celebrating if you choose to worship the Independence Day.

                                                                                                                                                    • chiph 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                      I think your sense of outrage has leapt far in advance of your knowledge of history. Look up "Divine Right of Kings" sometime. We got rid of it and inspired the world, starting with France in 1789.

                                                                                                                                                      Are we perfect? Not even. But we're a pretty nice place to live.

                                                                                                                                                      • blackhope 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                        Now you're just changing the subject. We weren't talking about ending monarchical rule.

                                                                                                                                                        The topic was how our still deeply racist country is built upon slavery and similar horrifying abuses against people, right from the very start.

                                                                                                                                                        • chiph 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                          You're the one who brought up Independence Day. And again, your knowledge of history is shallow. I am able to remember when the schools became integrated [0]. I also know why the bathrooms at the rest stops in the South have two entrances ("separate but equal"). And I had a teacher who as a young girl was chased by the Klan.

                                                                                                                                                          What we have now is so much improved over what it was like just 40 or 50 years ago that anyone younger just can't appreciate the difference. I advise you to turn off your internet for a few days, go drink a beer & chat with your neighbors and maybe shoot some fireworks off. The internet amplifies biases - don't let it.

                                                                                                                                                          [0] The moral panic was .. impressive. The local TV station decided to broadcast that there was a riot at the high school (there wasn't) and all these angry parents showed up to pull their kids out of school. Meanwhile, the kids were like: "Steve, your mom looks really freaked out."

                                                                                                                                                          • blackhope 33 days ago

                                                                                                                                                            > And again, your knowledge of history is shallow.

                                                                                                                                                            > I advise you to turn off your internet for a few days, go drink a beer & chat with your neighbors and maybe shoot some fireworks off. The internet amplifies biases - don't let it.

                                                                                                                                                            You may disagree with me, but there's really no need to be patronizing about it. I will conduct my private life as I see fit, thank you.

                                                                                                                                                • themodelplumber 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                  What are some reasons to use inch units in screen-based CSS, aside from this kind of project?

                                                                                                                                                  Edit: Removed all sentiment to my profile, leaving a beautifully rational shell of a comment.

                                                                                                                                                  • klyrs 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                    If you need to rive a 5cm length in twain and you don't like fractions. Or if you're making a website devoted to larval geometer moths.

                                                                                                                                                    • dragonwriter 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                      > If you need to rive a 5cm length in twain and you don't like fractions

                                                                                                                                                      125/127 is as much of a fraction as 1/2.

                                                                                                                                                • anonytrary 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                  It's cute that this library is 1776 bytes, but that's quickly going to change as bugs are found and new features need to get added. It seems like coupling a product's name to something that will likely change very shortly is just bad product naming.

                                                                                                                                                  • dylan604 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                    meh, call it done. it's modifiable by the user, so leave it alone and let the user mess with it. i have no idea what the author's intentions are/were for the project, but it seems like 'mission accomplished'.

                                                                                                                                                    • anonytrary 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                      FWIW I'm not saying I dislike the project, I love when people post quirky projects like this to HN for fun. I'm just saying that even the smallest change to this project would cause the author to lose the "1776 USA" marketing strategy. One could say it's an unstable strategy at a local maximum.

                                                                                                                                                      • dylan604 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                        What name are you concerned about? The file is called 'usa.css'. The file size is specifically listed right next to the download link. Not unusual. If the file size does change, it'll just be another number, yet the name of the file/project is still 'usa.css'.

                                                                                                                                                        • anonytrary 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                          I'm talking about the cute fact that the library is 1776 bytes. It was obvious that author deliberately tweaked the file size to be 1776 bytes, to aid in the marketing of the library, and that expecting to keep the file size at 1776 bytes is an unrealistic goal if the author wishes to iterate on the code. I don't get why this is being made into a huge issue. It's a simple observation.

                                                                                                                                                  • Carpetsmoker 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                    I can't tell if this is intended to be serious or a parody? "All units set in inches" makes it sound like a parody, but the "God bless America" footer makes it sound serious? Hmmm

                                                                                                                                                    • swebs 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                      It's just a bit of fun. Not everything has to be some sort of statement.

                                                                                                                                                      • Carpetsmoker 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                        I guess ... but "God Bless America!" seems like a statement to me.

                                                                                                                                                        • kube-system 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                          It’s Independence Day in the US. Patriotism is the theme of the day. This is just a humorous holiday-themed style sheet with a readme to match. It is not a serious style sheet that the author expects anyone to use.

                                                                                                                                                          • Carpetsmoker 33 days ago

                                                                                                                                                            Perhaps this is a cultural difference, but the entire thing just seems strange from my own (European) perspective. Only in the US do people seem to take pride in their measurement system as some sort of patriotic symbol, which is why I originally thought it was a parody shrug

                                                                                                                                                            I'm not even going to get started with all the problems I see with "God bless America", which would be long, tedious, probably inflammatory, and fairly off-topic.

                                                                                                                                                            • swebs 33 days ago

                                                                                                                                                              You're reading way too into this. Someone just decided to have some fun and share it with HN. It isn't really serious, but parody isn't the right description. People aren't taking pride in the measurement system, that's somewhat of a joke. "God bless America" is a common cheer taken from a popular song. The UK has something similar with "God save the queen".

                                                                                                                                                              • arp242 33 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                Yeah, maybe. Probably. I'm just not a fan of this kind of stuff shrug.

                                                                                                                                                                I also don't like "God save the Queen" by the way, or "God be with us" (short for "If God is with us, who shall be against us?" from Romans) we have on the Dutch Euro coins :-)

                                                                                                                                                    • jacquesm 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                      Trying to imagine someone from France, Australia or Brazil to do something similar and failing.

                                                                                                                                                      • mhh__ 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                        Système international? We already use french units

                                                                                                                                                        • jacquesm 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                          No, 'international' does not mean 'French'. Yes, the French came up with it but since it now has international adoption it is the international standard with the United States as one of the last hold-outs. That's what you get when you have a country run by lawyers with very limited input from science.

                                                                                                                                                      • Retr0spectrum 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                        Uhhh why France?

                                                                                                                                                        • jacquesm 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                          Within the EU France is quite nationalist compared to others, and yet, I fail to imagine someone there producing something like this. I'm a bit allergic to flag waving.

                                                                                                                                                          • Retr0spectrum 33 days ago

                                                                                                                                                            Ah, I interpreted it as a comment on the difficulty of creating the national flags in pure CSS.

                                                                                                                                                            • jacquesm 33 days ago

                                                                                                                                                              The French one, in that case would seem trivial in comparison.

                                                                                                                                                    • mariofa 34 days ago
                                                                                                                                                      • KKKKkkkk1 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                        Only a true American patriot who is deeply devoted to the nation's ideals would zealously protect a system of units that has been thrown in the dustbin of history by the rest of humanity.

                                                                                                                                                        • serf 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                          Was your point against the user, the concept, the measurement standard, or just triggered by any vague mentioning of the United States?

                                                                                                                                                          It's difficult to sort through the negative sentiments to get to real point. Be more clear with your hostility and anger next time, would'ya?

                                                                                                                                                          • snapetom 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                            I can't understand what's going on with some of these comments. Is it a genuine inability to see the levity of the project? Anti-americanism so strong to ignore the levity? It's humor, people.

                                                                                                                                                            • KKKKkkkk1 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                              > Be more clear with your hostility and anger next time, would'ya?

                                                                                                                                                              You're projecting.

                                                                                                                                                              • serf 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                I'm projecting?

                                                                                                                                                                But I haven't even thrown out 'true', 'devoted', or 'zealot' yet!

                                                                                                                                                            • corndoge 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                              eagle screams

                                                                                                                                                              • kevin_thibedeau 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                Actually a red tailed hawk.

                                                                                                                                                                • sethammons 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                  For those not following, the Red Tailed Hawk’s call is nearly universally used as a substitute for the sounds of Bald Eagles in most media. Bald Eagles don’t sound similar.

                                                                                                                                                                  • egd 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                    It's understandable. Bald Eagles sound genuinely hilarious for a bird that big.

                                                                                                                                                                  • hedora 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                    I think you meant turkey.

                                                                                                                                                                • hedora 34 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                  Drinking from an obsolete CE pint glass here. Brexit!!! (?)