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Re: [Qemu-devel] [PATCH v10 1/9] qcow2: Options' documentation fixes

From: Max Reitz
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] [PATCH v10 1/9] qcow2: Options' documentation fixes
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2018 21:34:45 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/60.0

On 24.09.18 18:53, Leonid Bloch wrote:
> On 9/24/18 6:04 PM, Alberto Garcia wrote:
>> On Fri 21 Sep 2018 07:23:02 PM CEST, Leonid Bloch wrote:
>>> Signed-off-by: Leonid Bloch <address@hidden>
>>> ---
>>>   docs/qcow2-cache.txt | 20 +++++++++++++-------
>>>   qemu-options.hx      |  9 ++++++---
>>>   2 files changed, 19 insertions(+), 10 deletions(-)
>>> diff --git a/docs/qcow2-cache.txt b/docs/qcow2-cache.txt
>>> index 8a09a5cc5f..013991e21c 100644
>>> --- a/docs/qcow2-cache.txt
>>> +++ b/docs/qcow2-cache.txt
>>> @@ -77,7 +77,7 @@ aforementioned L2 cache, and its size can also be 
>>> configured.
>>>   Choosing the right cache sizes
>>>   ------------------------------
>>>   In order to choose the cache sizes we need to know how they relate to
>>> -the amount of allocated space.
>>> +the amount of the allocated space.
>> I'm not a native English speaker, but the current version sounds correct
>> to me. Why do you need to add an article there? :-?
> I'm not a native speaker as well, but "the" seems to be needed there:
> - Which allocated space?
> - __The__ allocated space!

It doesn't seem to be needed to me, as, well, it would be wrong in German.

I tried to come up with explanations, and it's really difficult.  So
there are measures where you'd use an article (e.g. "size of the
allocated space"), but I wouldn't do that with "amount".

It's like with "amount" you have some form of infinite supply of
something ("space" in this case) and then you get some amount of it, and
then you continue to talk about that amount.

It's different with quantities like "size", "volume", etc.  There, you
already have your amount, and then you measure it.

So you can say "Some amount of space", but you cannot say "Some size of
the space".  Or you can say "The amount of space that is X", but not
"The size of space that is X".

So "size", "volume", those quantities are measuring something.  "amount"
just refers to something, not a quantity.  So if you want to use an
article, it'd have to go in front of "amount" -- and in fact, it's there

I think saying "the amount of space is 1 GB" is just a shortcut like
saying "the space is 1 GB".  Using "amount of" is not measuring like
saying "size of" is.  In this case, it's just hinting at the fact that
we're rather interested in the extent rather than the entity itself.

A final note: I don't think you'd ask "Which allocated space?".  I think
it'd be "What allocated space?", which further hints towards not using
an article after "of" here.

What I do take a bit of an issue with is actually the next sentence in
this document:

> The amount of virtual disk that can be mapped by the L2 and refcount

> caches (in bytes) is:

"Amount of disk" sounds like "amount of car" or "amount of person".
Which is to say, it sounds wrong.  Those are discrete things, but
"amount" sounds like something continuous.  Measuring "virtual disk" in
bytes is like measuring "car" in kilograms.

And in fact, we are not interested in bytes of virtual disk (it's a big
difference whether we're talking about one or four disks) but in bytes
of a single virtual disk.  So the fact that we cannot get an article in
here signifies that something's wrong.

Therefore, this might be better as "The part/portion/fraction of the
virtual disk...".


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