A note about dates

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A note about dates

Postby Rachael » Sat Feb 05, 2022 4:06 am

I notice that some people like to shorthand dates based on their country of origin - which causes huge confusion. After all what does 10/11/12 mean to you?

Maybe it's October 11th, 2012. Maybe it's November 10th, 2012. Or maybe even still it's November 12th, 2010. The answer will always be different based on what country you are from - and people on this forum are from a lot of countries. But at any rate, 10/11/12 to you might mean something different to someone else, and I see it sometimes - enough that it can cause undesired confusion.

I therefore urge (but no, I won't be making a rule about this, I am just suggesting you do this to reduce confusion - both here and anywhere else you use the internet) that whenever you need to communicate a date with international people, you use a standardized date format that is international friendly. This happens to be the Canadian version, with the exception that the year is never 2 digits, it's always 4. They use YYYY-MM-DD, and of course use dashes instead of slashes. That also happens to be the ISO date format. It's also computer friendly - a folder listing with dates in this format will always appear in the correct order (as long as the time is in 24 hour format following it, but that is not relevant to this ;) ).

So in that instance, writing November 5th, 2022 would simply be 2022-11-05.

Further reading: https://www.w3.org/QA/Tips/iso-date
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Re: A note about dates

Postby Enjay » Sat Feb 05, 2022 5:00 am

I love the ISO date formate: clear, unambiguous and logical (and computers sort it easily too). I keep trying to get people at work to use it but so much of what we use does not expect it. However, because it is so clear and logical, even when I use it with people who are unfamiliar with it, they "get it" almost immediately (starting with the 4 digit year is probably the key to people getting it).

Coincidentally, I was just discussing the confusion that date formats can create in international discussions yesterday. It's definitely a problem. As an aside, we were wondering if the American preference for MM DD YY and the UK preference for DD MM YY comes from language. In the UK, we tend to refer to dates like "the first of June" whereas I *think* it would be more common in the US to talk about "June first"?

Dates are certainly a common point of confusion and it can take a bit of working out to figure just what date people actually mean. In fact, even with the obvious dates (such as 25/12 or 12/25 for Christmas day - reasonably clear because there isn't a 25th month), it can still be momentarily disorientating.

So, yes, I can definitely get behind this as an idea. I wonder if, just to be consistent with this policy, the ISO format should be added as a date format option in the board preferences (if it is possible to add a preset) perhaps even as the default? I think it can be done by a user configuring the "custom" option but people have to work out how to do that. So a preset would be more convenient. In saying that, I have the board set to use "Sat Feb 05, 2022 11:00 am" simply because its the only one that gives the name of the day, which I like (though I may try to figure out how to get it to use 24 hour clock (or "military time" I think it is called in the US) because I also prefer that [edit - found it, and I also see that there is already a code for the full ISO format that can be used in custom time formats, though its formatting isn't as readable as it could be, because it is the full format]).
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Re: A note about dates

Postby Nash » Sat Feb 05, 2022 6:52 am

For this reason I have always typed "12th Nov 2022", "November 12 2022", or some variation of these - I ALWAYS spell the month out, either as a 3-letter short form, or the full name of the month. Yes, I realize I am being inconsistent about the layout/format but at least it is VERY clear what month it is because I typed it out with alphabets.
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Re: A note about dates

Postby Rachael » Sat Feb 05, 2022 7:01 am

Yes - that does help.

Enjay wrote: I wonder if, just to be consistent with this policy, the ISO format should be added as a date format option in the board preferences (if it is possible to add a preset) perhaps even as the default? I think it can be done by a user configuring the "custom" option but people have to work out how to do that. So a preset would be more convenient. In saying that, I have the board set to use "Sat Feb 05, 2022 11:00 am" simply because its the only one that gives the name of the day, which I like (though I may try to figure out how to get it to use 24 hour clock (or "military time" I think it is called in the US) because I also prefer that [edit - found it, and I also see that there is already a code for the full ISO format that can be used in custom time formats, though its formatting isn't as readable as it could be, because it is the full format]).

Unfortunately it seems like it has to be coded in manually.
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Re: A note about dates

Postby Enjay » Sat Feb 05, 2022 7:17 am

Fair enough.


I also tend to do what Nash does when ISO isn't likely to be well received for whatever reason. Using a word for the month and a full 4 digit year, makes it clear that the other number must be the day. Aside from neatness, order doesn't really even matter in that case because each element can only be one thing.
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Re: A note about dates

Postby Caligari87 » Sat Feb 05, 2022 9:47 am

Can confirm it's possible to set the date format in your user preferences. I use |Y-m-d,| h:ia which typically results in a timestamp like 2021-12-26, 08:02am. However it seems like the pipe characters do something with relative dating (that isn't specified in the PHP date() format), so I also get useful timestamps like Yesterday, 03:56am or 6 minutes ago.

8-)
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Re: A note about dates

Postby PlayerLin » Sat Feb 05, 2022 11:46 am

I always use slashes for date, rarely using dashes...because...DOS and Windows shows that, as always. :P
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Re: A note about dates

Postby Rachael » Sat Feb 05, 2022 12:11 pm

The dashes vs slashes really doesn't matter, either works. The ISO standard is dashes though. :) The most important part of the ISO standard is the order, not the marks.
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Re: A note about dates

Postby Redneckerz » Sat Feb 05, 2022 12:18 pm

Rachael wrote:So in that instance, writing November 5th, 2022 would simply be 2022-11-05.

Further reading: https://www.w3.org/QA/Tips/iso-date

FWIW, i rarely type into the format suggested - Though it is universal, i tend to either write 5 November 2022, 05/11/2022, or November 5, 2022.
On occassion i follow the 2022-11-05 syntax, but its not my common style of denoting.

It might have something to do with me living in a country where that syntax isn't commonly used?
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Re: A note about dates

Postby PlayerLin » Sat Feb 05, 2022 12:21 pm

Rachael wrote:The dashes vs slashes really doesn't matter, either works. The ISO standard is dashes though. :) The most important part of the ISO standard is the order, not the marks.


Oh definitely, I were mis-read that...
Then thinking dashes is the only "correct" one...which confused me, but I'm glad I'm wrong. :P
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Re: A note about dates

Postby Rachael » Sat Feb 05, 2022 1:00 pm

Redneckerz wrote:i tend to either write ..., 05/11/2022, ...

See this is where it's going to get confusing.

To people in the United States, that date looks like May 11th.

If you keep doing that, well - that is the reason why I made this post in the first place. It's much too ambiguous.
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Re: A note about dates

Postby ramon.dexter » Fri Apr 08, 2022 9:09 am

My colleagues at work tend to use the iso standard yyyy-mm-dd, while I'm mpre used to classic czech dd-mm-yy. The iso standard is better for computer use, really eases up sorting of things. But in handwirtten notes I just use the czech format, that other are customed to.
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