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What Date Format do YOU use on YOUR website?
g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 7:39 pm on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

Are you a 07-03-02 or 03-07-02 person, or does 03 July '02 or July 03, '02 do it for you?

Have a look at:

[dmoz.org...]

and

[w3.org...]

before replying.

[edited by: engine at 7:53 pm (utc) on May 11, 2005]
[edit reason] trailing slash added [/edit]

 

moonbiter

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 8:42 pm on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'm a yyyy-mm-dd person.

richlowe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 9:16 pm on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

I prfer fully spelled out: 3 July, 2002

Richard Lowe

Pushycat

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 9:20 pm on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

On one of my websites with lots of international members I got so tired of reading requests to alter the time/date format that I gave up and let the users save the format (and their timezone) as part of their profile.

fathom

WebmasterWorld Senior Member fathom us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 9:26 pm on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

year only, it's simple and easily translated into all languages.

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 9:44 pm on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

This page last updated: 2002-07-03 14:26:20 PST

P.S. We just switched after reading the W3C specification. It used to be...

This page last updated: 07.03.2002 14:26:20 PST

ergophobe

WebmasterWorld Administrator ergophobe us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 9:55 pm on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

[quote]
2002-07-03 14:26:20 PST
[quote]

Everyone understand it and, the best thing about it, it sorts correctly in an alphabetic sort.

Tom

NFFC

WebmasterWorld Senior Member nffc us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 9:58 pm on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Everyone understand it

7th March, am I right?

jatar_k

WebmasterWorld Administrator jatar_k us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 10:05 pm on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

hehe,
I assume you are making a good point NFFC.

I use the 03-07-2002 for lists of things and if it is a single date/time then I spell it out.

15:03 PST Wednesday July 3, 2002

As NFFC may, or may not, have been sarcastically pointing out it is less often misunderstood when stand alone.

Hawkgirl

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 10:10 pm on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

I don't have a need for dates on the site, but I have to do days & times, so I've got day-time-time zone.

Somehow, just saying to US customers "9am central time" is like a trick question. Only people IN the central time zone know what time that really is. :) Hooray for our public school system!

NFFC

WebmasterWorld Senior Member nffc us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 10:12 pm on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

>03-07-2002

It may be a UK thing but that is the 3rd July.

dcheney

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 10:25 pm on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

03 Jul 02
(concise and readable regardless of which side of the pond you come from)

jatar_k

WebmasterWorld Administrator jatar_k us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 10:27 pm on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

I figured but there really isn't much of a standard here. I never know what it is. I always assume dd-mm-yyyy or yyyy-mm-dd

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 10:55 pm on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the first few replies...

> 3 July, 2002

Sorry. No use if you don't speak English.

> 2002-07-03 14:26:20 PST

Nice, YYYY-MM-DD, but it may be useful to stick a flag somewhere to say that PST = UTC - 0800 (or else convert the display entirely to UTC) - unless all your readers are in the PST time zone themselves. Please don't use GMT, that term went obsolete in 1971.

> P.S. We just switched after reading the W3C specification.

That Spec has been around for 5 years. The XML people lapped it up, but it's slower elsewhere. Astronomers have worked that way for 200 years, even some in the US like [umbra.nascom.nasa.gov...]

>> Everyone understand it

> 7th March, am I right?

I knew someone would ask that.

Today is 07-03-2002 in the US (MM-DD-YYYY), and 03-07-2002 in Europe (DD-MM-YYYY). Both can be misread.

2002-07-03 is always YYYY-MM-DD because no-one anywhere uses YYYY-DD-MM. The only place that DD-MM turns up is in DD-MM-YYYY, which can be misread for MM-DD-YYYY for the first 12 days each month.

Additionally, YYYY-MM-DD is the Official Standard that your country signed up to sometime between 1968 and 1976 (this is true for just about every 'Western' nation, as well as many in developing countries).

> 03-07-2002

DD-MM-YYYY or MM-DD-YYYY? Who decides? Best use neither.

> 15:03 PST Wednesday July 3, 2002

Really hard to follow when presented in a list Hours-Minutes-Zone-Day-Month-Day-Year. Try reformatting that as:

2002 Jul 03 [Wed] 15:03 PST and seeing a nice improvement in readibility.

> 03 Jul 02
> (concise and readable regardless of which side of the pond you come from)

That means 2003 July 02 to most Asian people, they (China/Korea/Taiwan/Japan/Thailand) write the Year first (as does Sweden, Finland, some Eastern Europe states, and others)

I am appalled at the use of two digit years. Four digts avoids the Century ambiguity problem. (I still see some sites with broken Java Script showing this year as 103, 1903, or even 19103. Sheeesh!).

> I figured but there really isn't much of a standard here. I never know what it is. I always assume dd-mm-yyyy or yyyy-mm-dd.

YYYY-MM-DD is the standard, as referenced in the links in the first posting in this thread.

[edited by: g1smd at 11:18 pm (utc) on July 3, 2002]

NFFC

WebmasterWorld Senior Member nffc us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 11:02 pm on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

>2002-07-03 is always YYYY-MM-DD

Trust me that is 7th March to us Brits. I must admit the date "thing" on the www really does throw me, I can do metric or imperial, time zones are second nature but the dates stump me.

victor

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 11:23 pm on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

NFFC:
>>2002-07-03 is always YYYY-MM-DD
>Trust me that is 7th March to us Brits.

I'm a Brit too, and I don't think I'd ever read that as anything other than 3rd July 2002. Maybe it's a regional thing?

A bit like pushcat, I strive to met local expectations. I often use ISO8601 (yyyy-mm-dd) because the sites are international, but usually qualify it with a "translation":

2002-07-03 (do 2 juli) -- Dutch
2002-07-03 (Thu 2 July) -- UK/English

This involved a lot of lookup and code for dates. Courtesy costs, I guess.

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 12:07 am on Jul 4, 2002 (gmt 0)


There is a draft copy [PDF] of the ISO 8601:2000 standard at: [portalargentino.net...]

British Standard BS EN 28601:2000 [aka ISO 8601:2000] replaces BS EN 28601:1991 which previously replaced BS 7151:1988 [aka ISO 8601:1988]. ISO 8601:1988 amalgamated and superceded ISO 2014, ISO 2015, ISO 2711, ISO 3307, and ISO 4031, from various dates in the 1970s.

ISO 8601:1988 was published in many places:

European Norm: EN 28601:1992 ____ USA Standard: ANSI X3.30-1985(R1991) ____ USA Standard: NIST FIPS 4-1 [now FIPS 4-2] ____ Canada: CSA Z234.5:1989 ____ Australia: AS 3802:1997 ____ South Africa: ARP 010:1989 ____ Austria: OENORM EN 28601 ____ Belgium: NBN EN 28601 (1993) ____ Czech Republic: CSN EN 28601 ____ Denmark: DS/EN 28601 ____ Finland: SFS-EN 28601 ____ France: NF EN 28601 (1993) ____ Germany: DIN EN 28601 (1993) & DIN 5008 (1996) ____ Greece: ELOT EN 28601 ____ Iceland: IST EN 28601:1992 ____ Ireland: IS/EN 28601:1993 ____ Italy: UNI EN 28601 (1993) ____ Luxembourg: ITM-EN 28601 ____ Netherlands: NEN ISO 8601 (1994) & NEN EN 28601 (1994) ____ Norway: NS-ISO 8601 ____ Portugal: EN 28601 ____ Spain: UNE EN 28601 ____ Sweden: SS-EN 28601 (1991) ____ Switzerland: SN-EN 28601-1994 ____ United Kingdom: BS EN 28601:1992 (replaces BS 7151) ____ Poland: PN-90/N-01204 ____ Taiwan (ROC): CNS 7648 ____ Thailand: TIS 1111-2535 ____ China: GB/T 7408-94 = Adopted directly from ISO 8601:1988 ____ Hong Kong: ISO 8601____ India: IS 7900:1976 = Method for writing calendar dates in all numeric forms (IS 7900:1976 = ISO/R 2014:1971) ____ India: IS 10934:1984 = Representation of the time date (24 hr) - (IS 10934:1984 = ISO 3307:1975) ____ Japan: JIS X 0301-1992 [previously JIS X 0301-1977] = Identification Code of Dates ____ Japan: JIS X 0302-1977 = Identification Code of Times ____ Korea: KS A 5401-1972 = Writing of calendar dates in all-numeric form ____ Korea: KS A 5402-1986 = Numbering of weeks ____ Korea: KS C 5610-1992 = Identification code of dates and times ____ Philippines: PNS 293-1991 = Representation of date and times ____ Thailand: TIS 1111:2535 = Representation of Date and Time (1992).

ISO/R 2014:1971 = was revised to form ISO 2014:1976, and then replaced by ISO/IEC 8601:1988 ____ ISO 3307:1975 = This standard is replaced by ISO 8601:1988 ____ ISO 8601:1988 = has been replaced by ISO 8601:2000.

[edited by: g1smd at 12:27 am (utc) on July 4, 2002]

Purple Martin

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 12:14 am on Jul 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

NFFC:
>>2002-07-03 is always YYYY-MM-DD
>Trust me that is 7th March to us Brits.

I'm a Brit living in Australia. In both countries I would always read 2002-07-03 as YYYY-MM-DD. I'll be sticking with the YYYY-MM-DD standard format. As ergophobe says, it sorts alphabetically too!

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 2:06 am on Jul 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

This page last updated: 2002-07-03 14:26:20 PST

P.S. We just switched after reading the W3C specification. It used to be...

This page last updated: 07.03.2002 14:26:20 PST

P.S.S. We just switched again after reading g1smd's suggestion. It is now...

This site last updated: 2002-07-03 19:03:05 UTC-0700

And, for you FrontPage users, here is the slightly modified webbot code that you can use to create the above date and time stamp.

<!--webbot bot="Timestamp" S-Type="EDITED" S-Format="%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S UTC%Z" -->

It works, I tested it! It should automatically pull the time from your server and then calculate the correct UTC offset. I believe that is how it should work, correct me if I'm wrong.

BTW, Standard time zone is UTC-8 hours here is Sunny Southern California. Due to daylight saving time adjustment of +1 hour, the current time zone offset is UTC-7 hours.

UTC means Universal Time, Coordinated or Coordinated Universal Time.

Okay, I think this is taking it just a little too far! ;)

rewboss

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 8:33 am on Jul 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Europe: DD-MM-YYYY

USA: MM-DD-YYYY

Southeast Asia: YYYY-MM-DD

There is much scope for confusion. But how you format the date really depends, at least in part, what it's for. If it's necessary for your visitors to understand the date, the month should be written out and the year given in 4-digit format: that way, there's no risk of confusing dates, months and years. In many cases, it is often appropriate to include the day of the week as well, especially if you're advertizing events (quickly now, will you be free on 24th July? Okay, are you likely to be free on Wednesday, 24th July?). Also, people generally find it hard to process a series of numbers.

If it is not necessary for your visitors to understand the date, it shouldn't be there anyway: it merely adds clutter.

Here's something that intrigues me:
> 3 July, 2002

Sorry. No use if you don't speak English.


Well, what language is the rest of the page in? If the page is in English, write the month in English; if people can't understand "July" (and actually, most Europeans should even without having learned English, since month names are very similar in all European languages) they won't be reading your page anyway.

I work in English and German, so I write my dates in German on German pages, and in English on English pages. Easy. If you can't be bothered to make life easier for your visitors, you shouldn't be designing websites.

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 6:30 pm on Jul 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

There may not be any more words on the page at all, but an ambiguous or unreadable date may make the data on that page worthless:

[astrooptik.com...]

When you look back at the above page in a few years time, will you know if March or October is the date?

There is also relevance to search engines here. If you search for '07-04-2002' expecting 7th April, you will get all the US results for July 4 in your search. ISO 8601 YYYY-MM-DD will solve this. Searching for 7th April will miss sites that have Apr 07, April 07, Avril 07 etc. ISO 8601 will solve that. Most XML schemas already allow only dates conforming to ISO 8601, so this is where we are heading. Why not just adopt it. It will make things a lot easier in the long run.

This is a useful document: [fred.bone.dial.pipex.com...]

rewboss

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 6:49 am on Jul 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

I was wondering why one would do an internet search for a specific date. So I did a Google search for 1999-01-24. Here's what it came up with:

1. Something about Python (the programming language).
2. Usage stats for the Solar Data Analysis Center (2 pages, one for the week, another for the whole month)
3. Information about an MS-DOS utility called batmenu, in German.
4. A default directory listing
5. Another default directory listing
6. A third default directory listing
7. OMG! Another default directory listing
8. Something about illegal immigration in Chile (Spanish)
9. Would you believe it? A default directory listing...

The scary thing is what it said at the top of the search: "1-10 of about 23,500". I can't see myself ever doing a search for a date in ISO8601.

Note also that the vast majority of internet users don't know what ISO8601 is, or that they should be looking at dates in that format. They are not technical people, and if they are searching for a particular news item on a particular date, they will type the date in in whichever format they are most familiar with. And that will almost certainly not be in ISO8601 format, unless they happen to be from Korea.

hayluke

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 8:34 am on Jul 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

personally I'm another one who tends to use the written date (6th July 2001) to solve the UK/USA confusion about which way round to read it.

Sinner_G

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 8:49 am on Jul 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

>and actually, most Europeans should even without having learned English, since month names are very similar in all European languages

Sorry to contradict, but july is translated:

Italian: luglio
Polish: lipiec

I'm sure there are many more examples. So I guess the number stays the best way to write a date.

And just from a logical point of view, either DD-MM-YYYY or YYYY-MM-DD makes more sense. You either go from the smallest to the biggest time frame or the opposite.

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 2:26 pm on Jul 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

Most XML Schemas already only allow ISO 8601 dates, so when the Web is predominently XML rather than HTML, the ISO format will be the default anyway.

I hear what you say about 1999-01-24, however several of those Indexes are for images galleries sorted by date in Year-Month-Day order.

Now try another date like 2001-04-07 [google.com...] .

You'll see several document titles with that date in them, and many documents using the ISO format internally (There are also a few mix ups where it is grabbing some digits from a time).

However, 2000-04-07 gives even more hits [google.com...] .

> I can't see myself ever doing a search for a date in ISO8601.

In real life, you would probably combine the date with other search words.

Try [google.com...] for example.

NewsML, the XML Schema format for the distribution of news (by Reuters and such) is based on ISO 8601 .

Repositiories for news (not Usenet Newsgroups) are therefore already using this format.

However (correction), I just checked the Date Format used by [groups.google.com...] (formerly [dejanews.com...] ) the Web-based archive of UseNet, and they are already using YYYY-MM-DD throughout the MESSAGE HEADERS on the searchable archive. They use long format 22 June 2002 elsewhere.

rewboss

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 5:27 pm on Jul 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

I hear what you say about 1999-01-24, however several of those Indexes are for images galleries sorted by date in Year-Month-Day order
Exactly. Do a search for a date, and you end up with lists like that.

You can make all sorts of arguments for using what is, to most people, a cryptic format useful for sorting data files into order, but not for imparting information to humans -- which is the ultimate goal here. I see no reason to make an estimated 70% of my visitors confused as to when an event is planned to take place simply because W3C standards are more important to me than getting my message across simply and effectively.

I get hits from people doing Google searches like "How do I order valium online?" and "Where can I find a hotel in Berlin?" People who can't tell the difference between Google and Ask Jeeves are not going to want to spend time puzzling over weird dates.

You see, the reason the W3C, in its infinite wisdom, decided that YYYY-MM-DD is to be the only correct format allowed (if indeed that's what the W3C really meant by that) is because they are technically-minded people used to working with data which has to be presented in machine-readable format. YYYY-MM-DD is machine-readable. I need human-readable dates. The W3C are not always correct, and this is one instance where I feel they've got it wrong.

They've made the classic error of assuming everyone thinks like computer technicians. I design websites. I need to think like vicars, housewives and schoolteachers.

Italian: luglio
Polish: lipiec

I did say "most" European languages. But you spelt the Italian wrong: it's iuglio, and I and J are actually variants of the same letter (and the G is silent but just makes the L sound "liquid"). Even Russian has iul' (although written in Cyrillic).

victor

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 9:53 pm on Jul 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

g1smd:
Most XML schemas already allow only dates conforming to ISO 8601, so this is where we are heading. Why not just adopt it.

I'm happy to use (and do use) ISO8601 to augment/supplement my pages. But I need to use local date formats (see earlier post) because that is what the audience I am talking to expect to see. That may, of course, change over time.

One reason not to adopt it is the outrageous charges ISO make for copies of the standard: 104 Swiss Franks! That's -- what? -- nearly USD70.

They could teach a few seach engines a lesson or two about gouging the hand that feeds them.

jatar_k

WebmasterWorld Administrator jatar_k us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 10:07 pm on Jul 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

>> 3 July, 2002
>>Sorry. No use if you don't speak English.

but all my sites are english. It is paramount to be clear and this achieves maximum clarity for an english speaking audience.

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 2:25 am on Jul 6, 2002 (gmt 0)


30 seconds with a search engine finds.... [portalargentino.net...] ... there you go, one draft copy of the ISO 8601 standard.

Web sites don't have to contain any words, they might only contain numerical or graphical data, or images, the date of which is important.

victor

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2692 posted 6:21 am on Jul 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

g1smd:
one draft copy of the ISO 8601 standard.

(emphasis added)

Thanks. And I'd already found various previous drafts on the web, including your website which has two.

Surely safer though to wait until I can afford a copy of the final release. Follow draft standards is not really an ISO9000 recommendation. :)

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