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are we done with 1s and 2s yet?

     
8:43 pm on Dec 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Talk about a perfect storm...

For one of my client's shippers, they usually send 1 shipment per month. We create a manifest in Excel, then get back and invoice in Excel. The naming convention for the dates on the files is MMDDYY.

Just to make things fun, I've been working on an automation system to get rid of the manual way they were generating the spreadsheets and generated test files for comparison.

Last month, we had a lot of orders and had to send out 2 shipments- one on the 12th, one on the 21st. So we had files with 111212 and others with 112112.

Not surprisingly, one of the files fell through the cracks and was never sent out.

So glad I'm not dyxlesic ;)

Unfortunately, the 12th and 21st are shippable days in December as well...
12:36 am on Dec 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I feel your pain as I have dyslexic moments too!

I use 12-NOV-2012 and 21-NOV-2012 to cover those cases, myself and international use of the resulting file(s).

Being overly clear does justify the extra effort, esp if it cuts off errors.
1:18 am on Dec 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I always use YYYYMMDD, (and extend it to YYYYMMDDhhmmss based on a 24-hour clock when needed).

i.e.-

19991231 or 19991231235959, (for the last second of the final hour before "Y2K").

Aside from the dates being very clear, they also sort well if you have a column of dates in a table, or a directory full of files prefixed with the YYYYMMDD date, e.g.-

19000101_stuff.txt
19010101_stuff.txt
20111111_stuff.txt
20121212_stuff.txt
etc..

You can always transform to some other format for printing/reporting legibility.
1:57 am on Dec 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Did you ship anything yesterday? It would be pretty hard to misinterpret "121212".
9:53 am on Dec 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@lexipixel +1

I thought that everybody changed to YYYYMMDD in the final months of 1999.

It's recommended for internet protocols (except for email headers and other things that are so well established it would be too difficult to change) see RFC 3339.
10:27 am on Dec 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I have always found the convention MMDDYY to be more confusing.

I've used the format YYMMDD for dates and files, as Lexipixel, starting as far back as the 1980s, so it's going to be difficult for me to change. hehe

For the shippers in the store, our system converted the dates in DDMonthNameYYYY

By the time ten years has gone by the old files are archived, so there's little confusion, and are archived for posterity.

That format really makes finding files easy, and, as long as the team know the format, it's hard to confuse.
11:11 am on Dec 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I have always found the convention MMDDYY to be more confusing.

Me too. I never understood the reasoning behind it (I'm sure there's a good reason, though), but to me the order should always be in some kind of scale, from the most precise to the least, or vice-versa. MMDDYY just seems to be muddled, but I know a lot of people use it so there's a reason in itself.
1:27 pm on Dec 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I never understood the reasoning behind it

Nor me. The first thing that I do with any spreadsheet is change the default date format to international standard.
5:49 pm on Dec 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I always use YYYYMMDD for my own projects- sorts files as you would expect. Unfortunately, this was an inherited project.

However, I believe I may have finally overcome the corporate inertia to change things to the "correct" format.
8:48 pm on Dec 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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All good examples (above).

I use 12-NOV-2012 and 21-NOV-2012 to cover those cases, myself and international use of the resulting file(s).

The advantage in my thought (quoted above) in the creation of the above was: no one needs to figure out where I'm from to then interpret that date.

Said differently I don't have to say 'to those not in the USA this date isn't in your preferred ordering' ever :-)
9:39 pm on Dec 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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The problem with formats like "12 Nov 2012" is when something arrives from overseas with "Expire 12 Zwy 2012" on it.

All numeric wins.
1:08 am on Dec 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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The problem with formats like "12 Nov 2012" is when something arrives from overseas with "Expire 12 Zwy 2012" on it.

I was going to counter that there cannot be many countries that use the Julian-Gregorian calendar and Roman script, but call the months by entirely unrecognizable names. But omniglot promptly handed me a fistful, including Finnish and apparently the whole Baltic family. (Most others are really the same name, allowing for orthographic and phonetic changes.) Whether these names are used in international commerce is another matter.

Now, countries that use the Julian-Gregorian calendar and Roman script combined with unrecognizable month names, but still use the English word "Expire" ... ;)
11:22 am on Dec 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Not all software that prints labels is 100% internationalised, or indeed, some software is only part localised.