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Please correct the format of dates shown on Forum posts - Printable Version

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Please correct the format of dates shown on Forum posts - nlj - 09-01-2015 07:35 PM

This is a request for you to correct the format of the dates you display on Forum posts.

If you _must_ use dates that are not ISO 8601 compliant, please do _not_ use a hyphen/dash ("-") as the date separator as this diminishes the value of the standard for those who do use it.

Currently you display dates like 08-30-2015. A correct ISO 8601 date would be 2015-08-30. If you don't want to conform to the standard, please use a traditionally ambiguous separator (any other separator really, other than "-") and a form such 08/30/2015 or 30/08/2015.

The use of "-" as a separator promises an unambiguous date in ISO 8601 format; abuse of this threatens to ruin for all the benefits of the standard.

Thank you very much!


RE: Please correct the format of dates shown on Forum posts - Massimo Gnerucci - 09-01-2015 07:59 PM

Did you try to use the format that suits you better?


RE: Please correct the format of dates shown on Forum posts - nlj - 09-02-2015 12:37 PM

(09-01-2015 07:35 PM)nlj Wrote:  This is a request for you to correct the format of the dates you display on Forum posts.

Currently you display dates like 08-30-2015. A correct ISO 8601 date would be 2015-08-30. If you don't want to conform to the standard, please use a traditionally ambiguous separator (any other separator really, other than "-") and a form such 08/30/2015 or 30/08/2015.

(09-01-2015 07:59 PM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  Did you try to use the format that suits you better?

How the site looks to me is beside the point. These invalid dates should not be the site's default. The concern is that by displaying these rogue dates, the site risks the possibility (likelihood even) that visitors will think this format is acceptable and, though subconscious mimicry or deliberate imitation, they will duplicate it elsewhere, making the world a slightly worse place for everyone.

ISO 8601 brought us a huge step forward. Not only did it standardise a rational date ordering (like the leap from Roman numerals to the Arabic Base 10 system of writing numbers, it places the most significant digit on the left, the next-most significant digit next, all the way to the least significant digit on the right), but even more importantly it deliberately used a novel separator, the "-" to break away from "/" (and "." and "·"), the separators used in the ambiguous dates written in the past. Seeing a "-" in a date became a guarantee of an unambiguous date.

When someone writes a date with a "-" separator but arbitrarily muddles up the order of the digits they sabotage the value of this standard, making the clear communication of dates harder.

I'm not asking other people to use ISO 8601 dates; everyone is obviously free to use their own personal format (regardless of anyone else's ability to understand it), but I'm asking people not to use the "-" date separator when they're not writing an ISO 8601 date.


The right option does not exist - striegel - 09-02-2015 03:47 PM

(09-01-2015 07:59 PM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  Did you try to use the format that suits you better?

Although the original poster seems a bit insistent, I do agree. When trying to change the date display format in my profile, I find that there is no option to format dates correctly (today's date should be 2015-09-02).
[attachment=2488]
Alan


RE: Please correct the format of dates shown on Forum posts - Dave Hicks - 09-02-2015 04:18 PM

I did a quick survey of forums I use. The default format that this forum uses was the most common. Second most common was a collection of various spelled-out formats with months (sometimes abbreviated) and sometimes days of the week (in various orders.) In the forums I looked at, one used '/'s instead of '-'s (and a 2 digit year). I tried poking around in my user control panels of a few forums and most of them didn't even provide any options involving date formats.

So I think this is fine for now. Future versions may have more options but the default is likely to stay like it is for some time. By the way, I've been putting dashes in dates for decades so if someone wanted a separator to promise something they should have come up with something that wasn't already in common use. I kind of like the Chinese way myself: 2015年9月2日.


RE: Please correct the format of dates shown on Forum posts - Massimo Gnerucci - 09-02-2015 06:45 PM

(09-02-2015 12:37 PM)nlj Wrote:  How the site looks to me is beside the point. These invalid dates should not be the site's default. The concern is that by displaying these rogue dates, the site risks the possibility (likelihood even) that visitors will think this format is acceptable and, though subconscious mimicry or deliberate imitation, they will duplicate it elsewhere, making the world a slightly worse place for everyone.

Ah, educational purposes, I see. Good luck.

Still waiting for worldwide use of SI units...


RE: Please correct the format of dates shown on Forum posts - matthiaspaul - 09-05-2015 10:14 PM

I wonder why MyBB supports the "-" separator in the dmy or mdy formats when at the same time the software does not provide an option for the much more commonly used "/" separator (alongside the similarly common "." separator).

Anyway, MyBB allows to easily change the default date format string in the ACP. If this setting gets edited to "Y-m-d H:i" (in PHP format), the forum will display the ISO 8601 format "yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm", which is the recommended standard for international usage. According to the MyBB documentation, the following settings should do it (the case is important), and this is also a setting not overwritten by updates:

ACP>Configuration>Settings>Change Settings>Date Format: Change to "Y-m-d"
ACP>Configuration>Settings>Change Settings>Time Format: Change to: "H:i"
ACP>Configuration>Settings>Change Settings>Registered Date Format: Change to Y-m-d as well.

Alternatively (or in addition to this), the MyBB /inc/init.php file should contain a structure like:

$date_formats = array(
1 => "m-d-Y",
2 => "m-d-y",
3 => "m.d.Y",
4 => "m.d.y",
5 => "d-m-Y",
6 => "d-m-y",
7 => "d.m.Y",
8 => "d.m.y",
9 => "F jS, Y",
10 => "l, F jS, Y",
11 => "jS F, Y",
12 => "l, jS F, Y",
13 => "Y-m-d"
);

The last entry appears to be new and not yet present in this forum's installation of MyBB. Just adding it (or replacing one of the outdated and ambiguous settings 2, 4, 6 or 8) should be all that's needed to add support for ISO 8601. Alternatively, the verbose formats could be replace by:

9 => "d/m/Y", // dd/mm/yyyy
10 => "d/m/y", // dd/mm/yy (deprecated 2-digit year format)
11 => "m/d/Y", // mm/dd/yyyy
12 => "m/d/y", // mm/dd/yy (deprecated 2-digit year format)
13 => "Y-m-d" // yyyy-mm-dd per ISO 8601

However, I would just add the following:

13 => "Y-m-d", // yyyy-mm-dd per ISO 8601
14 => "d/m/Y", // dd/mm/yyyy
15 => "d/m/y" // dd/mm/yy (deprecated 2-digit year format)
16 => "m/d/Y", // mm/dd/yyyy
17 => "m/d/y" // mm/dd/yy (deprecated 2-digit year format)

As this forum has an international audience and is technically- and quality-oriented, supporting the ISO 8601 format sounds not only like implementing a common denominator, but like a natural choice in general.

Personally, I consider it a sign of excellence for products to support ISO 8601 and I always considered it a major annoyance that f.e. the HP 48GX and 50g didn't have built-in support for it.

Hope it helps,

Matthias


RE: Please correct the format of dates shown on Forum posts - Joe Horn - 09-06-2015 02:41 AM

Even XKCD is emphatic about it:

[Image: iso_8601.png]

The funny "discouraged" examples shown above are explained here:
http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1179


RE: Please correct the format of dates shown on Forum posts - Massimo Gnerucci - 09-06-2015 12:59 PM

(09-06-2015 02:41 AM)Joe Horn Wrote:  Even XKCD is emphatic about it:

[Image: iso_8601.png]

The funny "discouraged" examples shown above are explained here:
http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1179

Actually 20130227, as basic format representation, should be accepted.


RE: Please correct the format of dates shown on Forum posts - TASP - 09-06-2015 03:02 PM

Seems like someone here had a premonition about this . . .


Wink