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Oct. 28th, 2010 | 04:51 pm
mood: awakeawake
music: diotrans - DDRMax Dance Dance Revolution Insomniac Skies OC ReMix

OK, I think now I've seen everything[1]:

Seriously, YYYY-DD-MM? What the heck? What is the point of that, other than to sow confusion? It doesn't have any nice properties (unlike, say, YYYY-MM-DD, for which the natural and lexicographic order coincide), it's not used in any culture, and it introduces ambiguousness where none existed before, bringing the problems with DD-MM-YYYY and MM-DD-YYYY to YYYY-MM-DD.

On that note, I really wish we'd all just use YYYY-MM-DD already and get rid of the rest. Myself, I've not been using anything else in at least half a decade myself (other than whan I slip and fall back to the traditional German DD-MM-YYYY, but that's a very rare occurrence nowadays); I don't expect everyone else to follow suit immediately, but at the very least, it'd be nice if people accomodated for international standards[2].

Anyhow, as far as Second Life is concerned, I'm mostly amused; it's just so absurd. :)

  1. Actually, I've seen this before, but chances are it was just a mistake then. Of course, chances are that it's just a mistake on the Second Life site, too, but they have much less of an excuse for not having caught this.

  2. 2. For example, a few years ago, when I wanted to book a train ticket through the Deutsche Bahn website, I found that they did not recognize YYYY-MM-DD dates at all, and when I got in touch with them and suggested that they rectify this (seeing as there was a standard), they told me that they were already aware of the issue but would not fix it. AAMOF, it still doesn't work now that I'm writing this, either.

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Comments {31}

Gryphe

(no subject)

from: gryphe
date: Oct. 28th, 2010 02:57 pm (UTC)
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Either way, I'm five months older then you! *Winks.*

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Schneelocke

(no subject)

from: schnee
date: Oct. 28th, 2010 02:59 pm (UTC)
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You mean on SL? Probably a bit more, actually, since it's not my account. :) (My own dates from February 2006.)

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moonhare

(no subject)

from: mondhasen
date: Oct. 28th, 2010 03:17 pm (UTC)
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"Seriously, YYYY-DD-MM? What the heck?"

That format is nicely confusing :o)

I name all my 'ghost' files for cloning using the YYYYMMDD_X format so that they'll appear in proper order when I call them up (_X is for multiples of the same ghost with minor variations: a, b, c, etc.). Of course, I could just dump the old ones and eliminate confusion, but I like redundancy in files so that if one fails I have a back-up.

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Schneelocke

(no subject)

from: schnee
date: Oct. 28th, 2010 03:20 pm (UTC)
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It is, isn't it?

And redundancy is good. As they say:

  • Backup all your data
  • Backup frequently
  • Take some backups off-site
  • Keep some old backups
  • Test your backups
  • Secure your backups
  • Perform integrity checking

I'll admit I'm guilty of not following all these to the extent that I should (far from it, in some cases), but they're good rules to keep in mind and aspire to.

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moonhare

(no subject)

from: mondhasen
date: Oct. 28th, 2010 03:31 pm (UTC)
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*snicker* all my ghosts were on the old server when it deep-sixed. Not a big deal because it had a tape backup, however the replacement server didn't have a tape drive so I just wrote them all off and started over again.

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Schneelocke

(no subject)

from: schnee
date: Oct. 28th, 2010 08:34 pm (UTC)
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*noddles* :/

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Natasha Softpaw

(no subject)

from: natashasoftpaw
date: Oct. 28th, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC)
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I actually always use Mmm DD, YYYY (ie, Oct 28, 2010), it's not that much longer than the shortened formats, and there's no abiguity at all. Having grown up in the US, I have a hard time putting the D before the M, regardless of how it's written, but doing it this way, I can at least prevent people from getting confused over dates like June 11th :-P

Despite being a US native (a country that seems to celebrate saying "fuck you" to international standards), I try to be as internationally-minded as possible, avoiding ambiguity in dates, times, measurements, and general speech whenever I can :-D

...Having written this comment, it occurs to me that people who don't know any English could get confused over this, depending on what their month names are in their language, but at least there's no confusion over which part is the day and which part is the month. Plus, it's extremely rare that I'd ever have any reason for someone who speaks no English at all to read a date I've written; I honestly can't think of a situation where that would be a problem.

Also, my old SL account is almost exactly a year older than you, it was created December 21, 2004 :-)

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Storm Cloud

(no subject)

from: shadow_stallion
date: Oct. 28th, 2010 05:24 pm (UTC)
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I actually prefer this to any other method for exactly the reasons you mention. There is no question as to what date you are referring to. :D

If I were to use only numbers then I am accustomed to to seeing DD/MM/YYYY. Any format other than that just looks awkward to me but I can understand that we are just different and accustomed to a different format from the rest of the world.

It really gets confusing when some people try to shorten the year to only two numbers. >.

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Schneelocke

(no subject)

from: schnee
date: Oct. 28th, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I hate that (shortening the year), too. For the next eight millenia or so at least, we should stick to four-digit years. :)

Oh, and you don't use MM-DD-YYYY then, despite being in the USA? That's interesting. :)

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Storm Cloud

(no subject)

from: shadow_stallion
date: Oct. 28th, 2010 08:47 pm (UTC)
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I actually misspoke. I do use MM/DD/YYYY

I wasn't paying close enough attention and just wrote it out wrong.

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Schneelocke

(no subject)

from: schnee
date: Oct. 28th, 2010 08:49 pm (UTC)
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Ah, OK... thanks for the clarification, then. :) *hugs*

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Storm Cloud

(no subject)

from: shadow_stallion
date: Oct. 28th, 2010 08:59 pm (UTC)
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No problemo

*hugs*

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Schneelocke

(no subject)

from: schnee
date: Oct. 28th, 2010 08:41 pm (UTC)
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2004? Wow, that's old. *s* (It's not my account, though; my own dates from early February 2006. Still comparatively old, though.)

Mmm DD, YYYY also works, yes; it's better than using a purely numeric date insofar as that there can't be any confusion, but it still doesn't sort naturally, so I prefer the ISO date format. *s*

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Natasha Softpaw

(no subject)

from: natashasoftpaw
date: Oct. 29th, 2010 04:31 am (UTC)
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Ahh, gotcha. And yeah, I've been playing SL for, like, ever.

And, sorting things is a completely different and unique case, in my mind. In my world, dates/times are simply stored as an integer in most cases, with the formatting done separately when displayed. Which reminds me, it drives me absolutely nuts when programmers write software that stores dates/times as formatted strings, especially in Unix or Unix-derived environments (PHP is still Unix-y even on Windows). Sure, it's human-readable, but anyone who needs to know what the DB field says will know how to convert it. Formatted-string timestamps are an absolute nightmare for sorting, comparisons, and any other operations, because they usually have to be either broken apart with substrings or regular expressions, or converted to an epoch timestamp.

As for filenames, YYYYMMDD makes the most sense there, since it's the easiest to sort. Though, I've seen some people use other weird variations, with predictably unpredictable results :-P

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Schneelocke

(no subject)

from: schnee
date: Oct. 29th, 2010 10:23 am (UTC)
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Aye, that's true; if you're using databases, you should use keep the presentation different from the internal representation and just use Unix time.

I tend to use YYYY-MM-DD for filenames, as the dashes make everything more readable. :)

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Lucius

(no subject)

from: ducktapeddonkey
date: Oct. 28th, 2010 07:57 pm (UTC)
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I'm with you on picking one date format and just sticking with that.

I'm always fighting with dates in Excel at work. Sometimes you can't even switch it back to the right format if it's been messed up well enough.

MM DD YYYY makes sense since that's how most people would say the date. October 28th, 2010.

But that doesn't sort too well in a computer once you start spanning multiple years. So YYYY MM DD makes more sense there.

What's really annoying though is that Windows will start messing with your date format depending on the "localization" you choose. More than once this has seriously messed up some big spreadsheets.

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Schneelocke

(no subject)

from: schnee
date: Oct. 28th, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
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MM DD YYYY makes sense since that's how most people would say the date. October 28th, 2010.

But you could also say "28th of October, 2010". :) (In fact, that's how you'd say it in German – "28. Oktober 2010" –, and why it's DD-MM-YYYY in German.)

Yeah, automatically changing these things depending on the users locale is troublesome, though. I can understand the motivation, but I think it's bad trade-off: it's making things easier for about five minutes in exchange for (metaphorical) headaches that'll stay with you forever.

My personal pet peeve is the decimal point and thousands separator, BTW. In English, you'd write "1,000.00"; in German, this'd traditionally be rendered as "1.000,00" instead. It's particularly annoying on sites like eBay that DO make this distinction based on what localized site you're on.

(In fact, in the past eBay happily handled this the dumbest possible way and converted a bid of "10,00" on eBay.com or "10.00" on eBay.de to a thousand USD/EUR, respectively. Nowadays, they seem to catch it as an "invalid amount", at least...)

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Natasha Softpaw

(no subject)

from: natashasoftpaw
date: Oct. 29th, 2010 04:19 am (UTC)
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I've never understood the comma/decimal thing, it makes no sense to me whatsoever to use a comma as a decimal point. Is that how it's written in general math as well? Or is it just a currency thing?

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Schneelocke

(no subject)

from: schnee
date: Oct. 29th, 2010 10:21 am (UTC)
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It's always written like that, yes, even in mathematics. Of course, with computers being as ubiquitious as they are today, the English decimal point is creeping in, too.

Heh, and I could say the same thing, actually. It makes no sense whatsoever to use a point as a decimal comma! ;)

Edited at 2010-10-29 10:21 am (UTC)

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Killjoy #10

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from: lionhill
date: Oct. 28th, 2010 08:51 pm (UTC)
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I for my part veru much prefer the DD-MM-YYYY format. It think it's more logical that the "smaller" number in the counter, so to speak, is in the front and then organized from that.

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Schneelocke

(no subject)

from: schnee
date: Oct. 28th, 2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
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That's true, but it's still ambiguous once you encounter dates written by people from the USA. :)

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tzisorey

(no subject)

from: tzisorey
date: Oct. 28th, 2010 10:15 pm (UTC)
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Just wait 'til someone comes out with DD-YYYY-MM - all the confusion of MM-YYYY-DD, but half as lexically sortable ;)

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Schneelocke

(no subject)

from: schnee
date: Oct. 28th, 2010 10:19 pm (UTC)
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*shudders*

Well, at least it won't be DYMYMDYY or so. x.x

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moonhare

(no subject)

from: mondhasen
date: Oct. 29th, 2010 12:44 am (UTC)
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When I worked with aerospace products our Government inspectors used Julian dates for everything. In those days they used a paper-wheel convertor, as we didn't have the internet handy (1980's).

Therefore, according to the USNO website:
The Julian date for CE 2010 October 29 00:00:00.0 UT is
JD 2455498.500000

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Schneelocke

(no subject)

from: schnee
date: Oct. 29th, 2010 10:46 am (UTC)
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*checks Wikipedia* "The Julian date (JD) is the interval of time in days and fractions of a day since January 1, 4713 BC Greenwich noon, Julian proleptic calendar.".

Ah, interesting! I wonder why they based this on the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian one?

(Interesting that Unix time apparently appears to be related to the Julian rather than the Gregorian calendar, too. Reading the Wikipedia article on Unix time, it becomes obvious that this has not been an issue so far, but it would be in the year 2100... although there's still the Y2K38 problem before that, too, so it's too early to worry about it.)

That said, am I the only one who's a bit confuzzled by the various time standards there are? UTC, TAI, various versions of UT, GMT, ET, TT, TCB, TDB, TDT and all that... x.x

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Sandwalker

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from: greytail
date: Oct. 29th, 2010 10:38 am (UTC)
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We here in NZ use DD/MM/YY(YY), though sometimes I write Mmm DD, YYYY. When I had to work with databases in my classes, we found that the database would accept dates in our format, but when dates were retrieved they'd come out as MM/DD/YYYY -- getting them out in DD/MM/YYYY order required fiddling with some settings.

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Schneelocke

(no subject)

from: schnee
date: Oct. 29th, 2010 10:49 am (UTC)
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*noddles* MySQL?

And interesting; I was taught that the entire English-speaking world used MM/DD/(YY)YY, but apparently, it's not actually true, with neither the Britons nor the Kiwis actually doing so. *s*

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Sandwalker

(no subject)

from: greytail
date: Oct. 29th, 2010 11:21 am (UTC)
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Well, according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_and_time_notation_by_country it seems that a lot of countries use DD/MM/YY (or a variant of). Only the US (and its outlying territories) use MM/DD/YY, thus reinforcing their desire to be 'different'.

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Schneelocke

(no subject)

from: schnee
date: Oct. 29th, 2010 04:09 pm (UTC)
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*noddles* Yeah... rather like with the metric system. *s*

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(Deleted comment)

Schneelocke

(no subject)

from: schnee
date: Oct. 29th, 2010 04:11 pm (UTC)
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*noddles* MM-DD-YYYY is pretty odd for similar reasons, but at least one can claim that it's traditional. *s*

Dates like "2005, 24 Mar" are very weird indeed, though — and only slightly less so than an outright "2005-24-03".

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