XKCD: It's more than a comic:

Total posts: [15,272]
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6776 KylerThatch27th Feb 2013 07:10:37 AM , Relationship Status: Don't hug me; I'm scared
literary masochist
Probably at least half of date-reading confusion would be cleared up if nobody wrote the year with only two digits. If I had to hazard a guess.
A cotton heart and a button eye
You are the apple of my eye
6777 Fighteer27th Feb 2013 07:19:35 AM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
I find it hard to believe that there are still people who use 2-digit years. Voluntarily, as opposed to being constrained by a printed form or data entry scheme.

edited 27th Feb '13 7:21:32 AM by Fighteer

6778 FuzzyBoots27th Feb 2013 07:23:03 AM from Pittsburgh, PA , Relationship Status: And they all lived happily ever after <3
Wanderer (Not Lost)
[up] They're probably the same people who abbreviate June and July as Jun and Jul when not limited to 3 character fields. After all, it's shorter, so it's more efficient...
6779 KylerThatch27th Feb 2013 07:33:35 AM , Relationship Status: Don't hug me; I'm scared
literary masochist
But Jun and Jul aren't quite as ambiguous as two-digit year notation tends to be.
A cotton heart and a button eye
You are the apple of my eye
6780 Tangent12827th Feb 2013 07:35:40 AM from Virginia , Relationship Status: Gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
To avoid confusion, I always write the year with 4 digits, and the month textually. Apr/16/2013, 16/Apr/2013, even Apr/2013/16 are gonna be read right that way.

I would use YYYY-MM-DD for filenames if I had any case to. In practice, the only current use I have for name-dated files right now is log rotation, and the logger in question just uses TAI timestamps rather than a human calendar.

edited 27th Feb '13 7:36:00 AM by Tangent128

Do you highlight everything looking for secret messages?
6781 OhnoaBear27th Feb 2013 07:47:53 AM from Exiting, pursued by a...
I'm back, baby.
I use two digit dates most of the time because I doubt that the vast majority of things I'm dating are going to be super relevant one hundred years from now and I know they weren't relevant one hundred years ago.
Shadowed Philosopher
Yeah, but the issue isn't ambiguity as to whether the year '08' refers to 1908, 2008 or 2108, it's ambiguity as to whether the number '08' represents a month, a day or a year. '2008' is always a year.

Granted, that issue became somewhat less pressing two months ago, and will remain so for another ~88 years.
Shinigan (Naruto fanfic)
6783 Fighteer27th Feb 2013 09:30:23 AM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
I develop database applications. Believe me, it matters when you're trying to convince a computer to interpret a date value properly. For casual interpersonal use, not so much.
6784 OhnoaBear27th Feb 2013 09:45:15 AM from Exiting, pursued by a...
I'm back, baby.
And in my experience, my method of writing dates is either forced to comply with a program's preferred formatting or filtered through a human intermediary who I hope translates it so as to prevent misunderstanding. I would probably have a different stance if I was one of those intermediaries, but I'm not so I don't.

edited 27th Feb '13 9:46:47 AM by OhnoaBear

6785 petersohn27th Feb 2013 09:54:09 AM , Relationship Status: Hiding
In the US, most people use month-day-year. In most other parts of the world they use day-month-year. This is a huge reason for confusion in itself. At least if a date begins with a 4-digit year, it's pretty clear (I never saw anyone write it year-day-month). But just what 01/02/03 means is just ambiguous.
When I was working in a lab we were told to use the three letter abbreviation for months to prevent confusion. Good idea, but apparently others don't do that. It was a hell of time converting older labels when they used a mix of M/D/Y and D/M/Y depending on the first person to originally label that bag.
Chaotic Greedy
I mainly use ISO dates, except when I relapse to JJ/MM/AAAA.

Now all you have to do is universally adopt 24-hour clocks, rather than associate them with military.
"And as long as a sack of shit is not a good thing to be, chivalry will never die."
6788 Joesolo27th Feb 2013 03:48:05 PM , Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
Indiana Solo
I mostly do the standard american MM/DD/YY, but I almost always write out the full year. I like precision.
6789 Nohbody27th Feb 2013 04:20:33 PM from Somewhere in Dixie , Relationship Status: Mu
"In distress", my ass.
When I was in the Navy, about 2 decades ago, they said the preferred date formatting was DD/MMM/YYYY. With the 3 letter month abbreviation, it's a lot more difficult to misunderstand which part of the date is the month and which is the day. (The year speaks for itself, of course.)

On the other hand, although it's not been an issue for me I can see the benefit of YYYYMMDD for computer file names, which sorts a lot better than the alternate arrangements.
6790 TamH7027th Feb 2013 05:03:35 PM , Relationship Status: Faithful to 2D
In the British military, the correct format is 27 FEB 13. Especially in my former employers, the Royal Corps of Signals.
6791 adam85027th Feb 2013 07:00:09 PM from Springfield.
Speak up!
The reservation system I use at work is based on an old IBM AS/400. My department uses MMDDYY. So, if I want to pull up a sailing on April 9, 2013, I type in "040913". Leading zeroes required. I have heard that the Australia desk uses the three-letter abbreviation for the month, e.g., "09APR13". I don't know how the dates are actually stored in the computer, so it may just be the way the dates are entered and displayed. We never have to deal with reservations older than a year or two or more than 3 years in the future, so the four-digit year is not necessary.

Long story short: in this case, it is easier to use a less precise system of writing dates.
The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
6792 MisterC27th Feb 2013 07:39:25 PM from roughly over there , Relationship Status: Healthy, deeply-felt respect for this here Shotgun
Angry Moth
I'm always really confused about dates because half the people here use DD/MM/YYYY and the other half use MM/DD/YYYY. It also annoys me to no end, since I have a summer job in a bank where I have to verify the content of AT Ms and one of the things I must check is the dates on cheques. I sometimes get some where people use DD/MM/YYYY in the space labelled MM/DD/YYYY...
Who's an angry moth? You are! Yes you are! You're the fuzziest and angriest moth!

Original pic.
Conceptually Frameworked
YYYY-MM-DD is a really good format when working with dates.

However it's too clunky for writing in general. It's nothing like how you would read it. 2013, the second month, the 27th day?

I really dislike the American system though. Not ordering smallest to largest or largest to smallest when dealing with numbers is an irritation to me. And before the American date standard changed DD/MM/YYYY wasn't ambiguous at all.

I'd say you're still going to have to be sensitive to context. At the very least ISO is likely to be contradicted by style guides everywhere.

Also according to Wikipedia, YYYYMMDD is allowed.

edited 27th Feb '13 8:55:24 PM by UltimatelySubjective

"Nullius addictus iurare in verba magistri, quo me cumque rapit tempestas, deferor hospes."
Shadowed Philosopher
It's precisely how you'd read a date in Japanese. tongue

I ought to start using YYYY/MM/DD more in contexts other than computers. It just makes more sense.
Shinigan (Naruto fanfic)
6795 TheInferno27th Feb 2013 10:04:49 PM from probably on Earth
|Y| = |X| Add 5
I learned MM/DD/YY in school. Might start trying this YYYY-MM-DD thing though, most of the time I'm writing dates it's either on a paper (in which I have to use the format specified by the writing style, usually "January 1, 1900" or something) or it's a filename, in which case YYYY-MM-DD would sort it.
"The fact that your food can be made into makeshift bombs alarms the Hell out of me, Scrye." - Charlatan
6796 Fighteer1st Mar 2013 09:11:31 AM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness

That's not perfectly true. The more you know about computers, the more likely you are to correctly predict what is and is not caused by a virus. The diagram should have a small overlap.
6797 petersohn1st Mar 2013 10:26:12 AM , Relationship Status: Hiding
If you are computer savvy and know what a virus can do, you don't say "maybe it has a virus". You either say "it probably/definitely has a virus" or "it is definitely caused by something other than a virus".

Then, you add "either way, you must reinstall it".
Shadowed Philosopher
In any system in which the effect of a virus is a reasonable possibility, yes, that's probably the best option. tongue
Shinigan (Naruto fanfic)
6799 TheInferno1st Mar 2013 03:38:04 PM from probably on Earth
|Y| = |X| Add 5
Yeah, my Network Security teachers have been saying that, because even if you can clean it up, you can't prove that the virus hasn't cleverly hidden something somewhere unless you go over with a finetooth comb. Best to wipe it and restore from the last good back-up (which may take some figuring), takes less time and means the system definitely clean.

edited 1st Mar '13 3:42:29 PM by TheInferno

"The fact that your food can be made into makeshift bombs alarms the Hell out of me, Scrye." - Charlatan
6800 Thnikkafan1st Mar 2013 05:03:32 PM from Faroe Islands (not really) , Relationship Status: I made a point to burn all of the photographs
I think there should be some overlap, but not much. It does seem like 90% of the stuff that people think is caused by viruses is actually caused by malware.
Anyone who assigns themselves loads of character tropes is someone to be worried about.

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