Can we please, please – PLEASE! not make the nonsensical US date format month/day/year the default in applications? 🤦‍♂️


And to all users of that format: it makes no sense, it's counter-intuitive, it makes collaboration frustrating, it introduces inconsistencies and errors... Just stop. Please. Use international standards.
(And don't get me started on your other units of weights, volumes and distances. Bloody hell.)

Boost if I'm right.

@stragu the least confusing format which has no ambiguous counterpart is yyyy-mm-dd :)

@jackdaniel @stragu and that one results in better sorting on most default settings

@stragu I use YY/MM/DD since lexicographical order and chronological order coincide.

@stragu it's just a truncated ISO layout (YYYY/)MM/DD

@stragu you’re correct insofar as asserting that this is a bad practice. incorrect insofar as assuming you will get americans to care.

@stragu and display timezones as GMT+nn, I have absolutely no w@#$@#$ idea why central mountain time is!

@ajft @stragu To stay neutral then UTC is probably better than GMT, see ; this also avoids the AM/PM format that is just confusing, like all timezones abbreviations when they are not of the format "Continent or Country/City" (sometimes even a state in the US can have 2 legal timezones at the same time, depending on the city you are in)

@pmevzek @stragu true. old me is old and I end up saying GMT. Now don't even think about getting onto the subject of peoples' names in applications and the US-centric "christian-name, one mandatory middle name, surname"!

@LunaDragofelis @stragu Agreed, I think I replied about that. Old habit that I first learnt it as GMT and keep referring to it that way. (repeats to self, UTC, UTC, UTC..)

@stragu "American date format, invented by me it was" (Yoda)


Also abandon feet, miles, inches, pinches, furlongs, gallons and other archaic and confusing units.

@kravietz @stragu I agree with both but it'll take at least 1 generation of transition.

@stragu my ranking of best formats:

1. UTC unix time (for APIs and stuff)
2. ISO 8601
3. everything else

@stragu ISO-8601 YYYY-MM-DD only. The euro DD-MM-YYYY is the worst, it sorts by day. At least the US one sorts by month, then day, so a 1-year archive is correct.
#date #iso8601 #hasaposse

month/day/year - American
day/month/year - European
year/month/day - International

@alm10965 @stragu The day starts at 00:00, ends at 24:00 (which is the same as 00:00 of the following day, which is why you'll never see it on a clock).

@stragu I need more accounts here to boost this. Like a few thousand more.

@stragu I lived here for most of my life at this point and it still makes no freaking sense.

@stragu you’re mostly right. At least you don’t appear to be pushing for stone as a unit of weight. That’s where I draw the line.

@pabs @stragu this is wrong. when you consider the individual digits (which is the entire purpose of the triangles) it should look like this

@xnx38h @pabs @stragu I gotta agree with xnx38h. Y-M-D is best for a variety of reasons, while M/D/Y and D/M/Y are pretty equally bad, but at least M/D/Y is written in the order we (US) say dates. (Please: use Y-M-D for everything technical or formal or international!)

@xnx38h @pabs @stragu D/M/Y has "logic" in that each increases in size... but does that translate to any real world benefit? If you sort by DMY you get the most-interleaved, worst order of these three. It's like writing binary LSB first, or timestamps SS:MM:HH

@touk @pabs @stragu yeah like i'd rather have mm:ss:hh than ss:mm:hh

@mvz @xnx38h @pabs @stragu Right, they're both valid as written forms of how people speak. 🙂
I think we all agree Y-M-D is great because it's sortable, unambiguous, most-significant-first, filename-friendly...

Now... US weights, volumes, distances, 12-hour time... are much more deserving of criticism 🙃

@pabs @stragu It's literally just "the way you say it when you talk."

"When is Halloween?" "October thirty-first, I think."


@Magess @pabs @stragu that's not universal. In British English we say "the 31st of October". Cause and effect are very strange here.

@iMartyn @Magess @pabs @stragu Brits used to say it the way Americans do but started changing in the late 19th century to align more closely with the mainland where in romance languages it was spoken with the day first. It's only the "standard" because Europe made it so. The actual ISO standard is YYYY-MM-DD. Apps should instead just adapt to the locale.

@pabs @stragu The second logic in this picture isn't logic at all. It's just insane

that made me check if #Niantic had fixed their US-centric date format in #PokémonGO, which I'd reported as bug #feedback to them a while ago:

Which it looks like they did!
I mean, sure, it isn't #ISO8601, but at least the catch dates are now displayed in the device #locale, rather than whichever developer's or team lead's preferred format, which make it *my* choice, which is a win in my book.

oddly enough it still seems to work on all phones or accounts, as my wife's is still showing that ridiculous format...

@stragu also stop making sunday the first day of the week in your app, please

@stragu I shall thrown another in: DIN 5008 for letters.

@stragu And please use international time codes too! At last no AM/PM 🤪

@stragu Interesting.

But what incentive do U.S.Americans have to switch? Applications shouldn't be storing dates in any format that can't be translated without loss off information.

Based on how people around me react to non-American date formats, if applications for Americans were to start using international date formats, they'd get a dreadful number of downvotes and complaints.

Wouldn't a better choice be to make the date's display abide by the operating system's setting?


Yes! It needs to be YYYY/MM/DD - that's how we deal with numbers in other contexts.


I signed a contract this year and filled in the date in yyyy-mm-dd format. Everyone involved gave me a hard time about it and a few were concerned writing a date this way would make legal problems later.

America is a weird place, even if you're from here.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Mastodon - IndieHosters

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!