Your potentially misleading dates
- Dear Sir/Madam at GamesBids.com ,
I recently visited your website at http://www.gamesbids.com/ and noticed
that you are using a confusing date notation.
People from all over the world are able to visit your site about Olympic bids and there
are many date formats currently in use. These visitors might not obtain
full value from the information you are providing if they are not sure
of the date it represents.
Did you know of the existence of an international date format defined
by the International Standards Organisation as ISO 8601 "Data
elements and interchange formats - Information interchange -
Representation of dates and times".
This defines the date in such a way to ensure there is no confusion as
to which date is represented.
For example, what date is 27/04/93? Most likely 27th April 1993
What date is 11/02/98? It could be 11th February 1998 or 2nd November
When we move into the 21st century, it could become even more confusing.
What about 09/12/18? It could be 9th December 1918 or 2018, or 12th
September 1918 or 2018.
What about 2011-07-12? Due to the four number prefix this is instantly
recognisable as the ISO8601 format so it MUST be the 12th of July 2011.
No other possibility therefore no possible confusion.
The basic format is YYYY-MM-DD where YYYY is the year
in that century, MM is the month in numeric format and DD is the day in
numeric format. Note that this has the largest time unit on the left
and decreases in unit size as you move to the right. If you see a four
number prefix then it must be the century/year first and therefore an
ISO8601 representation of the date.
To take this further, adding the time in 24 hour format can give a
representation of a point in time as a definition decreasing in unit
size as you move left to right. For example, 1998-12-25 12:23:30
For further examples and some more convincing arguments to use this
format please see http://www.saqqara.demon.co.uk/datefmt.htm or join
the ISO8601 community at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ISO8601/ where
many people from around the world are trying to standardise on this date
If you have any questions about the International Date Format, please
email me at jusjih@... .
Since the Olympic Games are for the people worldwide, your use of mm/dd/yy dates may satisfy many
(but not all) Americans, but it is not going to be readily acceptable to most visitors in the
world. Please do not assume that only Americans visit your site.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Use ISO 8601 but No MM/DD/YY or AM/PM!
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