[ISO8601] Re: Potentially misleading dates vs ISO 8601.
- On 2000-May-23 Yifan Ji wrote(>>,>):
>> From: "INFO" <transalt@...>[2000-May-26]
>> To: "Yifan Ji" <yfji@...>
>> Subject: RE: Potentially misleading dates
>> Date: 2000 May 22, Mon, 13:32:39 -0400
>> Dear Yifan-
>> Thanks for your input. We are aware that our date notations do not
>> conform to international standards. However, the majority of our
>> members are based in the New York Metropolitan Area, and are used
>> to the American system of noting the date. As these are our members
>> who are most likely to actually attend events listed on our calendar,
>> we made a conscious decision to adhere to the American notation, so
>> as to avoid confusion. We know that this engenders confusion for
>> our international website viewers, however, it was a question of
>> utility. Hopefully we will soon see the US formally switch to
>> international notations sometime soon, so that we may follow suit.
>> Again, thank you for your input.
>> Catherine Fennell
> I am glad to see you now say Last updated May 15, 2000 instead
> of 5/15/00. But "Hits since 6/1/98" is not clear enough yet.
> ISO 8601 does not deal or replace with language-dependent dates.
> Anyway, if m/d/y order is preferred, the month should be written
> in word in lieu of number, especially on Internet.
> Yifan Ji
Catherine Fennell hopes that 'we will soon see the US formally switch to
international notations sometime soon'. The really old news is that the US
has *already* officially adopted the ISO standard under ANSI X3.30 as well
as under the NIST FIPS 4-1 standard. It is now also the default date
standard of the US military, and used in long format as '2000-May-26' by
them. US companies like IBM have already adopted it, long ago, as part of
the fix for the Year 2000 Problem. It is also used on sites like
<http://ftpsearch.lycos.com/>. It already comes as the default standard of
the Internet as defined by both Internic and the World Wide Web Consortium
(W3C), though the old email standards have yet to be updated to reflect this.
As far as the old US notation of 'Month/Day' goes, the ISO format retains
this. The ISO format merely changes the Year from two digits to four digits,
whilst moving it from being the last item to being the first item. So,
'12/31/00' is rewritten as '2000-12-31'. It is much more difficult for
European people to make the change, as they have to flip the whole date end
to end: '31/12/00' changing to '2000-12-31' or '2000-Dec-31'. As Yifan Ji
hints, confusion will reign supreme the day after '01/01/01', as this is
written as '01/02/01' in some countries, as '02/01/01' in others, and
'01/01/02' in yet others. So what date is '03/05/02' for example? As the
Internet is very much an international medium, International Standards are
the way to go.
Astronomers all round the world have already used the equivalent of the ISO
format for well over 200 years, so the ideas used in ISO 8601 are certainly
not new. Now is the time to make the change....