Bad Date Data

Bad Dates

And people wonder why I complain so much about date formatting… (See Also: raster’s rants on 4-digit years.)

Take this example from Nikon’s web site, captured lovingly in the screen shot above.

If you’re in a hurry, and don’t have time to read everything (I hear that covers 75% of the people who use the Internet) you might need info on the D4 and see that it’s at the top of the list, and hey… looks like it was updated December 4, 2010! At least that may be your assumption by seeing 12/04/10.

You also need info on the D40, and you see 08/04/04 and think “Wow, it was last updated in 2004!” which is weird, because the D40 didn’t come out until 2006. (And yeah, the D4 wasn’t around in 2010 either.)

If you scan the whole column, you’ll see that first part of the date is the year, followed by the month, and then the day. While I do prefer year, month, day, I definitely prefer YYYY-MM-DD.

This isn’t 1975, you’re not saving vast amounts of computer memory by typing “08” instead of “2008” and all your really doing is creating opportunities for people to get confused.

Yes, I know people should actually read things in a critical fashion especially if it has to do with an SDK for hardware, but this is just one example of many.


Date Problems

It’s not easy being all nutty about dates…

When signing up for another online service, I was presented with the following form:

Dates of confusion

The part with “Which Looks Right” stopped me, not because it’s not even labelled ‘Date‘, I mean, I’m guessing that it’s a date thing, but I could be wrong here. Maybe it’s some sort of captcha or math problem, I dunno… Anyway…

The “Which Looks Right” stopped me because neither one looks right to me. To look “right” to me it would be 2005-02-14, though I suppose I could also accept 02/14/2005 if forced to. 4-digit years people! YYYY-MM-DD formatting people! Come on!