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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • ...because MM/DD/YYYY is a strictly-defined thing. It would be awful if you emitted "something that people can tell is a date or something."

    You know. Like "anything that matches RFC 822 dates."

    • MM/DD/YYYY is not strictly defined here in Australia, since we often don't know if it's just American racism, or if the date is actially DD/MM/YYYY.

      • Uh. No, you're being a bit odd.

        MM/DD/YYYY is very very very well defined. It means two digit month, two digit day of month, four digit year.

        NN/NN/NNNN is obviously extremely confusing because of what you said.

        If you have defined, in your data format definition, that dates are MM/DD or DD/MM, it is perfectly unambiguous, because the context (of the specification) makes it clear.

        If you are emitting something with no specification, then that's a different matter.

        • The point is that reasonable people do MM/DD/YYYY, and reasonable people do DD/MM/YYYY, and there is no way to tell whether NN/NN/NNNN is one or the other just by looking at it. So you need to refer to an external authority, and deity help you if you have none. In contrast, no reasonable person does YYYY-DD-MM, so if you get NNNN-NN-NN you know how to interpret it just by looking at it. In that sense, it is better to always use NNNN-NN-NN because the format is self-documenting.

          • by jdavidb (1361) on 2008.12.02 15:11 (#66084) Homepage Journal

            In that sense, it is better to always use NNNN-NN-NN because the format is self-documenting.

            I sadly have to differ with that. I use ISO standard YYYY-MM-DD dates all the time. I write dates this way every chance I get. And I'm constantly having to explain to people what it means.

            The average person on my continent simply cannot figure out the standard, even though it is mind-numbingly obvious.


            J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers