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1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:06 am UTC
by Quicksilver
Image
http://xkcd.com/1179/
Alt Text:"ISO 8601 was published on 06/05/88 and most recently amended on 12/01/04."
12/01/04? is that 2004? or 2012? or 2001? it should just be DD/MM/YYYY. Makes the most sense.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:07 am UTC
by rhomboidal
I use dashes instead of hyphens to quietly undermine and ultimately destroy the entire system from within.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:15 am UTC
by RogueCynic
I understand Randall once wrote a check using a complex formula to represent the amount. Is he protesting the complexity of date representation now? For simplicity's sake, I suggest using only "yesterday", "today" or "tomorrow" for dates.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:16 am UTC
by Area Man
I can't tell you how often I rage about this.
(from three+ years ago): viewtopic.php?f=40&t=41156&p=1745253&hilit=8601#p1745253

Quicksilver wrote:it should just be DD/MM/YYYY. Makes the most sense.

No! Would you seriously write time as ss:mm:hh? or mm:ss:hh? No. The date is just an extension of that. L-R is big to small (more precision further right, like normal numbers).

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:21 am UTC
by simcop2387
Is anyone else mildly upset that he got the roman numerals wrong? MMXII, come on! It's not like he's writing a check.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:22 am UTC
by speedyjohn
Is there a reason all the Roman numerals are off? It's not MMXII (2012), it's MMXIII (2013). And LVII/CCLXV is 57/265. But February 27 is 58/365.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:22 am UTC
by EvanED
Area Man wrote:
Quicksilver wrote:it should just be DD/MM/YYYY. Makes the most sense.

No! Would you seriously write time as ss:mm:hh? or mm:ss:hh? No. The date is just an extension of that. L-R is big to small (more precision further right, like normal numbers).

In addition to what you said, the ISO 8601 format also sorts correctly.

Checkmate. :-)

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:24 am UTC
by amulshah7
There should be one standard date method, but I doubt it will happen. It'll probably be slightly more within reach if and when the US and the other couple non-metric countries start using metric.

And yeah, I noticed that the roman numerals are off, too. I think they're just mistakes.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:25 am UTC
by kvltofpersonality
speedyjohn wrote:Is there a reason all the Roman numerals are off? It's not MMXII (2012), it's MMXIII (2013). And LVII/CCLXV is 57/265. But February 27 is 58/365.


I created an account here to express these frustrations, with all respect to Roman numerals.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:31 am UTC
by Adacore
Any format that has years, then months, then days is preferable to any other format - both for consistency and sorting purposes, as others have noted. Why don't we also do this with addresses (I know some countries do, but it's not standard in English)?

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:33 am UTC
by JohnTheWysard
Some traditionalists will still insist on V Calends Mars anno conditae urbis MMDCCLXI.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:36 am UTC
by maxmaxmaxmax
yeah this was a very funny comic but some inconsistency not usually found on xkcd. some roman numerals were incorrect, and how could he not follow his own damn rule in the title text?

also i'm trying to follow Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally in the order of operations one, but i'm not getting any representation of the date. am i not getting this? any explanation on 1330300800?

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:39 am UTC
by da_peda
Another error: according to Section 4.1.2.2 of the ISO specification, the format YYYYMMDD is also acceptable.

@amulshah7:
At this time, only three countries - Burma, Liberia, and the US - have not adopted the International System of Units (SI, or metric system) as their official system of weights and measures. Although use of the metric system has been sanctioned by law in the US since 1866, it has been slow in displacing the American adaptation of the British Imperial System known as the US Customary System. The US is the only industrialized nation that does not mainly use the metric system in its commercial and standards activities, but there is increasing acceptance in science, medicine, government, and many sectors of industry.
Source: The CIA World Factbook, Appendix G

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:40 am UTC
by simcop2387
1330300800 == unix time for Feb 27 2012. I think he made this comic to screw with us.

For the equation one, the / aren't division. they are seperators

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:41 am UTC
by Farabor
Quick, someone post the xkcd about "There's too many standards, we need a universal standard!" Standard++ result. I would, but I don't do html or research :).

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:49 am UTC
by Ashtar
I've decided independently to write the date like this since 2013-01-12. That is, when I'm not writing it like 1.08 Aštréi or 8.40.01.08.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:50 am UTC
by n079614
Was Australia consulted on this ISO?

DD/MM/YYYY or death!

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:51 am UTC
by CDNBAMBAM
I have been working with embedded systems for over a decade. 2 years of college, 2 more of university, 5 co-ops, a few employers, tons of books, dozens of coworkers, hundreds of code reviews. I coded Y2K fixes, but it takes me goofing off work reading a comic to learn about ISO 8601. Thanks XKCD and apologies to employers for whom I have written the date backwards.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:53 am UTC
by Xantix
by simcop2387 » 2.26.13:10.21pm UTC

Is anyone else mildly upset that he got the roman numerals wrong? MMXII, come on! It's not like he's writing a check.


Came to say this too. Thought maybe he was using the Julian Calendar instead, since they were Roman Numerals.

But if that were the case, it would have been: MMXIII-II-XIV

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:54 am UTC
by xenotrout
For a while now, I've been using ISO-8601 whenever possible, including when writing checks, signing contracts, filling out government forms (unless the form says MM/DD/YY—I'm in the USA) and nobody has mentioned it, nothing has taken longer to process, etc.


maxmaxmaxmax wrote:any explanation on 1330300800?


Unix timestamp for 2012-02-26T16:00[1] 2012-02-27?

[1] GNU date interpreting input date in local and outputting UTC? Anyone else annoyed it doesn't seem to be able to parse ISO-8601?

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:54 am UTC
by ManaUser
To be fair, those are all suppose to be discouraged ways to right the date. If they actually represent a different date, no wonder.

P.S. It is going to be hard to give up on the MM-DD-YY HISSSS format.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:55 am UTC
by sherlip
Am I the only one not getting the

2 3 1 4
0 1 2 3 7
5 67 8

Because it confuses the hell out of me...

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:58 am UTC
by ubel
Oh, Randall.. You're just like Georgia, with a little prepositional twist.

I quietly died a little inside yesterday when, after punching my birthdate into an automated phone service which did not prompt me with a format, it accepted mm/dd/yyyy. Part of me wanted to hear it respond, "I'm sorry, please enter your birthdate in the way you hoped we were expecting it.". The other part of me reasoned with my brain saying, "You live in America.", as if that made it all better.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:59 am UTC
by Xantix
by sherlip » 02_26_2013 10:55 pm UTC

Am I the only one not getting the

2 3 1 4
0 1 2 3 7
5 67 8

Because it confuses the hell out of me...


The digit 0 occurs in position two and five.
The digit 1 occurs in position three.
The digit 2 occurs in position one, six, and seven.
The digit 3 occurs in position four.
The digit 7 occurs in position eight.

2013-02-27

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:00 am UTC
by da Doctah
simcop2387 wrote:1330300800 == unix time for Feb 27 2012. I think he made this comic to screw with us.

For the equation one, the / aren't division. they are seperators

Both / and - characters should be avoided because of spreadsheet programs that will interpret them as division and subtraction respectively. Sorry, ISO guys, but you dropped the ball on that one.

I notice that the table of examples didn't forbid 2456351.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:01 am UTC
by StClair
I use YYYYMMDD for naming text files, saved webcomic images, etc - stuff that I'm going to keep on a computer, which will sort it for me - but in day to day life, I still write MM/DD/YYYY and probably always will.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:01 am UTC
by Jorpho
I guess different formats can serve different purposes, but I never liked DD-MM-YYYY. It might make logical sense, but it is just devoid of practicality.

But for the same reason, YYYY-MM-DD doesn't seem right in everyday use either. I mean, if you don't care about the year – and for most everyday applications, why would you? – you would just write MM-DD. It only makes sense to append additional superfluous information to the right.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:05 am UTC
by elej
i liked this one, though the alt text left me trying to puzzle out which format he is using

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:08 am UTC
by Eutychus
Farabor wrote:Quick, someone post the xkcd about "There's too many standards, we need a universal standard!" Standard++ result. I would, but I don't do html or research :).


done.

It was a big revelation for me when I realised that these days, "standards organisation" has simply become a euphemism for "lobby forum".

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:08 am UTC
by Pfhorrest
Jorpho wrote:But for the same reason, YYYY-MM-DD doesn't seem right in everyday use either. I mean, if you don't care about the year – and for most everyday applications, why would you? – you would just write MM-DD. It only makes sense to append additional superfluous information to the right.

I've always suspected that this is now the American date format came about, because the year is set apart by commas in prose, like a parenthetical addendum. I imagine people began with talking about dates in ordinary decreasing-significance order, and so said "MM DD", but then when there was ambiguity about what year was meant, it was added parenthetically, ala "...so we decided the event would be on MM DD, YYYY, in order that...".

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:12 am UTC
by CardcaptorRLH85
JohnTheWysard wrote:Some traditionalists will still insist on V Calends Mars anno conditae urbis MMDCCLXI.


When I run this latin through Google Translate I get '5 years from the founding of the new moon, Mars 2761'. Is that what was meant here?

StClair wrote:I use YYYYMMDD for naming text files, saved webcomic images, etc - stuff that I'm going to keep on a computer, which will sort it for me - but in day to day life, I still write DD/MM/YYYY and probably always will.


Interestingly enough, once I started using computers enough to get annoyed about the sorting issues of MM-DD-YYYY, I started using YYYY-MM-DD on everything. I even use YYYY-MM-DD when dating checks and contracts now.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:18 am UTC
by Steeler
To hell with numerical dates. I write DD<three letter month abbreviation>YYYY on anything I have any control over. Completely unambiguous. Web forms generally tell you explicitly what they want, so they're not a big issue either.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:19 am UTC
by mikrit
The ISO format is used a lot in Sweden, at least in bureaucracy, but for some reason food products use DD.MM.YY or DDMMYYYY. Just like we use meters for everything except computer screens and bicycle wheels, where we use inches. (At least it no longer ye olde Swedish inch.)

For dates, I prefer the Month name in letters: FEB.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:29 am UTC
by cwolves
As great as standards are, this is the wrong way to way to write a date.

Why?

because some implementations of common languages (such as JavaScript) won't parse `2013-02-26` whereas _every_ date parser will parse `2013/02/26` to today.

Results are more important than standards.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:30 am UTC
by CardcaptorRLH85
elej wrote:i liked this one, though the alt text left me trying to puzzle out which format he is using


Well, that second one (12/01/2004) is MM-DD-YYYY since, from research, I've discovered that the publication date of ISO 8601:2004 was in December of 2004. I can't find a publication date for ISO 8601:1988 though so I don't know if it's May 6th or June 5th 1988.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:31 am UTC
by Fire Brns
Popped in to say the alt text made me laugh more than it should have, the realization that only one number within the 2 dates could be guaranteed was priceless.

To the argument, I was raised on the mm/dd/yyyy format and I have to say yyyy/mm/dd is the most logical system. God forbid someone introduces a mm/yy/dd format.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:33 am UTC
by Arancaytar
THANK YOU Randall!

(Though I also find the idea of ln(unix_epoch) intriguing. It is now approximately 21.03218088.)

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:34 am UTC
by CardcaptorRLH85
cwolves wrote:As great as standards are, this is the wrong way to way to write a date.

Why?

because some implementations of common languages (such as JavaScript) won't parse `2013-02-26` whereas _every_ date parser will parse `2013/02/26` to today.

Results are more important than standards.


ISO 8601 predates JavaScript by 6 years, I think this should be considered an issue with JavaScript rather than with the standard.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:35 am UTC
by wurlitzer153
My family's standard for file naming has always been YYMMDD (i.e. 130227). Revisions within the day are marked with a letter. The only time it doesn't sort right is the century boundary case. I think I can live with that for now...

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:38 am UTC
by wurlitzer153
Steeler wrote:To hell with numerical dates. I write DD<three letter month abbreviation>YYYY on anything I have any control over. Completely unambiguous. Web forms generally tell you explicitly what they want, so they're not a big issue either.

Good luck sorting that in alphabetical order...