Last modified: 2012-01-16 10:02:25 UTC
Once again the topic of auto-formatting of dates has erupted, this time on en:WP:MOSNUM. As sometimes happens, this discussion has morphed into a discussion of editors vs. readers, or more correctly registered users vs. anonymous users. The key complaint in this discussion is that auto-formatted dates don't help anonymous users (because they have no preferences), who then must suffer mixed date formats that aren't visible to registered editors. This appears to be a valid complaint.
The issue of anonymous users and lack of auto-formatting appears to be easy to solve: set a default date format of something other than "No preference". If I read the MediaWiki configuration documentation correctly, simply setting $wgDefaultUserOptions['date'] to 'mdy both' in LocalSettings.php would make the default the American English norm. While there may be some discussion of whether 'mdy both' or 'dmy both' is the better choice, I believe either is better than the current situation.
Get agreement on-wiki on what to switch it to, then re-open this with a link to it.
I think that setting either US or UK date formatting as a default will cause a revolt. The answer lies in either fixing the dysfunctional autoformatting system. In any case, that system is rapidly becoming optional. All the better, frankly—the difference in date formats is trivial, and we've all accepted different varieties of English/spelling.
WONTFIX: This is a old request from 2007 with no link to community consensus. Please free feel to regain new consensus for this change and reopen or file a new bug.