Last modified: 2005-12-09 22:18:17 UTC
Wikipedia should use only the ISO international standard date/time format
for the four-tilde signature string and logged-out skin, instead of the
current arbitrary, mixed-up formats based on user preference. Only the
international standard should be used because Wikipedia is for a
worldwide audience. Date/time formats should not be arbitrary and mixed
up within the same page (talk pages). The international standard is the
only logical choice for an international audience; it's been very
successfully used for many years on usenet and is easily understood
worldwide. The international standard date/time format is as follows:
yyyy-mm-dd, hh:mm Z, where Z stands for UTC. Please change the
four-tilde string to use this excellent worldwide standard, instead of the
illogical, arbitrary, mixed-up, inconsistent formats we currently have on
Only one format is used per site, using the site's default timezone. If you
find different behavior please include details.
Brion: This isn't an issue about time zone, but instead regards date and
time format. (1) The default date and time format for Wikipedia should be
the ISO 8601 international standard format of yyyy-mm-dd, hh:mm Z, but it
is not. (2) Secondly, unless the user has programmed a nickname, the
four-tilde signature string should always give the ISO 8601 international
standard format of username, yyyy-mm-dd, hh:mm Z, but it does not. Look
at en.wikipedia talk pages and you will see a variety of inconsistent date
and time formats. This is bad and confusing. Please fix both of the above
items so that they give only the international standard format of
yyyy-mm-dd, hh:mm Z.
Both 1) and 2) are false and irrelevant.
This claim about "variety" is different, please be more detailed.
Items (1) and (2) are relevant. The audience is worldwide, so the ISO
international standard should be the default. Regarding "variety," look at
any en.wikipedia talk pages and you'll see a variety of date and time
formats corresponding to each person's four-tilde signature string (~~~~).
Sometimes the day comes before the month, sometimes it comes after;
but always the time is first (even when the user chose ISO format!), which
is wrong. Time should always go after the date, regardless of format
used, and should *never* be separated from time zone (same as most
e-mail). Having this variety (this inconsistency) is bad and confusing for a
date/time stamp. The ISO standard date/time format should be used for
everyone's *default* four-tilde signature. Plus, time goes last in ISO
format, not first. The ISO format is yyyy-MM-dd, hh:mm Z. It's very short and
simple, and easily understood worldwide. Your help would be greatly
This seems like a bad case of
Can you please leave out the demand for your personal preference? The
design of the system is that all signature timestamps will use the
wiki's server timezone and default display format. If they are not
consistent on a single wiki, then please report _that_ bug with
It appears that on en.wikipedia, the four-tilde signature date/time stamps
do not have the same display format for all users. This can be seen on
most any talk pages. It would be appreciated if you could make these
inconsistent signature formats consistent. Thanks.
While ~~~~ signature timestamps are inserted with the wiki's default
time zone for consistency, the date seems to be laid out according to
the user preference instead of the default. This produces
inconsistent output, which can be distracting.
Here's a sample of some datestamps collected from the
en.wikipedia.org tech Village Pump:
09:30, 5 September 2005 (UTC)
20:04, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
01:16, September 1, 2005 (UTC)
01:16, September 1, 2005 (UTC)
19:12, 2005 September 2 (UTC)
19:28, September 2, 2005 (UTC)
All inserted datestamps should use the default date format to be
Well said. And another signature timestamp you'll sometimes see, to add
to your above list, is:
05:50:41, 2005-09-12 (UTC)
even though the user chose ISO in his/her user preference; i.e.,
And notice that all of the wikipedia timestamps listed above are not only
inconsistent, but also all of them are backwards regarding the time
position. In the normal, international format (yyyy-mm-dd, hh:mm Z), time
is last, instead of first. Since something needs to be changed to make
these timestamp formats consistent, I would like to also request that you
change all of them to the ISO 8601 international standard. The ISO format
is the normal, international standard for a timestamp. Thanks.
Footnote to comment #10: And time being last isn't limited to ISO format.
Time is invariably last in any e-mail. So having time last instead of first is
the normal standard, again pointing toward the ISO format as the normal,
international standard for a timestamp. Thanks.
I asked you to stop pushing your personal preferences about formatting
on this bug. Please try to stay on-topic.
Created attachment 882 [details]
Updates in CVS HEAD
Language::dateFormat()'s functioning was out of sync with doc comments, and
incorrect usage in compound functions (eg Language::timeanddate()) caused it to
ignore the default-format option used in sig formatting.
Cleaned up comments and usage to make this work correctly; also defined some
constants for the internal format codes to make things more legible and
combined some duplicate code.