ISO 8601 assumption

ken at ken at
Fri Oct 6 07:40:18 UTC 2000

On Fri, 06 Oct 2000 00:58:32 -0500,
Jesper Nørgaard <jnorgard at> wrote:
>I even disagree about the assumption that yyyy-mm-dd is
>unambigous, because if the month number and the day-in-month
>number can be confused, they surely will according to Murphy's
>law, e.g. some people will create yyyy-dd-mm dates just as
>surely as they will create mm-dd-yyyy dates.

But the thing is: mm/dd/yy[yy] is in widespread use (US), as is
dd/mm/yy[yy] (much of Europe, I'm told).  [yy]yy-mm-dd was used
in Japan even before the ISO standard came out.  But no culture
has ever used [yy]yy-dd-mm format, and there is absolutely
nothing to recommend it, so there is no reason to expect anyone
to adopt it.  Yes, the perverse can use that format just to
confound us, but in practice one can safely assume that a
nnnn-nn-nn date is in yyyy-mm-dd format.

As to an unambiguous format, there's always yyyy-jjj (e.g.,
today (2000-10-06) is 2000-280 --- the 280th day of AD 2000),
but this has never caught on in the greater culture (and
probably never will).

		--Ken Pizzini

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