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Re: a human-eye date format everyone can love

From: Greg Stein <gstein_at_lyra.org>
Date: 2002-06-24 23:04:36 CEST

On Mon, Jun 24, 2002 at 03:43:33PM -0500, Karl Fogel wrote:
> Greg Stein <gstein@lyra.org> writes:
> > 2002-06-24 13:31:19-0700 (Mon, 24 Jun 2002)
> +1 on this too.
> (Do you feel strongly about the comma? It'd be nice to squeeze as
> much length out as possible, if we're going to include the year
> there.)

I feel pretty strong about that comma, if a date is appended. If it read:

  Mon 24 Jun 2002

The eyeball sees alpha-alpha-alpha space num-num space alpha-alpha-alpha.
Those two alpha groups are each three letters, and hard to distinguish
between month and day-of-week. You have to *read* them to really sort it
out. However, with the comma, you've got two distinct groups, and the
eyeball parses it much more easily.

Some test cases:

    Wed 20 Nov 2002
    Fri 07 Mar 2003


    Wed, 20 Nov 2002
    Fri, 07 Mar 2003

Which set were easier to read? When my brain reads that, it goes "some word.
pause. day of week. more stuff. parse. date" Without the comma, it goes
"bunch of stuff. parse. parse. parse. day. date." :-)

That said, if we're shooting for shorter, then I'd suggest dropping the
date. I'm quite fine with the date up front, so I don't need it at the end.
However, a three-letter day of week is insufficient to quickly recognize
what is happening there. Thus, we'd need a full day name:

    2002-06-24 13:31:19-0700 (Monday)

Wednesday is the longest day, at 9 characters which is shorter than any of
the formats with a date in them.

So. Let's clarify the forms I'm interested in:

    +1 for: 2002-06-26 13:31:19-0700 (Wednesday)
    +0 for: 2002-06-26 13:31:19-0700 (Mon, 26 Jun 2002)
    -0 for: 2002-06-26 13:31:19-0700 (Mon 26 Jun 2002)
    -0 for all others


Greg Stein, http://www.lyra.org/
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Received on Mon Jun 24 23:04:09 2002

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