A journal entry from 2010, and date formats


I was cleaning out my ancient Google Docs account, and found a single file which I will share with you now.

2010.11.20 Sunday

Oh, that was it. I probably should have written more. It also kills me that I wasn’t using ISO 8601 dates back then. The order is correct, but it should really have been written as 2010-11-20.

Which leads us to another series of Rubenerd Directives, this time about dates:

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  • MM/DD/YYYY makes no sequential or aesthetic sense whatsoever, and adds to confusion when globally-minded communicators read 01/01/2017.

  • DD/MM/YYYY is sorted, which is a start.

  • If you don’t use leading zeroes, you’re a monster who probably truncates years and puppies, too.

  • YYYY-MM-DD is optimal, for sorting and aesthetics. East Asian societies long figured this order out.

You’re free to disagree with any of the above points, just as I’m free to point out you’re incorrect. Thank you.

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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