1179: "ISO 8601"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Magistrates, Prelates, Moderators General

1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby Quicksilver » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:06 am UTC

Image
http://xkcd.com/1179/
Alt Text:"ISO 8601 was published on 06/05/88 and most recently amended on 12/01/04."
12/01/04? is that 2004? or 2012? or 2001? it should just be DD/MM/YYYY. Makes the most sense.
User avatar
Quicksilver
 
Posts: 424
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:21 am UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby rhomboidal » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:07 am UTC

I use dashes instead of hyphens to quietly undermine and ultimately destroy the entire system from within.
User avatar
rhomboidal
 
Posts: 560
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:25 pm UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby RogueCynic » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:15 am UTC

I understand Randall once wrote a check using a complex formula to represent the amount. Is he protesting the complexity of date representation now? For simplicity's sake, I suggest using only "yesterday", "today" or "tomorrow" for dates.
I am Lord Titanius Englesmith, Fancyman of Cornwood.
See 1 Kings 7:23 for pi.
If you put a prune in a juicer, what would you get?
RogueCynic
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:23 pm UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby Area Man » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:16 am UTC

I can't tell you how often I rage about this.
(from three+ years ago): viewtopic.php?f=40&t=41156&p=1745253&hilit=8601#p1745253

Quicksilver wrote:it should just be DD/MM/YYYY. Makes the most sense.

No! Would you seriously write time as ss:mm:hh? or mm:ss:hh? No. The date is just an extension of that. L-R is big to small (more precision further right, like normal numbers).
Bisquick boxes are a dead medium.
User avatar
Area Man
 
Posts: 256
Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2008 8:08 pm UTC
Location: Local

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby simcop2387 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:21 am UTC

Is anyone else mildly upset that he got the roman numerals wrong? MMXII, come on! It's not like he's writing a check.
simcop2387
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:28 am UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby speedyjohn » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:22 am UTC

Is there a reason all the Roman numerals are off? It's not MMXII (2012), it's MMXIII (2013). And LVII/CCLXV is 57/265. But February 27 is 58/365.
speedyjohn
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:46 am UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby EvanED » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:22 am UTC

Area Man wrote:
Quicksilver wrote:it should just be DD/MM/YYYY. Makes the most sense.

No! Would you seriously write time as ss:mm:hh? or mm:ss:hh? No. The date is just an extension of that. L-R is big to small (more precision further right, like normal numbers).

In addition to what you said, the ISO 8601 format also sorts correctly.

Checkmate. :-)
EvanED
 
Posts: 4145
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 6:28 am UTC
Location: Madison, WI

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby amulshah7 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:24 am UTC

There should be one standard date method, but I doubt it will happen. It'll probably be slightly more within reach if and when the US and the other couple non-metric countries start using metric.

And yeah, I noticed that the roman numerals are off, too. I think they're just mistakes.
amulshah7
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:59 am UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby kvltofpersonality » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:25 am UTC

speedyjohn wrote:Is there a reason all the Roman numerals are off? It's not MMXII (2012), it's MMXIII (2013). And LVII/CCLXV is 57/265. But February 27 is 58/365.


I created an account here to express these frustrations, with all respect to Roman numerals.
kvltofpersonality
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:21 am UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby Adacore » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:31 am UTC

Any format that has years, then months, then days is preferable to any other format - both for consistency and sorting purposes, as others have noted. Why don't we also do this with addresses (I know some countries do, but it's not standard in English)?
User avatar
Adacore
 
Posts: 2603
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:35 pm UTC
Location: 한국 창원

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby JohnTheWysard » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:33 am UTC

Some traditionalists will still insist on V Calends Mars anno conditae urbis MMDCCLXI.
User avatar
JohnTheWysard
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 2:38 am UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby maxmaxmaxmax » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:36 am UTC

yeah this was a very funny comic but some inconsistency not usually found on xkcd. some roman numerals were incorrect, and how could he not follow his own damn rule in the title text?

also i'm trying to follow Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally in the order of operations one, but i'm not getting any representation of the date. am i not getting this? any explanation on 1330300800?
maxmaxmaxmax
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:27 am UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby da_peda » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:39 am UTC

Another error: according to Section 4.1.2.2 of the ISO specification, the format YYYYMMDD is also acceptable.

@amulshah7:
At this time, only three countries - Burma, Liberia, and the US - have not adopted the International System of Units (SI, or metric system) as their official system of weights and measures. Although use of the metric system has been sanctioned by law in the US since 1866, it has been slow in displacing the American adaptation of the British Imperial System known as the US Customary System. The US is the only industrialized nation that does not mainly use the metric system in its commercial and standards activities, but there is increasing acceptance in science, medicine, government, and many sectors of industry.
Source: The CIA World Factbook, Appendix G
da_peda
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:27 am UTC
Location: Austria

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby simcop2387 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:40 am UTC

1330300800 == unix time for Feb 27 2012. I think he made this comic to screw with us.

For the equation one, the / aren't division. they are seperators
Last edited by simcop2387 on Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:42 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
simcop2387
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:28 am UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby Farabor » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:41 am UTC

Quick, someone post the xkcd about "There's too many standards, we need a universal standard!" Standard++ result. I would, but I don't do html or research :).
Farabor
 
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:46 am UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby Ashtar » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:49 am UTC

I've decided independently to write the date like this since 2013-01-12. That is, when I'm not writing it like 1.08 Aštréi or 8.40.01.08.
Ashtar
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:56 am UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby n079614 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:50 am UTC

Was Australia consulted on this ISO?

DD/MM/YYYY or death!
n079614
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:26 am UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby CDNBAMBAM » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:51 am UTC

I have been working with embedded systems for over a decade. 2 years of college, 2 more of university, 5 co-ops, a few employers, tons of books, dozens of coworkers, hundreds of code reviews. I coded Y2K fixes, but it takes me goofing off work reading a comic to learn about ISO 8601. Thanks XKCD and apologies to employers for whom I have written the date backwards.
CDNBAMBAM
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:41 am UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby Xantix » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:53 am UTC

by simcop2387 » 2.26.13:10.21pm UTC

Is anyone else mildly upset that he got the roman numerals wrong? MMXII, come on! It's not like he's writing a check.


Came to say this too. Thought maybe he was using the Julian Calendar instead, since they were Roman Numerals.

But if that were the case, it would have been: MMXIII-II-XIV
User avatar
Xantix
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:16 pm UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby xenotrout » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:54 am UTC

For a while now, I've been using ISO-8601 whenever possible, including when writing checks, signing contracts, filling out government forms (unless the form says MM/DD/YY—I'm in the USA) and nobody has mentioned it, nothing has taken longer to process, etc.


maxmaxmaxmax wrote:any explanation on 1330300800?


Unix timestamp for 2012-02-26T16:00[1] 2012-02-27?

[1] GNU date interpreting input date in local and outputting UTC? Anyone else annoyed it doesn't seem to be able to parse ISO-8601?
Last edited by xenotrout on Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:22 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
xenotrout
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:24 am UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby ManaUser » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:54 am UTC

To be fair, those are all suppose to be discouraged ways to right the date. If they actually represent a different date, no wonder.

P.S. It is going to be hard to give up on the MM-DD-YY HISSSS format.
Last edited by ManaUser on Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:56 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
ManaUser
 
Posts: 224
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:28 pm UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby sherlip » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:55 am UTC

Am I the only one not getting the

2 3 1 4
0 1 2 3 7
5 67 8

Because it confuses the hell out of me...
sherlip
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:40 am UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby ubel » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:58 am UTC

Oh, Randall.. You're just like Georgia, with a little prepositional twist.

I quietly died a little inside yesterday when, after punching my birthdate into an automated phone service which did not prompt me with a format, it accepted mm/dd/yyyy. Part of me wanted to hear it respond, "I'm sorry, please enter your birthdate in the way you hoped we were expecting it.". The other part of me reasoned with my brain saying, "You live in America.", as if that made it all better.
Last edited by ubel on Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:00 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
ubel
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 4:21 pm UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby Xantix » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:59 am UTC

by sherlip » 02_26_2013 10:55 pm UTC

Am I the only one not getting the

2 3 1 4
0 1 2 3 7
5 67 8

Because it confuses the hell out of me...


The digit 0 occurs in position two and five.
The digit 1 occurs in position three.
The digit 2 occurs in position one, six, and seven.
The digit 3 occurs in position four.
The digit 7 occurs in position eight.

2013-02-27
User avatar
Xantix
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:16 pm UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby da Doctah » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:00 am UTC

simcop2387 wrote:1330300800 == unix time for Feb 27 2012. I think he made this comic to screw with us.

For the equation one, the / aren't division. they are seperators

Both / and - characters should be avoided because of spreadsheet programs that will interpret them as division and subtraction respectively. Sorry, ISO guys, but you dropped the ball on that one.

I notice that the table of examples didn't forbid 2456351.
User avatar
da Doctah
 
Posts: 439
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:27 am UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby StClair » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:01 am UTC

I use YYYYMMDD for naming text files, saved webcomic images, etc - stuff that I'm going to keep on a computer, which will sort it for me - but in day to day life, I still write MM/DD/YYYY and probably always will.
Last edited by StClair on Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:39 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
StClair
 
Posts: 321
Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:07 am UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby Jorpho » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:01 am UTC

I guess different formats can serve different purposes, but I never liked DD-MM-YYYY. It might make logical sense, but it is just devoid of practicality.

But for the same reason, YYYY-MM-DD doesn't seem right in everyday use either. I mean, if you don't care about the year – and for most everyday applications, why would you? – you would just write MM-DD. It only makes sense to append additional superfluous information to the right.
User avatar
Jorpho
 
Posts: 5645
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:31 am UTC
Location: Canada

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby elej » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:05 am UTC

i liked this one, though the alt text left me trying to puzzle out which format he is using
elej
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:06 pm UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby Eutychus » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:08 am UTC

Farabor wrote:Quick, someone post the xkcd about "There's too many standards, we need a universal standard!" Standard++ result. I would, but I don't do html or research :).


done.

It was a big revelation for me when I realised that these days, "standards organisation" has simply become a euphemism for "lobby forum".
Be very careful about rectilinear assumptions. Raptors could be hiding there - ucim
Eutychus
 
Posts: 375
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:01 am UTC
Location: France

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:08 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:But for the same reason, YYYY-MM-DD doesn't seem right in everyday use either. I mean, if you don't care about the year – and for most everyday applications, why would you? – you would just write MM-DD. It only makes sense to append additional superfluous information to the right.

I've always suspected that this is now the American date format came about, because the year is set apart by commas in prose, like a parenthetical addendum. I imagine people began with talking about dates in ordinary decreasing-significance order, and so said "MM DD", but then when there was ambiguity about what year was meant, it was added parenthetically, ala "...so we decided the event would be on MM DD, YYYY, in order that...".
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)
User avatar
Pfhorrest
 
Posts: 2466
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby CardcaptorRLH85 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:12 am UTC

JohnTheWysard wrote:Some traditionalists will still insist on V Calends Mars anno conditae urbis MMDCCLXI.


When I run this latin through Google Translate I get '5 years from the founding of the new moon, Mars 2761'. Is that what was meant here?

StClair wrote:I use YYYYMMDD for naming text files, saved webcomic images, etc - stuff that I'm going to keep on a computer, which will sort it for me - but in day to day life, I still write DD/MM/YYYY and probably always will.


Interestingly enough, once I started using computers enough to get annoyed about the sorting issues of MM-DD-YYYY, I started using YYYY-MM-DD on everything. I even use YYYY-MM-DD when dating checks and contracts now.
User avatar
CardcaptorRLH85
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:06 am UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby Steeler » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:18 am UTC

To hell with numerical dates. I write DD<three letter month abbreviation>YYYY on anything I have any control over. Completely unambiguous. Web forms generally tell you explicitly what they want, so they're not a big issue either.
Last edited by Steeler on Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:19 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
"What would happen if did you first know that do I say tell me about your feelings about him that you came to me the real reason explain anything else that you came to me?"
-Emacs Psychiatrist upon repeated presses of the enter key
User avatar
Steeler
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:00 am UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby mikrit » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:19 am UTC

The ISO format is used a lot in Sweden, at least in bureaucracy, but for some reason food products use DD.MM.YY or DDMMYYYY. Just like we use meters for everything except computer screens and bicycle wheels, where we use inches. (At least it no longer ye olde Swedish inch.)

For dates, I prefer the Month name in letters: FEB.
Hatted and wimpled by ergman.
User avatar
mikrit
 
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:13 pm UTC
Location: Sweden

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby cwolves » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:29 am UTC

As great as standards are, this is the wrong way to way to write a date.

Why?

because some implementations of common languages (such as JavaScript) won't parse `2013-02-26` whereas _every_ date parser will parse `2013/02/26` to today.

Results are more important than standards.
cwolves
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 5:35 pm UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby CardcaptorRLH85 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:30 am UTC

elej wrote:i liked this one, though the alt text left me trying to puzzle out which format he is using


Well, that second one (12/01/2004) is MM-DD-YYYY since, from research, I've discovered that the publication date of ISO 8601:2004 was in December of 2004. I can't find a publication date for ISO 8601:1988 though so I don't know if it's May 6th or June 5th 1988.
User avatar
CardcaptorRLH85
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:06 am UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby Fire Brns » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:31 am UTC

Popped in to say the alt text made me laugh more than it should have, the realization that only one number within the 2 dates could be guaranteed was priceless.

To the argument, I was raised on the mm/dd/yyyy format and I have to say yyyy/mm/dd is the most logical system. God forbid someone introduces a mm/yy/dd format.
Pfhorrest wrote:As someone who is not easily offended, I don't really mind anything in this conversation.
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:It was the Renaissance. Everyone was Italian.
Fire Brns
 
Posts: 1114
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:25 pm UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby Arancaytar » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:33 am UTC

THANK YOU Randall!

(Though I also find the idea of ln(unix_epoch) intriguing. It is now approximately 21.03218088.)
"You cannot dual-wield the sharks. One is enough." -Our DM.
Image
User avatar
Arancaytar
 
Posts: 1632
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:54 am UTC
Location: 50.099432 degrees north, 8.572756 degrees east.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby CardcaptorRLH85 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:34 am UTC

cwolves wrote:As great as standards are, this is the wrong way to way to write a date.

Why?

because some implementations of common languages (such as JavaScript) won't parse `2013-02-26` whereas _every_ date parser will parse `2013/02/26` to today.

Results are more important than standards.


ISO 8601 predates JavaScript by 6 years, I think this should be considered an issue with JavaScript rather than with the standard.
User avatar
CardcaptorRLH85
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:06 am UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby wurlitzer153 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:35 am UTC

My family's standard for file naming has always been YYMMDD (i.e. 130227). Revisions within the day are marked with a letter. The only time it doesn't sort right is the century boundary case. I think I can live with that for now...
wurlitzer153
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:47 am UTC

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Postby wurlitzer153 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:38 am UTC

Steeler wrote:To hell with numerical dates. I write DD<three letter month abbreviation>YYYY on anything I have any control over. Completely unambiguous. Web forms generally tell you explicitly what they want, so they're not a big issue either.

Good luck sorting that in alphabetical order...
wurlitzer153
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:47 am UTC

Next

Return to Individual XKCD Comic Threads

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], BlitzGirl, Google [Bot] and 27 guests