Re: Internationalization--Standard Icons

From: Geoffrey Waigh (
Date: Sat May 29 1999 - 03:19:07 EDT

Alain wrote:
> A 14:36 99-05-28 -0700, Geoffrey Waigh a écrit :
> >
> >
> >Michael Everson wrote:
> >> Date formats like 1999-05-28 are common enough in computing use, are
> they not?
> [Geoffrey]
> >Alas no, not in North America.
> [Alain] Well, you should say "Alas no, not in the USA"...
> In Québec that's very much the overwhelming usage, and in the ROC ("rest of
> Canada", as Canadians who are not Quebecers call themselves (; ), also, I
> believe, although to a much lesser extent, it is true.

I'll drop this thread after this message because I'm getting off topic
but given that several people seem to imply that I'm from the US when
trying to limit my remarks I'd would like to restate that I am Canadian
and have lived and worked in Canada for most of my life.

To assure myself it wasn't just wishful thinking on my part I just
reviewed 2 drawers worth of files and can now say with confidence
that the bulk of it does not use 1999-05-28 as a date format.
Federal government documents lean towards (YY)YY-MM-DD (or / for sep)
and a handful of other organizations big and small use it as well.
Bell Canada use to use YYYY MM DD, but switched to a May 5, 1999
type format some years ago (and may have changed again in the last
three years.) My provincial incorporation papers use 3 different
formats (more if you include punctuation variations,) and various
commercial entities use foremost DD/MM/YY followed by Month DD, YYYY
with a small number of MM/DD/YY adherents. Since I also came across
a section of foreign correspondence/receipts I'll note that most
of my records for Indonesia and Singapore were of the DD/MM/YY
variety and my limited samples of other countries rarely had anything
in a year, month, day order. Also touching on the telephone issue
again, only 1 company in Japan used something resembling the international
format, though someone in Australia was just missing the leading plus
sign and conjoined the country and city codes making it look as if
it were a NANP number.

And my previous comments about building computer systems where the
owners explicitly rejected using YYYY-MM-DD formats all came from
projects in Canada at a number of different companies.

Obviously if Alain knows otherwise for Québec, I won't dispute it.

As for the ROC remark, while I have heard it used in the media and
by some people, I and my friends certainly don't and those that do
seem more likely to use it in discussions of Québec separation.


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