From: Jukka K. Korpela (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Dec 07 2005 - 07:52:19 CST
On Wed, 7 Dec 2005, Michael Everson wrote:
>> Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS)
>> Publication 4-1
>> "REPRESENTATION FOR CALENDAR DATE AND
>> ORDINAL DATE FOR INFORMATION INTERCHANGE"
> "For purposes of electronic data interchange in any recorded form among U.S.
> Government agencies, NIST highly recommends that four-digit year elements be
The discussion would be easier if people wrote what they mean, then cited
or quoted something to support it. A mere citation or quotation is not
convenient to other participants and, moreover, it is often very
Do you wish to make a point about the recommendation to use four digits
for year or about scope of applicability of such a recommendation?
The phrase "electronic data interchange" refers to transmission of data in
machine-processable format (and we'd prefer having internationalized
format used there), rather than presentation of data to human readers in
visible (or audible) form.
Most West European countries have a national standard that imposes the
ISO 8601 format on dates - for "electronic data interchange" or something
like that. (They must have it, since it's a European standard, as
EN 28601.) Yet, few countries use it much in printed or online documents,
and there might even be a national standard that specifies a different
format for use in normal text.
My point is that the existence of a standard does not imply a national
practice, and the standard itself might define its scope as narrower
than many people think (or like).
Maybe a reasonable compromise might be found by defining things so that
the _shortest possible_ date format in CLDR is meant for use when saving
space is crucial, even at the expense of unambiguity, and this format may
contain a two-digit denotation of a year in the Gregorian calendar.
The next longer format would be what is generally recommended for use as a
short date notation, and it would be required to contain the Gregorian
year in full.
-- Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
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