RE: CLDR: 2 vs. 4 digit years in US?

From: Jukka K. Korpela (
Date: Thu Dec 08 2005 - 15:12:54 CST

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    On Thu, 8 Dec 2005, Tony Jollans wrote:

    >> I'll wager that, when presented with 08/12/05, more people would feel
    >> motivated go to their settings and change it to 2005, than would be the
    >> case for people presented with 08/12/2005 who would go to remove the
    > century.
    > Probably. But, when forced to type 2005 instead of 05, would that still be
    > the case?

    The CLDR data is basically for localized _output_, though it may have
    indirect effect on input parsing as well. The question is: given a date in
    an internationalized format (which can be anything, as far as localization
    is concerned, as long as it is unambiguous and easily
    machine-processable), what is the specific algorithm (including parameters
    like month names etc. when appropriate) for generating a localized
    representation? It must be unique, for any particular settings, including
    locale settings, though it can be configurable by an individual user.
    On input, the problems are different, and we need to consider the pros and
    cons of allowing variation in input format.

    The reason for short formats like 08/12/05 in this context is not human
    laziness (the father of all inventions), since this is not about data that
    people are expected to type. This is about data they are expected to read.
    Superficially, eight characters vs. ten characters is not a big issue, but
    it becomes an issue if you have an array with a dozen columns containing
    dates. Admittedly, authors of localizable software cannot assume any
    particular limit for the length of the shortest date denotation, but users
    may still prefer seeing a table that fits on screen without horizontal
    scrolling or that fits on paper in legible font size.

    Jukka "Yucca" Korpela,

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