Change to DD Mmm / Mmm 'YY for post dates

Quick! Which of these two is older?

Errr… Oh! The one with the apostrophe!

Took you a second, didn’t it?

I took an impromptu poll on IRC to confirm this:

<ii> riking_: it doesnt say if its feb 2013 or 13th of feb etc
<ii> the '13 would suggest 2013 tho

(after getting it wrong)
<culex> I thought Feb didn'th ave the apostrophe

<Malqua> no
<Malqua> it was definitely jan ??, 13

I think that the date formats, even for English, should be changed to DD Mmm (so 13 Jan) and Mmm 'YY (the current, so Feb '13). This way, they are visually different.


You are cherry picking a bit with the example, it is not common to see those two forms next to each other.

I don’t mind the day-first form, e.g. 13 Feb and Feb 13 are about the same to me. So if choosing one over the other makes the display clearer in this somewhat rare case that’s fine.


I had this problem too:

I would strongly prefer it if we just spelled it out completely. 13. Jan and Feb 2013

At the very least I hope this’ll be readily available in the settings somewhere.


Seriously? 2013? The century has to be in there? The part that’s going to be the same for a hundred years? :wink:

I certainly hope Discourse is still relevant in 2100!


It’s a prefix of 20 to express year as opposed to '. It’s a 1 character difference, and it leaves no room for confusion. It doesn’t have to be default, but I’d certainly want a setting for it to appease my European sensibilities.


Nah, I just tried it out by editing the fields (couldn’t get a screenshot, they reverted before I was done).
It’s too repetitive. And it’s really adding 2 full letter-glyphs per date, not 1 - the ' isn’t much of a glyph visually, and that’s why I was asking for this change.

Mjeh you have a point. But can we at least add a period after the month for posterity?

13. Feb Feb '13

1 Like

Eh, the dot isn’t common in English-speaking regions:

“8 November 2003” or “8. November 2003” (the latter is common in German-speaking regions)

And I’ve never seen it used before this.

1 Like

Made a PR, because nobody’s complained loudly yet and I’m bored:

Included the dot for German.


I hope I could reply some time earlier…

For Chinese, we are only accustomed to Mmm DD format. Eh, exactly, it should always be M月D日.
Or YYYY-MM-DD format, I assume this is because Discuz is popular among PRC.

Anyway, I’d like take care of it for Chinese.

1 Like

If only there were some type of international standard for date formats “to avoid misinterpretation of numeric representations of dates and times, particularly when data are transferred between countries with different conventions for writing numeric dates and times” …


I’ve never ever seen a date formatted like this though: 2015-W22.

Well, the only people I know that really think in terms of weeks rather than dates are project managers, and I try to keep my distance from them. :wink:

Most of us mortals use 2015-05-26.


Yeah but this kind of dates are hard to parse for hoomans.

May 2015 is far easier to read that 2015-05.

1 Like

… if you read English.

1 Like

I prefer to see it in base2, personally. :wink:



I think the point here is that just as it’s important to localize vocabulary and syntax for words, it’s also important to do one of these:

  1. Localize both words and formats for date/times, or
  2. Standardize them internationally so localization doesn’t matter.

It’s okay because Discourse was built for the future. And in 20 years, no one will confuse the years with the days because it’ll be Jan '35.

If only we weren’t merely in the pesky two thousand teens right now.


Personally I like a full date and time myself, but will that show it in the user’s timezone?

Using the duration for more recent messages and just the date for older messages mostly gets around that.

I did change our configuration to start showing the actual date after 7 days instead of whatever the default was.

1 Like

I think @erlend_sh’s response to this concern is pretty spot-on:

Plus, more often than not you’re reading new stuff from the latest page. So first, you don’t get barraged with the extra character all the time anyway. And second, since you get well trained to see things as MM DD.

So seeing MM YYYY when you get to an old post is a good call-out that these post are different than what you’re used to seeing.