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Date Format

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#1 Jordan1976


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Posted 28 August 2017 - 10:20 AM

Hi. I've been a long-time user of FTM and I've been unhappy since the new rollout of FTM2017. I decided to give RM a look and downloaded the Essentials version of the software. I'm a Mac user, so I'm impatiently waiting for the native Mac rollout of RM. I really like what I see in RM with regard to source and data handling and flexibility, but there's one area where I'm hoping RM allows users to tailor their data--date format. I saw that there are some ways in which it can be customized, but it isn't quite where I was hoping it'd be.

Now, I fully understand that my preferred way is not the way most people do it and is not the standard format in genealogy. I get that, but I can't seem to help it; for whatever reason, this is a big deal for me. I positively, hands-down, prefer a lead zero for my single-digit dates. I also prefer to spell out the entire month name. I know most people would enter the date for January 1, 1915 as 1 Jan 1915 but I strongly prefer 01 January 1915. It just looks cleaner to me. Now, I don't care for the 3 character format for month names, but I can deal with it and get where it makes sense to have a standard number of characters. That comes nowhere near my dislike of leaving off the lead zero. If it's about character format, then it makes more sense to have DD MMM CCYY all the time instead of D MMM CCYY for days 1-9 of a month, but all I'm looking for is just the ability to enter my dates this way. Also, if I see a lead zero, I'm more confident that it was deliberate data entry rather than a case of a 1, 2, or 3 being accidentally left off.

I know this is insignificant in the eyes of most, but it's a big deal for me. I would love it if RM allowed users the option to enter date data in this format.


#2 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 12:22 PM

It may be slightly off subject, but just let me throw in here that another thing that RM badly needs for dates is support for month names in languages other than English. There are many, many things that RM would need to do to be able to support languages other than English, and month names in other languages would be just one of them. And just as you would prefer full month names and other users might prefer short month names, users of RM in languages other than English would need the same thing.


I think a full solution to the question of date formats would require date templates something like your DD MMM CCYY and D MMM CCYY, and that your date templates also include a way to specify a language. And I could see situations where a user might not want to use month names at all preferring instead something like 1/31/1912 (or 01/31/1912), or maybe something like 1912-01-31. Lot's of options are needed in date templates, including your option for leading zeros.


Finally, the date format for reports might not be the same for GEDCOM export, which probably would still need to follow GEDCOM standards.



#3 Jordan1976


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Posted 28 August 2017 - 10:01 PM

Hi, Jerry.

Thanks for your reply. I agree that it would be nice if RM supported months in language other than English. I correspond with cousins in research groups focusing on Mexico, Spain, French-Canada, and France and it would be nice to have the ability to save months in other languages. I already save place names and people's names using the formatting, languages, and accents for those areas and it would be great to have more control and flexibility of my data.

Thanks for your insight.


#4 mjashby


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Posted 29 August 2017 - 05:19 AM



Partial answer: You don't need to use the short-form (3 letter) month names as long month names are already catered for under Tools > File Options > Date Format


Leading '0's are another matter entirely and obviously a matter of personal taste, but I agree there shouldn't be any real problem in offering that option.


With regard to date formats more generally, I suspect the Wish List could be extended considerably and also option of the selective use of different calendars would be beneficial, e.g. Why have to be limited by just one Calendar (the Gregorian Calendar), which doesn't reflect reflect the reality of worldwide research over extended time periods, or historic documentation/calendar usage at particular points in time? Two common examples for me would be: Julian Calendar for various pre-1752 dates - I dislike using 1650/51 when that isn't what the historic documentation states, or that years must end on 31 December when they didn't; and also Quaker dates which didn't commonly use month names and are frequently misinterpreted by transcribers who incorrectly interpret month 'x' as October  when it is, in fact, December.




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#5 Renee Zamora

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 04:35 PM

Confirming these are on the enhancement request list.