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European date formats?


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#1 Don Newcomb

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 09:34 AM

Is there a way to get RM to gracefully deal with dates in the format "YYYY-MM-DD"? I'm copying a lot of dates from European databases that spit it out in that format. It's easy enough to reformat with a cut & paste to "MM/DD/YYYY" but it seems like something the program could do.

#2 Alfred

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 09:59 AM

You can set the program options to accept either format, but not so that it can interpret what you mean if you use the two interchangeably.
But, if you use the three letter month abbreviation, the program will recognize it as the month in either position.

+++++++++ Woops! ++++++++++
I read what I was thinking rather than what I should have been seeing.

I was thinking of the dmy vs. mdy and didn't even realize you were asking about ymd.
Maybe I should open the other eye.
Alfred

#3 Don Newcomb

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 10:38 AM

QUOTE(Alfred @ Feb 3 2009, 09:59 AM) View Post

You can set the program options to accept either format, but not so that it can interpret what you mean if you use the two interchangeably.
But, if you use the three letter month abbreviation, the program will recognize it as the month in either position.

I hate to be stupid but I see where I can set MM/DD/YYYY vs DD/MM/YYYY but I don't see where to set YYYY-MM-DD.


#4 Doug Couch

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 01:12 PM

I'd like to add that all the variations which start with the year, then the month, then the day, such as below, are not simply common but very helpful, as when converted to text, that format sorts properly as ASCII text.

YY-MM-DD
YYYY-MM-DD
YY/MM/DD
YYYY-MM-DD

Preferably one would opt for the 4-digit year formats in genealogy...but this principle extends across all data storage needs, not simply genealogy. People storing the dates long before data processing or computers often did not use a 4-digit year.

When a program is recognizing data arriving by any means into a date field, the routine recognizing the data should automatically prompt and inquire about any 2-digit years, and/or if the data is irregular for a date field, allowing revision of the data in the prompt dialog. Even if this slows down an import to a crawl, that is better than dealing with date aberrations later on. Import routines could include scanning for date data irregularities throughout the entire origin dataset before proceeding with the import. In such a case, the irregularities could be grouped by type, with a list available of the individuals and events to which this anomaly applies. The user could conceivably be given a set of options per category, to globally revise date data for each anomaly type, and those changes be made and saved back into a revised copy of the origin file prior to import...then proceeding with the import according to a user-accepted choice.

Although the variations with alpha for the month (full, 3-char, etc.) are useful, ALL date formats of ANY variety, which are recognized...and I can't imagine not including a known common format...should be

1. Recognized as a date format
2. Stored in ONE format ONLY, regardless of all settings
(preferably one of the above w/YYYY)
3. Displayed or printed according to user (or default) settings
(display and print settings could be different)

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WISH LIST ITEM:

An additional feature could be that for notations specific to a place, time period, particular calendar, etc., could be entered to include a code indicating which of these attributes apply. Then all dates could be displayed in the main setting, but when printing reports, could be flagged to display dates according to what they would have been at the time of the event (with or without a modern equivalent format alongside).

Doug Couch
couchdouglas@aol.com

#5 Don Newcomb

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 07:57 AM

ITMT I'm playing around with making a little Excel spreadsheet to convert YYYY-MM-DD to MM/DD/YYYY.