Proper dating format

The worst potential usability problems come when the date is written only with numbers as in the following example, because the date's interpretation will be different from one country to another. Note that this format can also be used to represent precise date and time, with timezone information Using numerical dates does have also some pitfalls with regard to readability and usability, as explained in the Date formats The W3C QA Tips are short documents explaining useful bits of knowledge for Web developers or designers, hosted and produced by the Quality Assurance Interest Group at W3C.

While the tips are carefully reviewed by the participants of the group, they should not be seen as anything else than informative bits of wisdom, and especially, they are not normative W3C technical specifications.

The numerical formats may use a full stop (.) or hyphen (-) instead of a slash (/), for example: 14.3.2016 or 03-14-16 Note that another format exists which writes the date numerically in the order Year-Month-Day, for example: 2016/03/14.

This is rare in British or American English and used mainly in very official or technical documents.

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The YYYY-MM-DD format is an official recommendation, but it is rarely enforced, and in many contexts the DD/MM/YY and MM/DD/YY formats remain in use.

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The ISO standard dictates the format of , going from the largest amount of time to the smallest.Generally, the longer formats, such as B or C, are more polite (since they show more respect for the reader).Shorter formats, such as D or E, are used in less formal situations, for example a memo, a letter between friends or an impersonal business letter.This pattern is not as logical, but reflects more accurately how people speak the date, as in “December 25, 2011.” In an attempt to standardize date formats, ISO 8601 was released by the International Organization for Standardization way back in 1988.ISO 8601 was designed for data elements, making it important for website designers and application developers.

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