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There's currently a system message about an upcoming maintenance, which uses the M/D date format:

There will be a short network wide outage starting on 8/6 19:00 UTC for system maintenance

This can be confusing for users that are used to the D/M date format. I propose changing it to the unambiguous:

There will be a short network wide outage starting on August 6th 19:00 UTC for system maintenance

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closed as too localized by Kevin Montrose Aug 18 '11 at 1:31

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
(I think you mean "This can be confusing for users that use the D/M date format.") –  Kevin Y Aug 5 '11 at 22:26
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But... "August 6th" is M/D... just, y'know, spelled out. –  Shog9 Aug 5 '11 at 23:28
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Users that think that the maintenance will happen on June 8th like being surprised. Happens to them at least once a day, we can't disappoint them. –  Uphill Luge Aug 6 '11 at 0:10
    
There is no banner on the Japanese beta site. Not sure if that's intentional. –  Troyen Aug 6 '11 at 6:12
    
@Troyen: It has to be manually added by a moderator on each site. Not everyone has gotten to this... :-) –  Cody Gray Aug 6 '11 at 14:21

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

If it were D/M, that would mean the notification would be for June 8th, 2012, and that would be silly. Because of that, not going to go back and change it on each site this time.

However, I see how this could be confusing at first glance, so I will try to keep in mind for next time.

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yes it would be and is silly - so silly that it acts as a mental roadblock when encountering it - "what the .... do they mean?" Please take into account the whole of the rest of the world that use logical date formatting. –  Chris Walton Aug 5 '11 at 23:26
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BTW Programmers site did do this in a sensible way - ISO format ie 2011-08-06 19:00 UTC –  Chris Walton Aug 5 '11 at 23:32
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@Chris: Well this notification was written by a programmer ... ;-) –  Kyle Brandt Aug 5 '11 at 23:32
    
@Siva: Neither, I am actually using a non-balanced form of base 3 notation for the year. So, it was already done, so you don't need to worry. –  Kyle Brandt Aug 5 '11 at 23:36
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@Kyle - It is not silly. If you are used to have the day first, that's all you look for. I really thought "Why are they warning two days in advance? Are we going to have this banner all weekend?". –  Bo Persson Aug 6 '11 at 9:00

To quote Kyle:

However, I see how this could be confusing at first glance,

Duh, yes!!
I don't want to get into a debate about what (small) portion of the developed world uses M/d, and what (large, incredibly sophisticated and intelligent) portion uses d/M, but i would have thought that ISO format would be a better format for the techie crowd that hangs out round here.

Here's a chance to educate me - one thing i never understood - exactly how and why does the US use M/d anyway? Why was it ever logical to put the month first, then the day?

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And i really should read comments before i post, as a large amount of what i just said has already been mentioned by Chris Walton.. this shows exactly how confused that date format made me. Double duh. –  slugster Aug 6 '11 at 4:08
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I'm going to guess that the abbreviated form comes directly from the longer form: "August the 6th, 2011" => "Aug. 6, 2011" => "8/6/2011" Seems natural to me, then again I grew up in that small, unsophisticated, and anti-intellectual part of the world you allude to. –  Cody Gray Aug 6 '11 at 8:58
    
The explanation I heard for M/D is for collating purposes, so you could easilly organise your piles by looking at the first two digits. But for that to make sense, you should really have gone the whole hog and gone y/m/d –  Mark Henderson Nov 14 '11 at 0:51
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Indeed, y/m/d makes a lot of sense (is possibly best), d/m/y is almost as good. m/d/y makes no sense at all –  Richard Tingle Jul 9 '13 at 14:43

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