I'd really like a user option to show all dates as yyyy-mm-dd HH:mm after the 2 day mark. I find the existing non-standard semi-verbose American Mon DD 'YY style date to be ugly and difficult to parse.

I am not asking for anything complicated here, just a simple user option to show the date and time in the international ISO 8601 format across the board. Since it's already in the tooltip everywhere, it should be a simple change to optionally show it in the page body for those users who want it.

Secondarily, if it's not too difficult, I'd very preferably like to see date & times in my local time, rather than the UTC time as is currently shown used. It seems to make much more sense to me for see a question "asked 2014-02-04 10:19" as being my local time - I don't know what UTC is without using a converter (in this the before-2-days "asked 6 hours ago" is quite good).

(Re-raising this feature-request at the explicit behest of moderator Anna Lear; please don't close as a duplicate).

  • 3
    This would probably interfere with caching (although arguably this could be done on client side... and it could be even done on client side even without the support of Stack Exchange, if one really put their mind to it using a Greasemonkey script or whatever kids these days use to customize their browsers)
    – Pekka
    Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 3:42
  • 8
    Not a dupe, not about tooltips. Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 4:14
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    @AlienArrays What about the programmers who are not fluent in exotic date formats? What about the non-programmers? I suspect that the people who prefer the US date format are a minority on Stack Exchange. Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 12:22
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    @AlienArrays SE is not only for programmers, you should keep that in mind.
    – 3ventic
    Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 12:29
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    @AlienArrays: What about the pure instinctive recognition of a date. Having grown up in NZ and then Australia I was quite used to DD/MM/YY; then moving to the states 20 years ago it was MM/DD/YY. Having written software for international audiences for decades now, I have found that I always instantly comprehend an ISO date, but every other format takes just a little effort - I have to stop and think for a second and that's especially true of the "after 2 days" format used by SE. I believe it's because the properly hierarchical nature of yyyy-mm-dd is intuitively sensible. Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 17:26
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    Purely numeric American dates are utterly nonsensical, but I don't personally have a problem with the middle-endian style when the month name is spelled out. That said, I understand that some people do have a problem with it, and I support this proposal.
    – TRiG
    Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 17:59
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    I was about to suggest something similar, but first searched for existing suggestions. So how can this idea be moved forward? Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 15:05
  • I would also really like to see this come into fruition. Are there any updates on this feature request? I'm getting tired of having to use the tooltip just to properly comprehend when something happened.
    – user261920
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 8:04
  • Also, another suggestion: rather than a space between the date & time, perhaps we could use the letter "T" as specified in ISO 8601?
    – user261920
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 8:05
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    However, I do not support the idea of providing the option to customise one's own time zone. This would wreak havoc when it comes to cross-thread referencing...
    – user261920
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 8:07
  • The feature-request to provide the possibility for choosing a non US-centric date format did seemingly go unnoticed by whoever would be able to implement it. I find myself confused about the posting date almost daily, especially in the review queue dealing with sometimes older posts.
    – guntbert
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 16:41
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    @guntbert: How many "user preferences" does this site have? Very few. That, by all appearances, is by design. Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 23:23
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    @NicolBolas I am perfectly happy with a standard "all iso" too
    – guntbert
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 8:10
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    @TRiGisTimothyRichardGreen I agree that numeric American dates would be much worse but I found myself having troubles to quickly compare month abbreviations. Moreover, some of them are similar to another like Jan–Jun–Jul, Mar–May. And the month names in my native language are totally different from those based on Latin!
    – Melebius
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 12:25


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