I know Date stamp issue has been discussed a lot, but I need to raise one more flag, now that Stackoverflow is (how many years old?) I, as a developer care more about when the answer was posted as to what the answer is, yes, technology is moving that fast!

The current time stamp looks like this: Feb 6'12

And if it is within this year: Apr 8 at 21:00

This is my own personal opinion that it is confusing to read that every time. I really need to know one thing at a glance: Is it current? within last year? or year 20yy?

If it is current it means I can still post comments and get interactions, if it is within last year it means the answer is still valid, if older than that I am much more forgiving to obsolete answers. I am not suggesting you remove details of date at all, but 6'12? that (in my quick mind) sounds like 6 inch!

What is wrong with good old Feb 6, 12 and Apr 8

Why do you display time for something that happened a week ago?

Thank you for the awesome work :)


The threshold for what's "still current" varies by domain and by site. Not every answer rots after a year, but some probably start decaying after a few months. That's not a reason to obscure dates.

I personally would prefer that date stamps fill out the year, either "Apr 8 2012" or "2012-04-08". Don't make it even harder to identify the year.

As for timestamps, I'd rather have a little "extra" information than vary the format any more than we already do. Variations raise questions and cause confusion; it's easy enough to just ignore the part you don't care about. Also, while most readers probably don't care after a few weeks, there are times when it's important to be able to figure out what order things happened in on a question, for example when trying to figure out why a badge or a bounty wasn't awarded, or when two similar answers are posted nearly simultaneously and somebody thinks one stole from the other. These cases don't come up often, but when they do they generate work for people. Granted, the full timestamp is in the tooltip, so if the timestamp went away we'd still be able to access that information, but it would be less discoverable.


Since Stack Overflow is from '08 (2008), you won't find any posts before that time, so it is definitely this century.

For users that are familiar with other date formats (like me having dd/MM/yyyy as my preferred date format), the format without ' might be confusing. So I like Apr 8 '12 better than Apr 8, 12, while it is still clear to me.

But really, I personally don't mind the date format too much.

  • dd/MM/yyyy does not display month name right? I always believed adding the month name as it is removes the world wide confusion, until I met a friend who doesn't know month names :s – Ayyash Apr 17 '15 at 8:19
  • @Ayyash: Agreed, but that is my preferred format (although ambiguous). I just wanted to say it is very opinion based. – Patrick Hofman Apr 17 '15 at 8:21

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