Suggestion for update dates in titles, etc

Please? The mix of EU and US date formats is confusing.


I support this proposed adoption of a standard. I’ll do my best to remember it, though I admit I write dates rarely enough I won’t have consistent reminders and may forget.


  • ISO is The International Organization for Standardization
  • The relevant standard is named ISO 8601.
  • It was updated to the current version in 2004.
  • You can buy a .pdf file of the complete current standard from the ISO’s website, but it costs 138 Swiss francs (approximately 146.71 US dollars as I type this.)
  • Thankfully, there’s a free summary.
  • The Wikipedia article on ISO 8601 claims both YYYY-MM-DD and YYYYMMDD are permitted while YYYYMM is explicitly prohibited, but you’d have to read the full standard to confirm that. The free summary only mentions YYYY-MM-DD.

The official summary is here.

The full version is—or rather, may be purchased—here.


Or 27th Feb 2013 if you like. (athough it takes the fun out of guess which number is too big to be a month game I play here :slight_smile: )


I’ve actually used that format before. Here. Because I, personally, don’t enjoy the guessing game of “which is month and which is day?” If I forget to use the ISO standard, this is my fall-back.

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Since Discourse uses the XXX-DD-YYYYY format and the same is used for CoG official posts and blogs, perhaps it would be best to continue the practice throughout the forum.

Personally, I respect each individual’s ability to run their WiP thread the way they see fit and have no issues with whichever standard they chose to use but if there is a standard to be enforced, I think the standard established by Discourse should be continued.

Edit: I also moved this to the Meta section.


The advantage of 09 Feb is that it’s immediately clear to everyone looking at the forums (or Feb 09, whichever), which just makes things nice and clear and reasonable for all. I appreciate it, anyway, having worked over time with multiple dating systems. I usually write the month as a three-letter abbreviation unless I have a specific requirement to do otherwise, for that same reason.


There’s an international standard for a reason, and Choice of Games does not restrict its business to the US. I am however more concerned with not being confused about when an update is made.

I thought meta might be the spot but general said “if unsure put it here”.

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The format should follow that already established for the forum in use and as such, the American method should be used. If people would use 3-letter abbreviations to begin the notation as the forum encourages, I am fine with that too …

I have been dealing with Euros and gaming for a very long time, so my mind is very swift at figuring out what date is meant for the most part and I don’t personally care which a person uses in their individual thread.

To me, this is a non-issue but if you force conformity on people, I prefer the standard as it exists on the forum to be universally applied to every thread within the forum.

There is no standard or having seen that XKCD would not have prompted my post. A little respect for the international audience is all I’m asking and the ISO provided the solution.

That said if every date is in US format its not hard to figure out, so if people could just pick one and run with it that’ll be fine.

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I have more respect for “the international audience” then you are showing me here. Let us both agree not to take things personally.

If you look to your right at the post count indicator it shows: Feb 9 … if you go to the CoG or Hosted Games thread you see the same format being used … there are other places you may find such formatting already being used - I suggest you look around a bit more.


What makes you think I’m making this personal? I’m referring solely to post titles I track daily under “new” or “unread”. This very afternoon I bumped into a mishmash of date formats and those in the dd/mm and mm/dd format are incredibly unclear at varying times of the year.

Really I truly would not have posted if I didn’t see a problem.

That your initial response was “we’re an American company we do things the American way” was I felt confrontational, to begin with, then to state “I don’t have a problem so everything is rosy” again was dismissive at best.

I merely suggested clearing up date confusion.

I really want to bring up semantics for a moment:

Which “American format?” Both month/day/year and day/month/year are widely used and accepted in America.

ANSI (the American National Standards Institute) seems to have outsourced their date-time standard to INCITS (the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards,) whose Representation of Calendar Date and Ordinal Date for Information Interchange standard is apparently identical to the ISO standard discussed above. (Albeit substantially cheaper, at 60 US dollars, rather than the 140-plus of the ISO standard.)

To the best of my limited web searching ability, the US Department of Defense uses YYYYMMDD when dates are purely numeric, and DD-MMM-YY when the month is abbreviated to its first three letters.

I think @LordOfLA is going too far by saying “there is no standard,” when it would be more accurate to say “there are multiple competing standards.”

I don’t think it’s appropriate to call this the “American format,” given how many different “American formats” there are. The “Discourse forum software” format, perhaps.

However, I’m curious if it actually displays the same format globally, or if it converts to the format used by each individual forum reader. Does it still read “Feb 9, 2018 3:38 pm” beside your post for readers in England or Australia? I’m genuinely curious now. I mean, sure, mine says that… but I’m in the United States. Using a US-format laptop.

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Australian here. Looks the same.

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I am sorry that my post seemed confrontational - perhaps it was my typing my stream of consciousness that caused your reading a tone into my post, I did not intend. Nevertheless, your replies have continued to be provocative, especially when assigning a tone that does not exist to my words as you do in the quote above.

I will go back and try to edit my thoughts into a better post.

Fair enough. As I said, I’ve been dealing with all the different standards for a while at the same time now (military family, working with European developers and publishers of games, everyday life in the US, etc) that this confusion is something that I just deal with daily.

Because Discourse has set a standard, that is in use by CoG in their lists and other documents, this is the standard, I’d prefer the WiP threads to adhere to if a standard is enforced.

I, personally, am ok with the chaos we have but will be absolutely fine with it being uniform everywhere on the forums.

See, it’s more fun when the rest of the world does it another way. We’re Americans, being contrary is our nature. Any country can do things the “wrong” way…we’re just the only ones who do it with pride.

Brings a red, white and blue tear to my eye, I tell you what.

Hustler, 2/9/18 and proud of it!

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So the Discourse forum software format likely is “MMM DD, YYYY” globally, rather than user-specific. Thank you, that’s great to know!

I’ll confess, I’m likely less okay with it because I don’t deal with it routinely. I’d really like a standard of some sort, and I seem naturally drawn to international standards. That said, I’m willing to accept the Discourse forum format, even if it isn’t international. I just don’t want to deal with “Is that MM/DD or DD/MM?” anymore.


Really the MM/DD/YYYY format isn’t a problem, but when mixed with DD/MM/YYYY format it becomes:

“Did that 02/03/2018 mean 3rd of Feb or 2nd of March?” Not hard to figure out in February, but in August if that date was the last update but the discussion has continued apace such that the thread wasn’t closed one starts to wonder…

The ISO 8601 date format of YYYY-MM-DD is 100% unambiguous. It does not take Herculean amounts of effort to type a date format with clarity. I’m not asking people to move a mountain here.

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But it would probably take Herculean amounts of energy to make sure everyone on the forum is aware of this format and accepts it. :woman_shrugging:

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Does it even matter whether the last update has been 5 or 6 month ago?
Let them just use the format they wish, i have mostly no trouble figuring out which format it is, since DD/MM/YYYY is rarely used here

If you are watching a watch, and your watch is watching you, are both you and your watch watching the watcher?