Re: Dates, Camel or Rope

From: Ward Powers (
Date: Sat Feb 07 1998 - 05:45:10 EST

At 01:57 98/02/06, Ben Crick wrote:

>On Thu 5 Feb 98 (19:58:18 +1100), wrote:
>> Apart from the fact that it is totally unambiguous, there is a real
>> logic to this convention, if you think about it: the date increments
>> from right to left like the odometer on your car, or indeed like any
>> set of figures where when you add something the size of the numbers
>> grows progressively from right to left.
>> Does this suggestion commend itself to others on b-greek?
> Dear Ward,
> Writing today's date 980206 is fine; but when we get to 991231 we run
> smack into the Millennium Bug. 000101 will be treated as 1st January 1900,
> when 2000 is meant.

Dear Ben,

Point acknowledged. Thus when 2000 hits, we may have to say 20000101 for
1st January, and so on through the year. We may even need to do it for a
couple of years. But the time will come when people get used to being in
the twenty-first century and thus used to 00 meaning 2000, 01 meaning 2001,

The potential ambiguity (does 00 mean 1900 or 2000?) will also exist with
the usual dating system (whichever is usual for a person, whether 23/11/00
or 11/23/00), and my guess is that for a while some people will write
23/11/2000, etc. So this does not touch my main point, which is the
ambiguity of the order in which different countries usually put the day and
the month in writing the date.

For what it's worth, I have been using the "odometer format" or "computer
format" of "logical format" (it can be described by different titles) of
yymmdd for many years now, and I reckon it is an excellent idea.

> Feed the Dates to your camel tethered by his rope.

But then we would have no dates left at all in our messages! That, I
consider, would be worse. No, upon reflection, I would recommend we do not
adopt this proposal from Mr Crick.



Rev Dr B. Ward Powers Phone (International): 61-2-9799-7501
10 Grosvenor Crescent Phone (Australia): (02) 9799-7501
SUMMER HILL NSW 2130 email:

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