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Why the date is why it is

Kris159 December 12, 2011 User blog:Kris159

I just wanted to make a blog to explain why the date is writing how it is, as it's not really given any rationale. The reason for this is the WBVDKT Wiki:Manual of Style covers basically everything, so should be concise. I'll probably put a see also link there pointing to this. I'm putting this as a blog because it's a bit too short to represent a whole WBVDKT Wiki page.

The two ways it's written

The date on this wiki is written in two ways. In both cases, the day and year are numbers, but whether the month is a word or a number effects what other characters the date has. So here are the two ways (they are automated to give the current date):

  • The word way: month d, yyyy → April 30, 2017
  • The number way: yyyy/mm/dd → 2017/04/30

In case we're not on anywhere from the 1st to the 9th, the word version is not zero-padded, but the number version is. 03 is zero-padded, 3 is not.

Note that both should be written as they are there. That means with the exact same extra characters: Not 2017-04-30 or April 30. 2017.

Why these formats, and not other ones

For the number version, it's a way User:Wolf802 and I adapted to computing alphabetics. You see, he started making week articles for the Wiki during the start of 2010, which explained things that happened in the roleplay in detail (nowadays, most of these would be written either as book articles or their own regular articles, but briefly mentioned on month articles), but when we put them in the week article category, we realized the ordering would be all wrong after the first year because we were using the month/day/year format. For instance, it would list all the Januaries, then all the Februaries, instead of all the 2010s, then 2011s. Since we were noobs to WikiCode back then, we didn't know you could specify what to list the article as in the category page, so we could've fixed that pretty simply. So we switched to yyyy/mm/dd so that articles would be displayed chronologically when lists were automatically ordered based on the alpha(numeral?)bet. I guess after that, it stuck. We had a fair amount of week articles and were too lazy to rename them all then add the fiddly specific-ordering categorization thing, and we started using the format all around the wiki, including in actual articles rather than article names. Then, when we moved on to month articles, I kept the same format to avoid confusion and for kind of the same reasons: Logic and categories. Month articles used templates, which had AutoCat (which, granted, would've made the whole specific-ordering categorization thing easier, but heh) put them in to categories. Added to this, it's much more logical that if someone's doesn't know specifically when an event happens, but knows approximately, they're going to use the year (yyyy/mm/dd) as a basis rather than the month (mm/dd/yyyy).

The word version came in a little later, a bit after month articles. Until the word way, we used our local date format. Me bring a Brit, I used the "5th of August, 2009" version, where as the rest of the users used the American "August 5th, 2009". I've become quite the perfectionalist over the course of this wiki, so I wanted a uniform format. What better source to look to than Wikipedia, the model of all Wikis. Our two word ways are identical. Because I stole theirs. "Ell oh ell?" I'm not sure why they don't use ordinal forms (ordinal being 5th instead of just 5), and nor do I know why I like it.

Where

I don't like the thought of where you can use the two formats. I like the thought where you cannot use them. Don't use the number way in peices of written text, such as paragraphs: It decreases readability. As for infoboxes, it's an either/or: If you need to keep it short, use the number way; if the whole parameter is just the date, go ahead and splash out with the number way. In article titles, use the number format in isolated text, but the word way in written text. For instance, not December 2009, but 2009/12. Not Massacre of 2009/12, but Massacre of December, 2009.

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