Trans-Atlantic Time Trap

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  • Rast a mouse 2011-07-05 10:08
    Maybe if the presumabley American team responsible used a logical date format like the rest of the world in the first place this would never have happened.
  • Bryan the K 2011-07-05 10:09
    TL;DR
    The real WTF is VB amirite?

    First??
  • Nagesh 2011-07-05 10:13
    I am glad TDWTF is finaly be coming back after skiping bogus selebration of ejection British.
  • Larry 2011-07-05 10:15
    Nagesh:
    I am glad TDWTF is finaly be coming back after skiping bogus selebration of ejection British.

    TRWTF is foreign tech support.
  • trwtf 2011-07-05 10:17
    Larry:
    Nagesh:
    I am glad TDWTF is finaly be coming back after skiping bogus selebration of ejection British.

    TRWTF is foreign tech support.


    Le TRWTF, c'est les Frogs.
  • Meep 2011-07-05 10:21
    Bryan the K:
    TL;DR
    The real WTF is VB amirite?


    It really is VBA. A simple assignment to a common word changes system state, in an embedded language. Unbelievable.

    And here's an independent source to confirm that it really does work like that.

    No, wait, TRWTF is Akismet, the most worthless spam detection.
  • PurpleDog 2011-07-05 10:22
    Americans aside, did anyone not instantly realise what the problem was? Three years? Get a non-US developer on the job and you'd have the fix within a day.
  • Zebedee 2011-07-05 10:23
    It was fairly obvious from the first sentence that this was going to have something to do with the unusual way Americans represent dates.
  • Severity One 2011-07-05 10:25
    Well, the typical American unawareness of people in other countries doing things differently (actually, the entire world doing things differently) is an issue, of course. Well, at least we don't get 'Letter' as standard paper format instead of A4. That's the progress over the last 20 years. Now, if we wouldn't be wouldn't be forced to enter our state, (bit useless if you live in a country with just over 400,000 people) that would be really swell.

    But that you can just change the computer's system date with a simple statement? That's seriously messed up.
  • ZPedro 2011-07-05 10:25


    Mieux vaut tard que jamais…
  • Simon 2011-07-05 10:30
    The daily WTF: The US date format (and other oddities)
  • Meep 2011-07-05 10:33
    Nagesh:
    I am glad TDWTF is finaly be coming back after skiping bogus selebration of ejection British.


    TRWTF is that if it weren't for a round of grapeshot on Christmas day, General Arnold would have taken Quebec.
  • Baksa 2011-07-05 10:34
    TRWTF is that Moe isn't changed date format to French in the first place and see what would happen, very bad debugging Moe !
  • snoofle 2011-07-05 10:35
    As an American developer who routinely deals with overseas users, I spotted the cause in 2 seconds. And that happens in pretty much all languages.

    OTOH, setting the system date by assigning a value to a function is (AFAIK - YMMV) unique to VB.
  • simple 2011-07-05 10:35
    trwtf:
    Larry:
    Nagesh:
    I am glad TDWTF is finaly be coming back after skiping bogus selebration of ejection British.

    TRWTF is foreign tech support.


    Le TRWTF, c'est les Frogs.


    Unneccessary "Le" - Stands for "The"
  • Mike 2011-07-05 10:35
    Even this american non-developer figured out in the first few lines that the problem lie in the backwards dates in the EU. Something was setting system time using the american standard on a french system - tracking it down would be the hard part.

    And certainly should never have taken that long.
  • OldCoder 2011-07-05 10:39
    Severity One:
    Well, the typical American unawareness of people in other countries doing things differently (actually, the entire world doing things differently) is an issue, of course. Well, at least we don't get 'Letter' as standard paper format instead of A4. That's the progress over the last 20 years. Now, if we wouldn't be wouldn't be forced to enter our state, (bit useless if you live in a country with just over 400,000 people) that would be really swell.

    But that you can just change the computer's system date with a simple statement? That's seriously messed up.

    Enter State: Furious!
  • Meep 2011-07-05 10:39
    Zebedee:
    It was fairly obvious from the first sentence that this was going to have something to do with the unusual way Americans represent dates.


    Ah, as opposed to the international standard of yymmdd, or, wait, is it ddmmyy?

    It just breaks my heart that I'm not a European and don't have a bunch of obsessive compulsive Belgian bureaucrats to regulate every fucking aspect of my life.
  • akatherder 2011-07-05 10:39
    PurpleDog:
    Americans aside, did anyone not instantly realise what the problem was? Three years? Get a non-US developer on the job and you'd have the fix within a day.


    Actually it would be pretty obvious to Americans too. Especially developers/programmers, since we are used to internationalization and various different date formats (even more than mm/dd/yyyy and dd/mm/yyyy).

    The only real hurdle would be finding the potentially obscure fact that "Date = ..." would change your system date/time and has access to do so through a VBA macro.
  • anon 2011-07-05 10:42
    Yea, have to agree with several people, TRWTF is that not one developer bothered testing with their date format switched to DDMMYYYY since it could not have been more obvious it was related to that. Yea, VB sucks, and you shouldn't be able to set they system date that easily, but this if you have a French office, this should have been tested before the software got out the door. Failing that, it should have been picked up in less than 5 minutes of troubleshooting once reported.

  • Ben 2011-07-05 10:45
    Hold up. The developer was able to confirm the problem, and then just shrugged and said "no apparent root cause" and went on his way? A bug like this is easy to track down -- attach the debugger remotely and use binary search to find out where the date change happens.

    It's a poor workman who blames his tools, particularly when he seems to be aware of some of his tools' existence.
  • LANMind 2011-07-05 10:46
    Severity One:
    Well, the typical American unawareness of people in other countries doing things differently (actually, the entire world doing things differently) is an issue, of course.


    Wrong, we aren't unaware. We just don't give a fsck, because the rest of the world in general - and the French in particular - doesn't matter.
  • Anon 2011-07-05 10:47
    Why is a report changing the system clock in the first place? Are these reports so intensive that time and space need to be warped in order to finish them? Or perhaps the data only exists in the past, and so the computer accelerates to 8.8 gigahertz and set the system clock back to retrieve the data and save its parents' relationship before it (and the report it's still trying to generate) vanishes into thin air.
  • Tom 2011-07-05 10:47
    Sigh. Americans. So many things wrong here...

    On the French computers-where dates use the DD/MM/YYYY format-the code swapped the months and the days.


    On French computers? Try, "On every computer outside the United States..."

    Who the hell finds a problem on a foreign computer and doesn't try switching his machine to the foreign locale to reproduce it? How have we got to this day and age and still have developers ignorant of the mere existence of internationalisation?

    Some of the commenters are at least as bad. "Backwards dates in the EU." Are you kidding? The US is, AFAICT, the only place in the world that buggers up its dates like this. In what conceivable way does it make sense? It is not in significance order, unlike, say, every other number you ever come across. Personally, I think the Chinese have this figured out - makes dates YYYYMMDD and poof in a flash of smoke suddenly alphabetical ordering is the same as date ordering.

    Rant over. For now.
  • Patrick 2011-07-05 10:48
    Mike:
    Even this american non-developer figured out in the first few lines that the problem lie in the backwards dates in the EU.


    Backward in the EU? You find it normal that the US system uses (middle size unit - month)/(small size unit - day)/(big size unit - year)???

    Come on, get real
  • Steve The Cynic 2011-07-05 10:51
    simple:
    trwtf:
    Larry:
    Nagesh:
    I am glad TDWTF is finaly be coming back after skiping bogus selebration of ejection British.

    TRWTF is foreign tech support.


    Le TRWTF, c'est les Frogs.


    Unneccessary "Le" - Stands for "The"

    Indeed, and the WTF would not be "Real", nor Réel, but "Vrai" (=true), so, given that vrai a pre-noun adjective in this usage:

    LVWTF, c'est les americains.

    (Flame-shield: I'm English, not French.)
  • Bort 2011-07-05 10:52
    It's because when you say the date out loud, you don't say "5th July." You say "July 5th."
  • luptatum 2011-07-05 10:53
    Anyone speaking ISO (yyyy-mm-dd) btw.?
  • Excelsior 2011-07-05 10:54
    Well, I'm French and I'll say it out loud : "TRWTF is that you, american are not using our date format !!"

    Err... Okay, don't stab me now, maybe the problem is that we are using a fancy date format just to make it clear we are unique.

    We have our own Keyboard layout (ain't it lame ?), we are using GMT+1 even if the Greenwich meridian crosses our land, and there are so much things we can't do like everybody (we even speak french, and we think it's a better french than Canadian speak).

    However, you shall keep in mind we, french developers, are always hassled with date formatting problems, here's TRWTF.

    Have a good evening !
  • kikito 2011-07-05 10:54
    That mm/dd/yyyy and dd/mm/yyyy business is just a blasphemous invention from devil itself.

    There is only One True Date Format and that is yyyy-mm-dd.

    Meditate, and you will be enlightened.
  • C-Octothorpe 2011-07-05 10:55
    kikito:
    There is only One True Date Format and that is yyyy-mm-dd.


    QFT
  • Pedant 2011-07-05 10:57
    Shouldn't this be a ClassicWTF?

    http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/Long_Distance_DATE_0x24_ing.aspx
  • Steve The Cynic 2011-07-05 10:57
    Anon:
    Why is a report changing the system clock in the first place? Are these reports so intensive that time and space need to be warped in order to finish them? Or perhaps the data only exists in the past, and so the computer accelerates to 8.8 gigahertz and set the system clock back to retrieve the data and save its parents' relationship before it (and the report it's still trying to generate) vanishes into thin air.

    "Oh, look, I have a date to store for a while. I know, I'll stuff it in a variable called Date..."

    That's how it happens. And because the date is always today's date, nobody notices that the system clock got changed, and nobody notices that even with Option Explicit turned on (they did that, right? don't tell me that VBA doesn't have Option Explicit) the pinhead who wrote this code was able to do so without explicitly declaring a variable called Date...
  • Someone who can't be bothered to login from work 2011-07-05 10:57
    PurpleDog:
    Americans aside, did anyone not instantly realise what the problem was? Three years? Get a non-US developer on the job and you'd have the fix within a day.


    As soon as I read the intro to the item I thought "this is going to be related to locale specific formatting".
  • augue 2011-07-05 11:01
    Steve The Cynic:
    simple:
    trwtf:
    Larry:
    Nagesh:
    I am glad TDWTF is finaly be coming back after skiping bogus selebration of ejection British.

    TRWTF is foreign tech support.


    Le TRWTF, c'est les Frogs.


    Unneccessary "Le" - Stands for "The"

    Indeed, and the WTF would not be "Real", nor Réel, but "Vrai" (=true), so, given that vrai a pre-noun adjective in this usage:

    LVWTF, c'est les americains.

    (Flame-shield: I'm English, not French.)


    Wouldn't it be LVQN (le vrai quel niquer) ?
  • trwtf 2011-07-05 11:02
    simple:

    Unneccessary "Le" - Stands for "The"


    Yes, thanks for helping.
  • Someone who can't be bothered to login from work 2011-07-05 11:03
    Meep:
    Zebedee:
    It was fairly obvious from the first sentence that this was going to have something to do with the unusual way Americans represent dates.


    Ah, as opposed to the international standard of yymmdd, or, wait, is it ddmmyy?

    It just breaks my heart that I'm not a European and don't have a bunch of obsessive compulsive Belgian bureaucrats to regulate every fucking aspect of my life.


    Belgium can't regulate anything, they can't even elect a government right now. Seriously, they went for nearly eight months without one. They might still be without one for all I know.

    I'm sure the US and everywhere else in the world has its own fair share of stupid bureaucratic laws anyway.
  • The Mole 2011-07-05 11:04
    Bort:
    It's because when you say the date out loud, you don't say "5th July." You say "July 5th."


    Try coming to a UK and you'll notice that dates are written "5th July 2011" and pronounced "The fifth of July two thousand and 11".

    There is nothing more irritating and insulting* than seeing tv adverts for which they haven't taken the effort to localize and instead say "July fifth"!

    *other than all the other things that are naturally
  • Steve The Cynic 2011-07-05 11:06
    Excelsior:
    Well, I'm French and I'll say it out loud : "TRWTF is that you, american are not using our date format !!"

    Err... Okay, don't stab me now, maybe the problem is that we are using a fancy date format just to make it clear we are unique.

    We have our own Keyboard layout (ain't it lame ?), we are using GMT+1 even if the Greenwich meridian crosses our land, and there are so much things we can't do like everybody (we even speak french, and we think it's a better french than Canadian speak).

    However, you shall keep in mind we, french developers, are always hassled with date formatting problems, here's TRWTF.

    Have a good evening !

    Actually the lame thing with AZERTY is that the top-row number keys have to be shifted to produce numbers, and that half of the special-character syntax of C/C++ requires AltGr to be pressed - square brackets, hashes, braces, pipes, backslashes, tilde, but the pound sign requires only shift. Oh, and it has dead-keys for accents. That's lame on any keyboard layout.

    The fact that France uses CET rather than GMT can be blamed on the Germans, of course, following the events of 1940.

    And before anybody starts, I'm an Englishman in France...
  • boog 2011-07-05 11:06
    "You could also reboot."
    Translation: "I can't figure out what's wrong, but could you leave me alone for a while?"
  • mohs 2011-07-05 11:07
    C-Octothorpe:
    kikito:
    There is only One True Date Format and that is yyyy-mm-dd.


    QFT


    my kingdom for instantaneous sortable date values. (Which are more readable than a timestamp

    However the US Format is still much more useless than the formats of any other place in the world.
  • WC 2011-07-05 11:08
    Except, of course, on The Fourth of July.

    The date can be said either way in English, but other languages usually say it in the 'of' form, hence their date format. Plus, their date format keeps the numbers in order of size of what they're counting.

    I still prefer the unambiguous yyyy-mm-dd though.
  • TheCPUWizard 2011-07-05 11:08
    Bort:
    It's because when you say the date out loud, you don't say "5th July." You say "July 5th."


    No, I say the "5th of July".
  • McKay 2011-07-05 11:08
    TRWTF is that the writer doesn't know how to use dashes. It makes the page very hard to read. emdashes, emdashes, spaces surrounding them...
  • Migala 2011-07-05 11:09
    Meep:

    It just breaks my heart that I'm not a European and don't have a bunch of obsessive compulsive Belgian bureaucrats to regulate every fucking aspect of my life.


    But, but... then how do you deal with inconsistent banana curvatures??
  • blarg 2011-07-05 11:09
    Bort:
    It's because when you say the date out loud, you don't say "5th July." You say "July 5th."


    a lot of people would say 5th of July.
  • Richard 2011-07-05 11:10
    Bort:
    It's because when you say the date out loud, you don't say "5th July." You say "July 5th."


    Yup. Just like that grand American holiday, "July the 4th," that we just saw...
  • ContraCorners 2011-07-05 11:13
    Severity One:
    Well, the typical American unawareness of people in other countries doing things differently (actually, the entire world doing things differently) is an issue, of course...
    What is this "entire world" of which you speak?
  • mjk340 2011-07-05 11:13
    I guess this site is running out of ideas for featured articles. I predict the next one will be about an unsupervised contractor that doesn't get any real work done, or perhaps a mechanical switch for rebooting servers remotely.
  • Cujo DeSockpuppet 2011-07-05 11:14
    Come on, we all know the only real date format worth using is YYDDD. It saves a lot of space on my punch cards.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2011-07-05 11:14
    NOW the real WTF is VBA.
  • Dazed 2011-07-05 11:15
    akatherder:
    Actually it would be pretty obvious to Americans too. Especially developers/programmers, since we are used to internationalization and various different date formats (even more than mm/dd/yyyy and dd/mm/yyyy).

    Maybe obvious to some Americans. I have actually witnessed a related situation where a European customer had bought a customised product from an American supplier. In the contract it clearly stated that all dates had to be handled in European format, so when they weren't it was reported as a bug. The response from the supplier was that unfortunately it was impossible for them to do this. Yes - "impossible". The response from the client was to summarily terminate the contract.
  • Robb 2011-07-05 11:15
    Modifying the Date variable isn't THAT strange. It seems akin to changing an environment variable in your code and wondering why something isn't working right.

    This burned us not to long ago, we had some code using putenv that was modifying an environment variable and not taking into account who else might need it. But the code never made it past unit testing.
  • Geoff 2011-07-05 11:15
    Like many people on this board I correctly guess it was a format issue. As a developer I, like probably Moe, was rather mystified as to why a report which should only read the date could change it.

    1. The TRWFT here is letting users run as Administrator, had it not been for that the problem would have been apparent right off, well unless it was all wraped in On Error Resume Next anyway.

    2. The next issue being that
    ' format the date
    Date = month & "/" & day & "/" & year

    really is setting the date, which is interesting because month,day,and year must be getting pulled from some source that matches the system. It can't be necessary. What the developer should have in that page header macro was probably just, Today() or now().

  • Andy 2011-07-05 11:16
    Bort:
    It's because when you say the date out loud, you don't say "5th July." You say "July 5th."
    Well, like The Mole said, no we don't, not in the UK, and certainly not in France.
  • Jens 2011-07-05 11:16
    Except for Americans.

    ISO formats anyone? SI units? Or better lose Mars probes.
  • Jens 2011-07-05 11:18
    ISO 8601. Not Brüssel. None of the formats you mentioned.
  • BertBert 2011-07-05 11:21
    TheCPUWizard:
    Bort:
    It's because when you say the date out loud, you don't say "5th July." You say "July 5th."


    No, I say the "5th of July".


    Surprised that no Dutch person responded yet. In the Netherlands we don't use ordinal numbers for dates, so it is just 'vijf juli' (five July). I think in French it is the same.

    (Preferring yyyymmdd though.)
  • neminem 2011-07-05 11:23
    Yeah. That really was pretty obvious from the moment it said "month and day swapped sometimes", that it was a localization issue. And I'm also an American, lived here all my life. I haven't even done that much work on localization, but you pick stuff up just working as a programmer around anyone who's ever done any localization or localization testing. Which, clearly, nobody there ever had.

    That said, I do believe this would also be one of the rare times when "trwtf is VB" is actually entirely applicable. Or, VBA, anyway.

    EDIT: Also, while I might not say "5th July", as that would imply that it's the 5th July in a sequence of Julys, I would say "the 5th of July". You know, like the name of the holiday we just got off, "the 4th of July"?
  • Loren Pechtel 2011-07-05 11:23
    PurpleDog:
    Americans aside, did anyone not instantly realise what the problem was? Three years? Get a non-US developer on the job and you'd have the fix within a day.


    As a US developer (admittedly, one who has been overseas) I spotted it immediately. Finding it could still be hard, though.

  • techpaul 2011-07-05 11:24
    Migala:
    Meep:

    It just breaks my heart that I'm not a European and don't have a bunch of obsessive compulsive Belgian bureaucrats to regulate every fucking aspect of my life.


    But, but... then how do you deal with inconsistent banana curvatures??


    Easily as it made no difference as in a lot of standards especially ISO are adoptions of other standards. In this case it was the adoption of the standard as created by the banana wholesalers and the buying specs for supermarkets and other food distribution.

    So that standard codified what was in existence for about 20 years before that.
  • M 2011-07-05 11:25
    Well, vive la difference! It'd be boring if there were no quibbles and eccentricities that seperated us, if everyone used one system for measuring units, represented the date the same way, and insisted on using the exact same definition of a lb or a pint.
    There'd be no differences to celebrate, no issue of localisation for developers, and no excuses for why multi-billion dollar spacecraft crash.
  • Zylon 2011-07-05 11:26
    The bug they described-their computer's internal date was randomly changing-reeked of user error...

    And on that day, Alex learned the difference between hyphens and em dashes.
  • Brad 2011-07-05 11:27
    In summary:

    - US date system is kinda bullshit
    - Common Date Format (dd/mm/yyyy) is much more logical, but sucks for computing
    - ISO standard (yyyy-mm-dd) is the best for internationalisation and computing, but noone likes the look of it
    - That developer wasn't very good
  • SeySayux 2011-07-05 11:27
    Someone who can't be bothered to login from work:
    Meep:
    Zebedee:
    It was fairly obvious from the first sentence that this was going to have something to do with the unusual way Americans represent dates.


    Ah, as opposed to the international standard of yymmdd, or, wait, is it ddmmyy?

    It just breaks my heart that I'm not a European and don't have a bunch of obsessive compulsive Belgian bureaucrats to regulate every fucking aspect of my life.


    Belgium can't regulate anything, they can't even elect a government right now. Seriously, they went for nearly eight months without one. They might still be without one for all I know.

    I'm sure the US and everywhere else in the world has its own fair share of stupid bureaucratic laws anyway.


    1) Actually, the elections are over, it's the government formation that's taking a long time. But I guess that's a tad difficult to understand for an American that's used to a two-party winner-takes-all system.
    2) The government formations are taking almost 13 months now and still counting. Wikipedia has a nice article about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010%E2%80%932011_Belgian_government_formation

    Next time you bash Belgium, please study it first. Thanks.

    PS. This does not make me a "Belgium fanboy". It does make me a Belgian, though.
  • Hasteur 2011-07-05 11:28
    After another hour of digging through sub-routine after sub-routine and script after script, he finally found the offending code buried in the page header macro...


    Zoom, and enhance, and zoom, and enhance. What did you expect, Horatio Caine to put his sunglasses on and give a witty one-liner?
  • Elezar 2011-07-05 11:28
    I'm sure some do, but in the US it's really rare. In fact, I hear it said that way so rarely, that saying it that way sounds really weird.

    That said, the fact that we refer to Independence Day as the fourth of July indicates that it used to be the norm to say the day first. Which makes sense, since at the time that the fourth of July became a meaningful date, most people would have still been used to doing things the British way. So, just saying that it's because of how we say the dates, isn't really an answer. Why do we say the dates that way?

    My best guess is that during the Revolutionary War, people were trying to be "less British" in as many ways as possible, so changed even little things like the way they write/say dates.
  • dkallen 2011-07-05 11:29
    Severity One:
    Well, the typical American unawareness of people in other countries doing things differently (actually, the entire world doing things differently) is an issue, of course.


    It's a burden, being the only ones doing things correctly. But we manage to bear it...
  • Anon 2011-07-05 11:31
    TRWTF is that the French employees were running windows in administrator mode, right?

    I mean, you can't even open the clock on a properly locked down system!
  • snoofle 2011-07-05 11:35
    Tom:
    make dates YYYYMMDD


    +1 This (I do it all the time)
  • RogerC 2011-07-05 11:35
    luptatum:
    Anyone speaking ISO (yyyy-mm-dd) btw.?
    One of the first things I do to any new gizmo I get that can report date and time is change it to use yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm.
  • Bob 2011-07-05 11:40
    I'd guessed the punchline by the fourth sentence.

    TRWTF is that date function...
  • Polar Bear 2011-07-05 11:42
    Julian date formats are the way to go...no need in confusing things with a month at all...simply a year and a day: yyyyjjj

  • Bort 2011-07-05 11:43
    Bort:
    It's because when you say the date out loud, you don't say "5th July." You say "July 5th."


    Holy shit. Another guy named Bort who was thinking exactly what I was thinking.
  • F 2011-07-05 11:43
    Cujo DeSockpuppet:
    Come on, we all know the only real date format worth using is YYDDD. It saves a lot of space on my punch cards.


    And just what is wrong with paper tape?
  • Someone who can't be bothered to login from work 2011-07-05 11:44
    The Mole:
    Bort:
    It's because when you say the date out loud, you don't say "5th July." You say "July 5th."


    Try coming to a UK and you'll notice that dates are written "5th July 2011" and pronounced "The fifth of July two thousand and 11".

    There is nothing more irritating and insulting* than seeing tv adverts for which they haven't taken the effort to localize and instead say "July fifth"!

    *other than all the other things that are naturally


    Well, I'd say twenty-eleven, but other than that, yes :)

    (Try saying 1984 out that loud your way round, it sounds utterly silly and wrong.)
  • Hortical 2011-07-05 11:47
    SeySayux:
    Next time you bash Belgium, please study it first. Thanks.

    PS. This does not make me a "Belgium fanboy". It does make me a Belgian, though.


    I'm so sorry I'm not familiar with the intricacies of YOUR system and how it's different from the 20 other similar systems that neighbor you.
  • Bombomil (guest) 2011-07-05 11:48
    Here in The Netherlands we swap, when speaking, some of the digits in the value. Like 21 becomes een-en-twintig (one-and-twenty). If the value has 4 digits we often pronounce it as a number of hundreds. This means that something like 2345 becomes drie-en-twintig honderd, vijf-en-veertig (three-and-twenty hundreds, five-and-fourty).

    I would just *love* to see that expressed in computer-programming (most, but not all pairs of digits swapped). It would make a language as white-space an easy one to decipher. :-)

    Oh, by the way: wasn't yesterday "the fourth of july" for you guys ? :-p
  • MeRp 2011-07-05 11:49
    kikito:
    That mm/dd/yyyy and dd/mm/yyyy business is just a blasphemous invention from devil itself.

    There is only One True Date Format and that is yyyy-mm-dd.

    Meditate, and you will be enlightened.


    There is only One True Date Format and that is x, where x is the number of seconds since Jan 1, 1970.

    epoch FTW.
  • Zebedee 2011-07-05 11:52
    That's interesting, most people in the UK would say two thousand and eleven. How would you say the year 2000, twenty-hundred?
  • PedanticCurmudgeon 2011-07-05 11:52
    Anon:
    Why is a report changing the system clock in the first place?
    An accurate description of TRWTF? Really?! You must be new here.
  • Anonymous non Coward 2011-07-05 11:52
    Mike:
    Even this american non-developer figured out in the first few lines that the problem lie in the backwards dates in the EU. Something was setting system time using the american standard on a french system - tracking it down would be the hard part.

    And certainly should never have taken that long.


    "Most common usage
    See also: Category:Date and time representation by country
    [edit] Date
    See also: Date format by country

    In terms of dates, most countries use the "day month year" format. In terms of people the big-endian form is also very common, since that is used in East Asia, Iran and partially in India."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_format_by_country

    Medium Indian is roughly use , in ... The USA only.

    So that's about the same as with USI.
  • Hortical 2011-07-05 11:58
    PurpleDog:
    Americans aside, did anyone not instantly realise what the problem was? Three years? Get a non-US developer on the job and you'd have the fix within a day.


    Why didn't the french realize this, then? They may not be developers, but none of the people involved even had an inkling? They never mentioned it.
  • ShatteredArm 2011-07-05 12:00
    Dates (and everything else) should be in order from most general to least. That makes the ISO format superior, and dd/mm/yy one of the worst. The only thing worse than dd/mm/yy is anything with the year in the middle.
  • anand jeyahar 2011-07-05 12:02
    (mid size)(small size) (big size)...
    That reminds me of the hourglass figure metaphor for women... :-)
  • Matt Westwood 2011-07-05 12:03
    simple:
    trwtf:
    Larry:
    Nagesh:
    I am glad TDWTF is finaly be coming back after skiping bogus selebration of ejection British.

    TRWTF is foreign tech support.


    Le TRWTF, c'est les Frogs.


    Unneccessary "Le" - Stands for "The"


    "Le vrai quoi le foutre" maybe?
  • HP PhaserJet 2011-07-05 12:03
    Zebedee:
    That's interesting, most people in the UK would say two thousand and eleven. How would you say the year 2000, twenty-hundred?


    You're misunderstanding the pattern, the pattern is what way is shortest.

    We'd say it "Two-thou-sand" because it has fewer syllables than "Twen-ty-hund-red".

    And we say "Twen-ty-ele-ven" because it has fewer syllables than "Two-thou-sand-and-ele-ven".

    When it comes to informal language, I think this shortest-way pattern is acceptable. You just used a contraction. Are you going to start throwing apostrophe's everywhere.
  • eVil 2011-07-05 12:03
    In this thread, a bunch of Americans and a bunch of Europeans hate each other in the least confrontational way they possibly can (regional date standards).

    Kudos to the anyone who realises that you can get intelligent, capable people on both sides of the Atlantic. And idiots. Both sides have lots of idiots.

    I propse, instead of this silly patriotism, that instead we all agree that developers are awesome, and everyone else is foolish.

    Yeah, that'll work.
  • HP PhaserJet 2011-07-05 12:04
    Anonymous non Coward:

    "Most common usage
    See also: Category:Date and time representation by country
    [edit] Date
    See also: Date format by country

    In terms of dates, most countries use the "day month year" format. In terms of people the big-endian form is also very common, since that is used in East Asia, Iran and partially in India."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_format_by_country

    Medium Indian is roughly use , in ... The USA only.

    So that's about the same as with USI.


    What's "Medium Indian"?
  • Francois Botha 2011-07-05 12:09
    After hitting similar mm/dd vs dd/mm problems 10 years ago, I now ALWAYS use ISO-8601. My problem is to persuade the rest of the world to do it too. It saves such a lot of problems.
  • Svenson 2011-07-05 12:09
    Excelsior:
    Well, I'm French and I'll say it out loud : "TRWTF is that you, american are not using our date format !!"

    Err... Okay, don't stab me now, maybe the problem is that we are using a fancy date format just to make it clear we are unique.

    We have our own Keyboard layout (ain't it lame ?), we are using GMT+1 even if the Greenwich meridian crosses our land, and there are so much things we can't do like everybody (we even speak french, and we think it's a better french than Canadian speak).

    However, you shall keep in mind we, french developers, are always hassled with date formatting problems, here's TRWTF.

    Have a good evening !


    You have a good evening too! Between the odd time zone, summer time, and the latitude, the sun is still up at 10 PM in Paris right now. After all, you are in the same time zone as Lisbon (Portugal) and Stockholm (Sweden).

    b.t.w. I only know maybe 100 words of French, but I can hear the difference between metropolitan French and the Quebecois accent -- those Canadians are REALLY hard to understand.
  • Matt Westwood 2011-07-05 12:10
    Matt Westwood:
    simple:
    trwtf:
    Larry:
    Nagesh:
    I am glad TDWTF is finaly be coming back after skiping bogus selebration of ejection British.

    TRWTF is foreign tech support.


    Le TRWTF, c'est les Frogs.


    Unneccessary "Le" - Stands for "The"


    "Le vrai quoi le foutre" maybe?


    Probably more accurately gramatically: Le vrai qu'est-ce que tu fous." Any native francophones care to help out?
  • Hortical 2011-07-05 12:10
    eVil:
    In this thread, a bunch of Americans and a bunch of Europeans hate each other in the least confrontational way they possibly can (regional date standards).

    Kudos to the anyone who realises that you can get intelligent, capable people on both sides of the Atlantic. And idiots. Both sides have lots of idiots.

    I propse, instead of this silly patriotism, that instead we all agree that developers are awesome, and everyone else is foolish.

    Yeah, that'll work.


    Don't worry, it will all be over soon, when North America is populated mostly by latinos and Europe is the new Caliphate.

    How do civilizations (like The West) die? By slowly rotting from within.
  • Grzes 2011-07-05 12:11
    The Belgian bureaucrats aren't that bad. After all, they let me in without forcing me through long, messy and humilating process of visa issuing-or-not. In fact, they don't even require a passport.

    And thanks to Belgian bureaucrats, we are free from software patents, which cripple the individuals and reinforce the large corporations.

    And do you really think your life is not regulated? I doubt.
  • anand jeyahar 2011-07-05 12:11
    Hmm.. that rules out AZERTY as the layout i wanna try next. I am happy i tried out the DVORAK, but am beginning to think it can be improved. has anybody seen this(http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/)??
  • Jaime 2011-07-05 12:13
    mohs:
    C-Octothorpe:
    kikito:
    There is only One True Date Format and that is yyyy-mm-dd.


    QFT


    my kingdom for instantaneous sortable date values. (Which are more readable than a timestamp

    However the US Format is still much more useless than the formats of any other place in the world.
    Every time I use a date in code and sort it, it works fine with, even though I'm in the US and use the local date format. The real WTF is storing the date as a string with formatting applied instead of formatting it during the output stage.
  • Hortical 2011-07-05 12:13
    M:
    Well, vive la difference! It'd be boring if there were no quibbles and eccentricities that seperated us, if everyone used one system for measuring units, represented the date the same way, and insisted on using the exact same definition of a lb or a pint.
    There'd be no differences to celebrate, no issue of localisation for developers, and no excuses for why multi-billion dollar spacecraft crash.


    What ever happened to celebrating diversity?
  • Machtyn 2011-07-05 12:18
    Mike:
    Even this american non-developer figured out in the first few lines that the problem lie in the backwards dates in the EU. Something was setting system time using the american standard on a french system - tracking it down would be the hard part.

    And certainly should never have taken that long.


    Well, sure, the date reversal is rather obvious. But a report shouldn't be setting the system date. TRWTF is VB - allowing a function name to be a variable and allowing the function name to set a system setting. It's like Microsoft was trying to make things too easy for users.

    ("I know, every student is going to want to set their system date when learning VB. Let's make this easy for them!")
  • CDave 2011-07-05 12:19
    Severity One:
    Well, the typical American unawareness of people in other countries doing things differently (actually, the entire world doing things differently) is an issue, of course. Well, at least we don't get 'Letter' as standard paper format instead of A4. That's the progress over the last 20 years. Now, if we wouldn't be wouldn't be forced to enter our state, (bit useless if you live in a country with just over 400,000 people) that would be really swell.

    But that you can just change the computer's system date with a simple statement? That's seriously messed up.



    What makes you think Americans should conform to the way you do things? Are you really so arrogant that you can't tolerate any other way of doing things other than your own? Every time I see some arrogant pos like this I thank god my ancestors left the "old" country.
  • mtj 2011-07-05 12:20
    That's some pretty awful troubleshooting on the part of the dev team. If they don't have the thought process to ask themselves 'Is this somehow viable given the language?' I'd be surprised if they ever fixed anything at all.

    (Sure it's a stupid language feature, but the first thing you learn when working with M$ languages is that they've never heard of the principal of least astonishment.)
  • Abso 2011-07-05 12:22
    Matt Westwood:
    Matt Westwood:
    simple:
    trwtf:
    Larry:
    Nagesh:
    I am glad TDWTF is finaly be coming back after skiping bogus selebration of ejection British.

    TRWTF is foreign tech support.


    Le TRWTF, c'est les Frogs.


    Unneccessary "Le" - Stands for "The"


    "Le vrai quoi le foutre" maybe?


    Probably more accurately gramatically: Le vrai qu'est-ce que tu fous." Any native francophones care to help out?


    The form I've heard is "qu'est-ce fuck".

    But I'm a Canadian anglophone who learned that from another Canadian anglophone, who in turn picked it up in French immersion. So it's probably totally wrong.
  • Matt Westwood 2011-07-05 12:22
    Andy:
    Bort:
    It's because when you say the date out loud, you don't say "5th July." You say "July 5th."
    Well, like The Mole said, no we don't, not in the UK, and certainly not in France.


    "cinq juillet", is it not?
  • Lucent 2011-07-05 12:22
    SeySayux:

    1) Actually, the elections are over, it's the government formation that's taking a long time. But I guess that's a tad difficult to understand for an American that's used to a two-party winner-takes-all system.
    2) The government formations are taking almost 13 months now and still counting. Wikipedia has a nice article about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010%E2%80%932011_Belgian_government_formation

    Next time you bash Belgium, please study it first. Thanks.

    PS. This does not make me a "Belgium fanboy". It does make me a Belgian, though.


    To be frank, expecting Americans to know the details of how the Belgian system works, even though Belgians are familiar with the American system, is like complaining that you know everything about some celebrity's personal life and work, but he doesn't even know your name. How inconsiderate!
  • C-Octothorpe 2011-07-05 12:23
    Mike:
    Even this american non-developer figured out in the first few lines that the problem lie in the backwards dates in the EU. Something was setting system time using the american standard on a french system - tracking it down would be the hard part.

    And certainly should never have taken that long.


    You're missing a step here because *first* you have to know there is a date being set. I mean really, who the f*ck sets the system date in a report. I know that wouldn't be my first thought, and probably not most other developers either.

    Once you see the system date (or any date for that matter) being set, it's really easy to make the locale connection...
  • trwtf 2011-07-05 12:25
    HP PhaserJet:
    Anonymous non Coward:

    "Most common usage
    See also: Category:Date and time representation by country
    [edit] Date
    See also: Date format by country

    In terms of dates, most countries use the "day month year" format. In terms of people the big-endian form is also very common, since that is used in East Asia, Iran and partially in India."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_format_by_country

    Medium Indian is roughly use , in ... The USA only.

    So that's about the same as with USI.


    What's "Medium Indian"?


    "Medium Endian" - bad visual pun. It's what's between "big-endian" and "little-endian".
  • Hortical 2011-07-05 12:25
    CDave:
    Severity One:
    Well, the typical American unawareness of people in other countries doing things differently (actually, the entire world doing things differently) is an issue, of course. Well, at least we don't get 'Letter' as standard paper format instead of A4. That's the progress over the last 20 years. Now, if we wouldn't be wouldn't be forced to enter our state, (bit useless if you live in a country with just over 400,000 people) that would be really swell.

    But that you can just change the computer's system date with a simple statement? That's seriously messed up.



    What makes you think Americans should conform to the way you do things? Are you really so arrogant that you can't tolerate any other way of doing things other than your own? Every time I see some arrogant pos like this I thank god my ancestors left the "old" country.


    Let them have this one Dave, they don't have much to be proud of anymore, you know.
  • Jay 2011-07-05 12:26
    HP PhaserJet:
    Anonymous non Coward:

    "Most common usage
    See also: Category:Date and time representation by country
    [edit] Date
    See also: Date format by country

    In terms of dates, most countries use the "day month year" format. In terms of people the big-endian form is also very common, since that is used in East Asia, Iran and partially in India."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_format_by_country

    Medium Indian is roughly use , in ... The USA only.

    So that's about the same as with USI.


    What's "Medium Indian"?


    I think he meant "Indian Medium". That's someone from the sub-continent who can contact the dead.
  • HP PhaserJet 2011-07-05 12:27
    trwtf:

    "Medium Endian" - bad visual pun. It's what's between "big-endian" and "little-endian".


    I just find it funny when someone is typing a rant that demonstrates a clear superiority complex and then makes a typo 'cause they couldn't keep things in perspective.
  • Matt Westwood 2011-07-05 12:28
    Zebedee:
    That's interesting, most people in the UK would say two thousand and eleven. How would you say the year 2000, twenty-hundred?


    Hmm ... would they? I've been using "twenty-oh-nine, twenty-ten, twenty-eleven ..." Never stopped to think it may be an unusual approach.

    Confusion will arrive when we discuss twenty-twenty vision in 9 years time or so.
  • anonymouser 2011-07-05 12:30
    Zebedee:
    That's interesting, most people in the UK would say two thousand and eleven. How would you say the year 2000, twenty-hundred?


    How did you say 1999, One-thousand-nine-hundred-ninety-nine?
  • Julius Caesar 2011-07-05 12:30
    TheCPUWizard:
    Bort:
    It's because when you say the date out loud, you don't say "5th July." You say "July 5th."


    No, I say the "5th of July".


    Here in the Imperium Romanum, we say "The third of the Nones of July".
  • Zebedee 2011-07-05 12:33
    HP PhaserJet:
    Zebedee:
    That's interesting, most people in the UK would say two thousand and eleven. How would you say the year 2000, twenty-hundred?


    You're misunderstanding the pattern, the pattern is what way is shortest.

    We'd say it "Two-thou-sand" because it has fewer syllables than "Twen-ty-hund-red".

    And we say "Twen-ty-ele-ven" because it has fewer syllables than "Two-thou-sand-and-ele-ven".

    When it comes to informal language, I think this shortest-way pattern is acceptable. You just used a contraction. Are you going to start throwing apostrophe's everywhere.


    Well I'll forgive myself for misunderstanding the pattern, having been given only one sample to work from. And it's not me that introduced the contraction:

    1900 - Nineteen hundred
    1911 - Nineteen (hundred and) eleven
    2000 - Twenty hundred
    2011 - Twenty (hundred and) eleven

    That follows a pattern.

    The UK way:

    1900 - Nineteen hundred
    1911 - Nineteen (hundred and)eleven
    2000 - Two Thousand
    2011 - Two thousand and eleven

    Your way:

    2000 - Two Thousand
    2011 - Twenty (hundred and) eleven

    Even less syllables:

    2011 - Two (thousand and) eleven

  • Sponjk 2011-07-05 12:33
    There is nothing more irritating and insulting* than seeing tv adverts for which they haven't taken the effort to localize and instead say "July fifth"!

    You're irritated and insulted that the whole world doesn't do things just like you? Wow, life must be rough.
  • Matt Westwood 2011-07-05 12:35
    Julius Caesar:
    TheCPUWizard:
    Bort:
    It's because when you say the date out loud, you don't say "5th July." You say "July 5th."


    No, I say the "5th of July".


    Here in the Imperium Romanum, we say "The third of the Nones of July".


    Oh yes of course, using that new-fangled month named for that ugly old prune who got what was coming to him in the Senate that time.
  • anonymouser 2011-07-05 12:35
    Interesting that nobody has pointed out that the US Military uses dd-mm-yy. They also use a 24 hour clock.

    And FWIW, If some were to walk up and say "5th of July" or "July 5th", I'd probabaly be able to understand them either way.

  • zunesis 2011-07-05 12:36
    CDave:
    Severity One:
    Well, the typical American unawareness of people in other countries doing things differently (actually, the entire world doing things differently) is an issue, of course. Well, at least we don't get 'Letter' as standard paper format instead of A4. That's the progress over the last 20 years. Now, if we wouldn't be wouldn't be forced to enter our state, (bit useless if you live in a country with just over 400,000 people) that would be really swell.

    But that you can just change the computer's system date with a simple statement? That's seriously messed up.



    What makes you think Americans should conform to the way you do things? Are you really so arrogant that you can't tolerate any other way of doing things other than your own? Every time I see some arrogant pos like this I thank god my ancestors left the "old" country.


    If you don't want to do business with the U.S., you don't have to. If Americans are causing a real problem, don't work with them. If it's not a real problem... what are complaining about then?
  • zunesis 2011-07-05 12:38
    Sponjk:
    There is nothing more irritating and insulting* than seeing tv adverts for which they haven't taken the effort to localize and instead say "July fifth"!

    You're irritated and insulted that the whole world doesn't do things just like you? Wow, life must be rough.


    Typical European arrogance. Complaining about a lack of standards while still speaking over a dozen different languages.
  • Matt Westwood 2011-07-05 12:38
    Zebedee:
    HP PhaserJet:
    Zebedee:
    That's interesting, most people in the UK would say two thousand and eleven. How would you say the year 2000, twenty-hundred?


    You're misunderstanding the pattern, the pattern is what way is shortest.

    We'd say it "Two-thou-sand" because it has fewer syllables than "Twen-ty-hund-red".

    And we say "Twen-ty-ele-ven" because it has fewer syllables than "Two-thou-sand-and-ele-ven".

    When it comes to informal language, I think this shortest-way pattern is acceptable. You just used a contraction. Are you going to start throwing apostrophe's everywhere.


    Well I'll forgive myself for misunderstanding the pattern, having been given only one sample to work from. And it's not me that introduced the contraction:

    1900 - Nineteen hundred
    1911 - Nineteen (hundred and) eleven
    2000 - Twenty hundred
    2011 - Twenty (hundred and) eleven

    That follows a pattern.

    The UK way:

    1900 - Nineteen hundred
    1911 - Nineteen (hundred and)eleven
    2000 - Two Thousand
    2011 - Two thousand and eleven

    Your way:

    2000 - Two Thousand
    2011 - Twenty (hundred and) eleven

    Even less syllables:

    2011 - Two (thousand and) eleven



    Okay, as an exercise for the advanced student - express:

    1901
    2001

    in UK, American, Dutch and Zebedee format.
  • Cheese-eating surrender monkey 2011-07-05 12:40
    anand jeyahar:
    Hmm.. that rules out AZERTY as the layout i wanna try next. I am happy i tried out the DVORAK, but am beginning to think it can be improved. has anybody seen this(http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/)??

    Unless you plan to write in French, AZERTY is useless. Its only advantage is to offer easy access to some accented characters frequently used in French. Everything else about it pretty much sucks, especially for us gamers who constantly have to change bindings or switch keymaps depending on whatever method the game devs used to detect keystrokes.
  • Mason Wheeler 2011-07-05 12:40
    ShatteredArm:
    Dates (and everything else) should be in order from most general to least. That makes the ISO format superior, and dd/mm/yy one of the worst.


    So do you find the way the US (and pretty much the entire rest of the world, for that matter) does mailing addresses to be objectionable?

    Also, in another case of bizarre out-of-order ordering, did Europeans design the INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE syntaxes for SQL, but Americans designed the SELECT syntax?
  • zunesis 2011-07-05 12:42
    Zebedee:
    HP PhaserJet:
    Zebedee:
    That's interesting, most people in the UK would say two thousand and eleven. How would you say the year 2000, twenty-hundred?


    You're misunderstanding the pattern, the pattern is what way is shortest.

    We'd say it "Two-thou-sand" because it has fewer syllables than "Twen-ty-hund-red".

    And we say "Twen-ty-ele-ven" because it has fewer syllables than "Two-thou-sand-and-ele-ven".

    When it comes to informal language, I think this shortest-way pattern is acceptable. You just used a contraction. Are you going to start throwing apostrophe's everywhere.


    Well I'll forgive myself for misunderstanding the pattern, having been given only one sample to work from. And it's not me that introduced the contraction:

    1900 - Nineteen hundred
    1911 - Nineteen (hundred and) eleven
    2000 - Twenty hundred
    2011 - Twenty (hundred and) eleven

    That follows a pattern.

    The UK way:

    1900 - Nineteen hundred
    1911 - Nineteen (hundred and)eleven
    2000 - Two Thousand
    2011 - Two thousand and eleven

    Your way:

    2000 - Two Thousand
    2011 - Twenty (hundred and) eleven

    Even less syllables:

    2011 - Two (thousand and) eleven



    Ummm... the pattern he was referring to is the fewest syllables. People around here often say "Two-thousand" and "Twenty-eleven"***. I've never heard anyone say "Twenty-hundred" except you.

    ***Then again, it's a fairly diverse country. People from one region might be insulted that you are implicitly conflating them with people from another region.
  • Cheese-eating surrender monkey 2011-07-05 12:49
    Abso:
    Matt Westwood:
    Matt Westwood:
    simple:
    trwtf:
    Larry:
    Nagesh:
    I am glad TDWTF is finaly be coming back after skiping bogus selebration of ejection British.

    TRWTF is foreign tech support.


    Le TRWTF, c'est les Frogs.


    Unneccessary "Le" - Stands for "The"


    "Le vrai quoi le foutre" maybe?


    Probably more accurately gramatically: Le vrai qu'est-ce que tu fous." Any native francophones care to help out?


    The form I've heard is "qu'est-ce fuck".

    But I'm a Canadian anglophone who learned that from another Canadian anglophone, who in turn picked it up in French immersion. So it's probably totally wrong.

    Here in France, when we're not busy eating cheese, being on strike, or surrendering to the Germans, we usually find that WTF is not literally translatable. Those of us who are Internet-savvy write "WTF" and pronounce it "what ze fuck" wiz our sexy accent. "quoi le foutre" makes no sense but I've seen it used once or twice by people trying to be funny.
  • Dulton 2011-07-05 12:52
    hai, the Japanese are
  • paul 2011-07-05 12:54
    I've read half way through the first page of comments, and I've seen several people say they expected this behavior.

    I thought that with using a built-in date class, the class would consider the regional settings on the computer and make this work transparently.

    So now if I try to localize my program using built-in date functions, I have to fucking worry about the order of the month and day? Unbelievable.
  • Julius Caesar 2011-07-05 12:55
    SeySayux:

    1) Actually, the elections are over, it's the government formation that's taking a long time. But I guess that's a tad difficult to understand for an American that's used to a two-party winner-takes-all system.
    2) The government formations are taking almost 13 months now and still counting. Wikipedia has a nice article about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010%E2%80%932011_Belgian_government_formation

    Next time you bash Belgium, please study it first. Thanks.


    As an American, I admit I'm not all that familiar with parliamentary governments. But 13 months to form a government? I think after Britain's last election it took them about a week, and usually it's a matter of a couple of days. Israel may have the most parties in their parliament of any country -- I read once that Israel has NEVER had a majority government, not sure if that's true -- and they're constitutionally limited to 45 days to form a government.

    Anybody else on here from countries with parliamentary systems? How long does it usually take to form a government? I'd guess when one party has a majority, it's a day or two, but when you have to form a coalition, presumably longer.
  • paul 2011-07-05 12:56
    Patrick:
    Mike:
    Even this american non-developer figured out in the first few lines that the problem lie in the backwards dates in the EU.


    Backward in the EU? You find it normal that the US system uses (middle size unit - month)/(small size unit - day)/(big size unit - year)???

    Come on, get real


    We think you are backwards. We think of the month first, then the day, then the year. To think of it in any other order is backwards to us. We also put our adjectives before the nouns.
  • neminem 2011-07-05 12:57
    C-Octothorpe:
    Mike:
    Even this american non-developer figured out in the first few lines that the problem lie in the backwards dates in the EU. Something was setting system time using the american standard on a french system - tracking it down would be the hard part.

    And certainly should never have taken that long.


    You're missing a step here because *first* you have to know there is a date being set. I mean really, who the f*ck sets the system date in a report. I know that wouldn't be my first thought, and probably not most other developers either.

    Once you see the system date (or any date for that matter) being set, it's really easy to make the locale connection...


    But, you do know there's a date being set. You know there's a date being set, because they just told you: every time they run your scripts, the date changes. From that, any half-competent person should be able to figure out (by the reflexive property): something, somewhere, is changing the date.

    Thus, the real wtf (other than VBA) is that they couldn't even reproduce it. If all you know is that someone in France keeps reproducing this issue, but you can't, even if you don't know what script is causing the issue or why, perhaps the first thing you should try is running all the scripts they ran, to see if any of them caused the issue... on a French OS? Or at least with French regional settings?

    I certainly agree that the specific way the date turned out to have been set was a major WTF, and not on the part of the programmer, but they still should have been able to reproduce it once the problem had been mentioned a couple times.
  • Jay 2011-07-05 12:57
    Nobody believed the French. Not the entire country, or Frenchmen in general, but rather the folks who worked at the European Branch Office in Paris.


    Nobody believed the French. The entire country, all Frenchmen in general, and the folks who worked at the European Branch Office in Paris.

    FTFY
  • Meep 2011-07-05 12:59
    Someone who can't be bothered to login from work:
    Meep:
    Zebedee:
    It was fairly obvious from the first sentence that this was going to have something to do with the unusual way Americans represent dates.


    Ah, as opposed to the international standard of yymmdd, or, wait, is it ddmmyy?

    It just breaks my heart that I'm not a European and don't have a bunch of obsessive compulsive Belgian bureaucrats to regulate every fucking aspect of my life.


    Belgium can't regulate anything, they can't even elect a government right now. Seriously, they went for nearly eight months without one. They might still be without one for all I know.

    I'm sure the US and everywhere else in the world has its own fair share of stupid bureaucratic laws anyway.


    No, since the fall of the USSR, you Europeans really do have, per capita, more laws and regulations than most of the rest of the world combined, US included. You really do have the government's finger up your asshole from cradle to grave.

    The whole date thing is indicative: the US government has wanted to switch over to metric, and would gladly adopted the ISO standard, but they do not have the power to force the country to do that. Individual states can do it, but the feds can't, even with the ridiculously broad interpretations of the commerce clause and general welfare clause.
  • Jay 2011-07-05 13:01
    anonymouser:
    Interesting that nobody has pointed out that the US Military uses dd-mm-yy. They also use a 24 hour clock.

    And FWIW, If some were to walk up and say "5th of July" or "July 5th", I'd probabaly be able to understand them either way.



    I used to be a consultant to the US Air Force, and we regularly used dd-mmm-yy, e.g. 05-Jul-2011. This is more difficult to sort and to parse, but it does have the distinct advantage of being unambiguous in the face of competing formats. That is, if you see 05-07-2011 does that mean 5th of July or May 7th? But 05-Jul-2011 is pretty obvious.
  • Meep 2011-07-05 13:04
    paul:
    I've read half way through the first page of comments, and I've seen several people say they expected this behavior.

    I thought that with using a built-in date class, the class would consider the regional settings on the computer and make this work transparently.

    So now if I try to localize my program using built-in date functions, I have to fucking worry about the order of the month and day? Unbelievable.


    Yeah, I could understand if Date were a class and it had year, month and day properties. If it were under System, it would make plenty of sense.

    Though, if you really want to internationalize, not just "make it work in Europe, too" you might want to handle the Chinese, the civil Islamic and the Hebrew calendars.
  • Jay 2011-07-05 13:05
    ContraCorners:
    Severity One:
    Well, the typical American unawareness of people in other countries doing things differently (actually, the entire world doing things differently) is an issue, of course...
    What is this "entire world" of which you speak?


    I think "entire world" means "including places outside of Texas".

    I used to live in Ohio. I went to visit a friend in Texas. She introduced me to another Texan, noting that I was from "up north". He replied, "Like from around Dallas?"
  • Meep 2011-07-05 13:07
    Jay:
    anonymouser:
    Interesting that nobody has pointed out that the US Military uses dd-mm-yy. They also use a 24 hour clock.

    And FWIW, If some were to walk up and say "5th of July" or "July 5th", I'd probabaly be able to understand them either way.


    I used to be a consultant to the US Air Force, and we regularly used dd-mmm-yy, e.g. 05-Jul-2011. This is more difficult to sort and to parse, but it does have the distinct advantage of being unambiguous in the face of competing formats. That is, if you see 05-07-2011 does that mean 5th of July or May 7th? But 05-Jul-2011 is pretty obvious.


    That might be a NATO standard. It's definitely used in all the US services.

    And you can actually get a 24-hour, analog clock. They're really hard to tell time with, which is probably why the Army loves them.
  • Joao 2011-07-05 13:08
    Nice try, except that that date format was around hundreds of years before the EU.
  • Jay 2011-07-05 13:12
    F:
    Cujo DeSockpuppet:
    Come on, we all know the only real date format worth using is YYDDD. It saves a lot of space on my punch cards.


    And just what is wrong with paper tape?


    Yeah, these new kids are all using flash drives, and before you know it, nobody knows how to read paper tape any more. What are they going to do when the flash drive fails and there's nothing available but paper tape? Then what, huh?
  • mh 2011-07-05 13:16
    Wrong. My Chinese colleagues (sitting in Shanghai) write mm/dd/yyyy. And I am European, so it's not because they are trying to be compatible with me.
  • skington 2011-07-05 13:20
    HP PhaserJet:
    Anonymous non Coward:

    [...]
    Medium Indian is roughly use , in ... The USA only.

    So that's about the same as with USI.


    What's "Medium Indian"?


    Probably something like a Chicken Tikka Masala, maybe a Jalfrezi. Spicier than a Korma, but not in Vindaloo territory.
  • caper 2011-07-05 13:22
    "letting users run as Administrator"

    I liked the similar comment from the Microsoft MVP in that linked-to article "should prevent unauthorized users".

    A TWTF is so much software that still wants users to run as administrator. The Microsoft taskbar date display comes directly to mind.
  • Frenchie 2011-07-05 13:23
    Matt Westwood:
    Probably more accurately gramatically: Le vrai qu'est-ce que tu fous." Any native francophones care to help out?

    My usual quip when I see really ugly code is « mais qu'est-ce que c'est que cette merde ? ! » (with a correspondingly disgusted look on my face). In writing, though, I'll usually resort to WTF, as it's obviously more “in” to write in english, not to mention it's only three keystrokes :-)

    anonymouser:
    Interesting that nobody has pointed out that the US Military uses dd-mm-yy. They also use a 24 hour clock.

    I remember once reading a C++ manual where the author listed methods to convert to “military time”. I couldn't make heads or tails of it, until I learned that the US does nothing like everyone else, and its denizens are somewhat insensitive to that fact (obviously, the army here uses the same 24h clock as the civilians).

    zunesis:
    If you don't want to do business with the U.S., you don't have to.

    Well, when my boss tells me to write code for an US-affiliated enterprise, I haven't got much of a choice, unless I win the lottery and can ditch my job. Anyway, I want to do business with everyone, but standards are still good: They help remove barriers to market, enhance competition, and reduce development and other expenses for everyone (including American businesses who have to interact with foreign partners).

    Cheese-eating surrender monkey:
    Unless you plan to write in French, AZERTY is useless.

    Agreed, especially for coders (accolades, brackets, and lots of other stuff is available only through Alt) or system administrators (guess what? The various BIOSes, bootloaders, and even a Linux box booted with init=/bin/sh all talk QWERTY). The best keyboard would be a US QWERTY (for compatibility) with additional glyphs tacked on. I'd like to find a Canadian unified keyboard (like this one), but I haven't found any vendor in France for the moment :-(
  • shixilun 2011-07-05 13:23
    Mason Wheeler:
    ShatteredArm:
    Dates (and everything else) should be in order from most general to least.


    So do you find the way the US (and pretty much the entire rest of the world, for that matter) does mailing addresses to be objectionable?


    Within China, addresses are big-endian (e.g., province city district street number).
  • Gary 2011-07-05 13:27
    Duh! Just run the reports on Jan 1, Feb 2, March 3, etc.
  • shixilun 2011-07-05 13:27
    paul:
    We also put our adjectives before the nouns.


    We may put our adjectives before the nouns, but we put longer descriptive phrases/clauses after the nouns. And sometimes we even put the adjectives after the nouns.
  • Sam 2011-07-05 13:28
    Of course, you're not in charge of software used in Europe. At least, I hope you're not...
  • shixilun 2011-07-05 13:34
    mh:
    Wrong. My Chinese colleagues (sitting in Shanghai) write mm/dd/yyyy.


    Chinese is big-endian, so mm/dd (or mm.dd or mm月dd日) makes sense. When I was there, years usually preceded, either yyyy.mm.dd or yyyy年mm月dd日.

    But I also noticed that most Chinese preferred US English, so a preference for mm/dd/yyyy has a rational explanation.
  • Developer 2011-07-05 13:38
    The Real WTF is the fact the developers didn't switch to French OS / Language / Keyboards when regressing, when it initially came back clean.

    Reminds me of a web problem that only happened in China. After installing VirtualBox, a Win XP Chinese version and running the test we noticed that IE installs with different security settings in different parts of the world.
  • David Emery 2011-07-05 13:40
    For all you who claim the US is 'out of step with the rest of the world', do you put the day first or the year first? That might make a difference.

    Of course, people who use weakly typed languages, and who trust string conversions to pass numeric values, just beg to be hit by these kinds of bugs. And note these are problems with scalars, so a language with strongly typed objects, but weekly typed scalars, is no hope here (or for any other common situation where you try to add 'count of apples' to 'count of oranges.')
  • flx 2011-07-05 13:40
    No, I say 5 July 2011.
    No need for ordinals. (Yes, I am an US-ian)
  • Jellineck 2011-07-05 13:48
    "Yes, I am an US-ian"

    Since you are unable to use the correct demonym for a citizen of the US, who really cares that you have your own special way(within the context of your countrymen) to say the date.
  • Kev 2011-07-05 13:48
    Bort:
    It's because when you say the date out loud, you don't say "5th July." You say "July 5th."


    But you say "the 4th of July" (or at least the New York Times does), and we do actually say things like "the 5th of July Two Thousand and Eleven" here in the civilised world ;o)
  • MMM 2011-07-05 13:58
    TRWTF is running the report generation software with admin rights.
  • trwtf 2011-07-05 14:05
    SeySayux:
    It does make me a Belgian, though.

    Oh, great. We've found the re-incarnation of Nagesh.

    Tell me, if you really are Indian, how about answering some of these linguistic French questions?
  • mihi 2011-07-05 14:05
    Ah, VB(A) fun with internationalization...

    On French systems, CStr(True) is not "True" either, but "Vrai", which can given nice results when storing settings into ini files (SaveSetting) and trying to parse the INI files on an English machine. SaveSetting will happily convert the Boolean to String and back, but CDbl() fails with error 13 if it suddenly finds a string it cannot parse.

    And I know I wrote an application a long time ago that intentionally changed the system date by setting Date$ to a new value. (As a workaround, one could also deny the current user the right to change the system date, which would also make the assignment fail).
  • Nagesh 2011-07-05 14:06
    HP PhaserJet:
    Anonymous non Coward:

    "Most common usage
    See also: Category:Date and time representation by country
    [edit] Date
    See also: Date format by country

    In terms of dates, most countries use the "day month year" format. In terms of people the big-endian form is also very common, since that is used in East Asia, Iran and partially in India."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_format_by_country

    Medium Indian is roughly use , in ... The USA only.

    So that's about the same as with USI.


    What's "Medium Indian"?

    I am Medium Indian only.
  • hoodaticus 2011-07-05 14:08
    snoofle:
    As an American developer who routinely deals with overseas users, I spotted the cause in 2 seconds. And that happens in pretty much all languages.

    OTOH, setting the system date by assigning a value to a function is (AFAIK - YMMV) unique to VB.
    Date is not a function. It's a reserved keyword that sets the date.

    Admittedly, it is easy to confuse with a certain function that returns the system date, since it is also named Date.

    How can you tell the difference? Because you can't assign to a function.
  • hoodaticus 2011-07-05 14:11
    Anyone who abuses the system clock in this manner should be shot. Not in the head - center mass. The head would just be an air pocket in this instance.
  • Umwuofia 2011-07-05 14:14
    trwtf:
    SeySayux:
    It does make me a Belgian, though.

    Oh, great. We've found the re-incarnation of Nagesh.

    Tell me, if you really are Indian, how about answering some of these linguistic French questions?
    What's so special about being Belgian? I'm a half-blind, transgendered paraplegic pigme on schler last round of hormone injections.
  • Soy Americano 2011-07-05 14:17
    Rast a mouse:
    Maybe if the presumabley American team responsible used a logical date format like the rest of the world in the first place this would never have happened.


    The most logical date format to a computer is ISO Date, YYYY-MM-DD or 2011-07-05 today. This sorts correctly from largest scale to smallest.

    English is a Germanic language that places adjectives before nouns. In a similar manner, "July 5th, 2011" has "July" before the day it describes.

    The real WTF is how people don't understand that people speak different languages. Don't assume that any other country follows the same dates or numbers you do.
  • C-Octothorpe 2011-07-05 14:17
    Umwuofia:
    I'm a half-blind, transgendered paraplegic pigme on schler last round of hormone injections.


    hawt
  • trwtf 2011-07-05 14:17
    Jellineck:
    "Yes, I am an US-ian"

    Since you are unable to use the correct demonym for a citizen of the US, who really cares that you have your own special way(within the context of your countrymen) to say the date.


    The correct term, of course, is "USonian.
  • C-Octothorpe 2011-07-05 14:19
    trwtf:
    Jellineck:
    "Yes, I am an US-ian"

    Since you are unable to use the correct demonym for a citizen of the US, who really cares that you have your own special way(within the context of your countrymen) to say the date.


    The correct term, of course, is "USonian.


    Really? I thought it was pronounced "'merican, from the you ess ov ey"

    *ducks*
  • Keith Thompson 2011-07-05 14:23
    The international standard is YYYY-MM-DD. Among other advantages, it sorts correctly.
  • Filipe 2011-07-05 14:24
    The portuguese do.

    Number - Portuguese - Literal translation
    1999 - Mil novecentos e noventa e nove - Thousand ninehundred and ninety and nine;
    2001 - Dois mil e um - Two thousand and one;
    2159 - Dois mil cento e cinquenta e nove - Two thousand hundred and fifty and nine;


    But this is mainly a cultural thing. In the 1900's we used to shorten the year by saying only the last two numbers, but after 2000 we say the full year.
  • hoodaticus 2011-07-05 14:25
    keith:
    The international standard is YYYY-MM-DD. Among other advantages, it sorts correctly.
    We're having an endian-ness discussion as pertains to DateTime, I see. In a room full of morons.
  • mh 2011-07-05 14:28
    Aside from VBA insanity, someone needs a good slap about the head for not realising that you don't have to store dates in the same format as you display them in. Le sigh.
  • Chelloveck 2011-07-05 14:31
    Meep:
    Ah, as opposed to the international standard of yymmdd, or, wait, is it ddmmyy?


    YYYY-MM-DD. Learn it. Live it. It is the One True Date Format. Thou shalt have no other date formats before me.

    And yeah, it was pretty damned obvious that the problem was the US/FR format difference. Should have taken no more than 2 minutes for the devs to reproduce it. Then again I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised. These *are* VBA devs we're talking about.
  • hoodaticus 2011-07-05 14:31
    C-Octothorpe:
    Mike:
    Even this american non-developer figured out in the first few lines that the problem lie in the backwards dates in the EU. Something was setting system time using the american standard on a french system - tracking it down would be the hard part.

    And certainly should never have taken that long.


    You're missing a step here because *first* you have to know there is a date being set. I mean really, who the f*ck sets the system date in a report. I know that wouldn't be my first thought, and probably not most other developers either.

    Once you see the system date (or any date for that matter) being set, it's really easy to make the locale connection...
    If you knew that the system date was changing on a system that's running ANYTHING in VBA, "Date = " would be the first place to look.

    This whole thing could be prevented with a login script utility that would delete all VBA code from a machine.
  • Reformator 2011-07-05 14:31
    TRWTF are numerical dates. The world should settle on commonly used month names and abbrivations. As we surely can not agree on a new spelling for the old month names, new world-wide known names for months need to be used, like McDonalds, Porsche or Beatles.

    Written on the 5th of Porsche, 2011.
  • Rajendra Kumar 2011-07-05 14:37
    Ahhh. Thanks you very much Mr. Alex Papadimoulis!!! This is the exact codes I am needful. However, I have much doubt in the VBs, can you possibly post this using Java 1.6 runtime. Using of Scala language is acceptable because I have recently increased my skills in this. Also, as always, I have requirements for JUnit testing.
  • hoodaticus 2011-07-05 14:38
    Lucent:
    SeySayux:

    1) Actually, the elections are over, it's the government formation that's taking a long time. But I guess that's a tad difficult to understand for an American that's used to a two-party winner-takes-all system.
    2) The government formations are taking almost 13 months now and still counting. Wikipedia has a nice article about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010%E2%80%932011_Belgian_government_formation

    Next time you bash Belgium, please study it first. Thanks.

    PS. This does not make me a "Belgium fanboy". It does make me a Belgian, though.


    To be frank, expecting Americans to know the details of how the Belgian system works, even though Belgians are familiar with the American system, is like complaining that you know everything about some celebrity's personal life and work, but he doesn't even know your name. How inconsiderate!
    I propose a trade. We'll adopt international dates when the international community adopts our language. I mean outside of navigation, aviation, software, entertainment, and contracts, where it has already been adopted.
  • C-Octothorpe 2011-07-05 14:42
    hoodaticus:
    C-Octothorpe:
    Mike:
    Even this american non-developer figured out in the first few lines that the problem lie in the backwards dates in the EU. Something was setting system time using the american standard on a french system - tracking it down would be the hard part.

    And certainly should never have taken that long.


    You're missing a step here because *first* you have to know there is a date being set. I mean really, who the f*ck sets the system date in a report. I know that wouldn't be my first thought, and probably not most other developers either.

    Once you see the system date (or any date for that matter) being set, it's really easy to make the locale connection...
    If you knew that the system date was changing on a system that's running ANYTHING in VBA, "Date = " would be the first place to look.

    This whole thing could be prevented with a login script utility that would delete all VBA code from a machine.


    I congratulate and feel bad for you at the same time for having enough exposure to VBA that the first thought you had was the 'Date =' "feature". And honestly, until VBA docs were mentioned explicitly, I assumed it was SSRS or equiv. simply due to the level of doubt the developer had that it was being caused by the report.

    My bad for thinking the dev knew what the hell he was talking about.
  • Lucent 2011-07-05 14:45
    hoodaticus:
    I propose a trade. We'll adopt international dates when the international community adopts our language. I mean outside of navigation, aviation, software, entertainment, and contracts, where it has already been adopted.


    In reality, the adoption of languages and standards would be market driven. Americans don't adopt the standards of other countries because they don't have to. Individual European countries couldn't get very far without fitting in, so they adopt each other's standards in order to prosper.
  • frits 2011-07-05 15:05
    The moral of the story is that TRWTF is France, right?
    No?
    Drats.
  • Matt Westwood 2011-07-05 15:07
    Julius Caesar:
    SeySayux:

    1) Actually, the elections are over, it's the government formation that's taking a long time. But I guess that's a tad difficult to understand for an American that's used to a two-party winner-takes-all system.
    2) The government formations are taking almost 13 months now and still counting. Wikipedia has a nice article about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010%E2%80%932011_Belgian_government_formation

    Next time you bash Belgium, please study it first. Thanks.


    As an American, I admit I'm not all that familiar with parliamentary governments. But 13 months to form a government? I think after Britain's last election it took them about a week, and usually it's a matter of a couple of days. Israel may have the most parties in their parliament of any country -- I read once that Israel has NEVER had a majority government, not sure if that's true -- and they're constitutionally limited to 45 days to form a government.

    Anybody else on here from countries with parliamentary systems? How long does it usually take to form a government? I'd guess when one party has a majority, it's a day or two, but when you have to form a coalition, presumably longer.


    The important message from this lesson is that governments are universally redundant. Their only use is to give bossy pricks something to do to make them feel important.
  • AndyC 2011-07-05 15:11
    caper:

    A TWTF is so much software that still wants users to run as administrator. The Microsoft taskbar date display comes directly to mind.


    Except it doesn't. Unless you're referring to the Set Date/Time control panel shortcut in XP, which was replaced in Vista with a calendar display.

    C-Octothorpe:

    I congratulate and feel bad for you at the same time for having enough exposure to VBA that the first thought you had was the 'Date =' "feature".


    TRWTF is that a developer didn't spot the localisation issue immeadiately and check the VBA docs to see how they'd set the system date. From there diagnosing and fixing the fault should take 5 mins, not three years.
  • hoodaticus 2011-07-05 15:14
    Matt Westwood:
    Julius Caesar:
    SeySayux:

    1) Actually, the elections are over, it's the government formation that's taking a long time. But I guess that's a tad difficult to understand for an American that's used to a two-party winner-takes-all system.
    2) The government formations are taking almost 13 months now and still counting. Wikipedia has a nice article about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010%E2%80%932011_Belgian_government_formation

    Next time you bash Belgium, please study it first. Thanks.


    As an American, I admit I'm not all that familiar with parliamentary governments. But 13 months to form a government? I think after Britain's last election it took them about a week, and usually it's a matter of a couple of days. Israel may have the most parties in their parliament of any country -- I read once that Israel has NEVER had a majority government, not sure if that's true -- and they're constitutionally limited to 45 days to form a government.

    Anybody else on here from countries with parliamentary systems? How long does it usually take to form a government? I'd guess when one party has a majority, it's a day or two, but when you have to form a coalition, presumably longer.


    The important message from this lesson is that governments are universally redundant. Their only use is to give bossy pricks something to do to make them feel important.
    Don't forget about the busy-bodies who want to ban every benign thing you do because it doesn't please their god/philosophy/moronosity.
  • hoodaticus 2011-07-05 15:17
    frits:
    The moral of the story is that TRWTF is France, right?
    No?
    Drats.
    Sure it is! Those arrogant fucks even have their own calendar. I think we're in the year 220 or something thereabouts.
  • Matt Westwood 2011-07-05 15:20
    MMM:
    TRWTF is running the report generation software with admin rights.


    As a guess it went:

    "Here's your progra-yum, boys."

    "Putain de merde! La programme ne fonctionne pas!"

    "Ah yeah, looks li-yuk you gotta be *admin* to run thay-at report."

    "Mais pourquoi? Cela n'est pas sans risque!"

    "Yeah, but hey-ull, Bubba's gawn an' fall'n *asleep* again, y'all ..."

    (Gallic shrug, mutter under breath: "Scheisskopf ...")
  • Meep 2011-07-05 15:23
    SeySayux:
    Someone who can't be bothered to login from work:
    Meep:
    Zebedee:
    It was fairly obvious from the first sentence that this was going to have something to do with the unusual way Americans represent dates.


    Ah, as opposed to the international standard of yymmdd, or, wait, is it ddmmyy?

    It just breaks my heart that I'm not a European and don't have a bunch of obsessive compulsive Belgian bureaucrats to regulate every fucking aspect of my life.


    Belgium can't regulate anything, they can't even elect a government right now. Seriously, they went for nearly eight months without one. They might still be without one for all I know.

    I'm sure the US and everywhere else in the world has its own fair share of stupid bureaucratic laws anyway.


    1) Actually, the elections are over, it's the government formation that's taking a long time. But I guess that's a tad difficult to understand for an American that's used to a two-party winner-takes-all system.
    2) The government formations are taking almost 13 months now and still counting. Wikipedia has a nice article about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010%E2%80%932011_Belgian_government_formation

    Next time you bash Belgium, please study it first. Thanks.


    But to recap: he's saying Belgium can't regulate anything, and you're countering by saying that they're just lost in the sauce because of months of pointless negotiations just to form a government, but soon they'll gear up to start producing unbelievable quantities of red tape.

    Is there a point to this? I mean, will you ever have enough regulation, enough laws and enough welfare?
  • Matt Westwood 2011-07-05 15:23
    C-Octothorpe:
    trwtf:
    Jellineck:
    "Yes, I am an US-ian"

    Since you are unable to use the correct demonym for a citizen of the US, who really cares that you have your own special way(within the context of your countrymen) to say the date.


    The correct term, of course, is "USonian.


    Really? I thought it was pronounced "'merican, from the you ess ov ey"

    *ducks*


    Close, it's "merkin". (GIYF btw)
  • ContraCorners 2011-07-05 15:23
    Bombomil (guest):
    Here in The Netherlands we swap, when speaking, some of the digits in the value. Like 21 becomes een-en-twintig (one-and-twenty). If the value has 4 digits we often pronounce it as a number of hundreds. This means that something like 2345 becomes drie-en-twintig honderd, vijf-en-veertig (three-and-twenty hundreds, five-and-fourty).

    I would just *love* to see that expressed in computer-programming (most, but not all pairs of digits swapped). It would make a language as white-space an easy one to decipher. :-)

    Oh, by the way: wasn't yesterday "the fourth of july" for you guys ? :-p

    It does seem that most of us guys say "the fourth of july(sic)." However, it's not as universal as you Europeans seem to think it is. There are always lots of media outlets who will say and write "the July fourth holiday" when describing how us guys will spend (or have spent) the holiday.

    Here are a few examples: http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGHP_enUS433US433&q=%22july+4th+holiday%22
  • hoodaticus 2011-07-05 15:25
    C-Octothorpe:
    I congratulate and feel bad for you at the same time for having enough exposure to VBA that the first thought you had was the 'Date =' "feature".
    Yes, I'm at the beginning of a project to rewrite a ginormous transaction processing engine written in VBA. Can you tell I'm crying right now? 14 page long subroutines sans indentation. GOTO everywhere. Horrible variable naming. SQL queries written with VBA function calls in the query string.

    My goal is to turn it into a highly-abstract class library with lambda expressions and iterators all over the place. That should frighten off anyone like the person who wrote the goddamn thing in the first place.
  • Matt Westwood 2011-07-05 15:26
    hoodaticus:
    Matt Westwood:
    Julius Caesar:
    SeySayux:

    1) Actually, the elections are over, it's the government formation that's taking a long time. But I guess that's a tad difficult to understand for an American that's used to a two-party winner-takes-all system.
    2) The government formations are taking almost 13 months now and still counting. Wikipedia has a nice article about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010%E2%80%932011_Belgian_government_formation

    Next time you bash Belgium, please study it first. Thanks.


    As an American, I admit I'm not all that familiar with parliamentary governments. But 13 months to form a government? I think after Britain's last election it took them about a week, and usually it's a matter of a couple of days. Israel may have the most parties in their parliament of any country -- I read once that Israel has NEVER had a majority government, not sure if that's true -- and they're constitutionally limited to 45 days to form a government.

    Anybody else on here from countries with parliamentary systems? How long does it usually take to form a government? I'd guess when one party has a majority, it's a day or two, but when you have to form a coalition, presumably longer.


    The important message from this lesson is that governments are universally redundant. Their only use is to give bossy pricks something to do to make them feel important.
    Don't forget about the busy-bodies who want to ban every benign thing you do because it doesn't please their god/philosophy/moronosity.


    Religion became redundant the moment the police force was invented.
  • ContraCorners 2011-07-05 15:27
    HP PhaserJet:
    Zebedee:
    That's interesting, most people in the UK would say two thousand and eleven. How would you say the year 2000, twenty-hundred?


    You're misunderstanding the pattern, the pattern is what way is shortest.

    We'd say it "Two-thou-sand" because it has fewer syllables than "Twen-ty-hund-red".

    And we say "Twen-ty-ele-ven" because it has fewer syllables than "Two-thou-sand-and-ele-ven".

    When it comes to informal language, I think this shortest-way pattern is acceptable. You just used a contraction. Are you going to start throwing apostrophe's everywhere.
    I agree, but shouldn't it be el-le-ven with 3 syllables?
  • Matt Westwood 2011-07-05 15:29
    ContraCorners:
    HP PhaserJet:
    Zebedee:
    That's interesting, most people in the UK would say two thousand and eleven. How would you say the year 2000, twenty-hundred?


    You're misunderstanding the pattern, the pattern is what way is shortest.

    We'd say it "Two-thou-sand" because it has fewer syllables than "Twen-ty-hund-red".

    And we say "Twen-ty-ele-ven" because it has fewer syllables than "Two-thou-sand-and-ele-ven".

    When it comes to informal language, I think this shortest-way pattern is acceptable. You just used a contraction. Are you going to start throwing apostrophe's everywhere.
    I agree, but shouldn't it be el-le-ven with 3 syllables?


    Nope. It's: "Twen-ny-lev-ven".
  • hoodaticus 2011-07-05 15:29
    Matt Westwood:
    MMM:
    TRWTF is running the report generation software with admin rights.


    As a guess it went:

    "Here's your progra-yum, boys."

    "Putain de merde! La programme ne fonctionne pas!"

    "Ah yeah, looks li-yuk you gotta be *admin* to run thay-at report."

    "Mais pourquoi? Cela n'est pas sans risque!"

    "Yeah, but hey-ull, Bubba's gawn an' fall'n *asleep* again, y'all ..."

    (Gallic shrug, mutter under breath: "Scheisskopf ...")
    What privileges are required for doing COM again?
  • C-Octothorpe 2011-07-05 15:31
    hoodaticus:
    C-Octothorpe:
    I congratulate and feel bad for you at the same time for having enough exposure to VBA that the first thought you had was the 'Date =' "feature".
    Yes, I'm at the beginning of a project to rewrite a ginormous transaction processing engine written in VBA. Can you tell I'm crying right now? 14 page long subroutines sans indentation. GOTO everywhere. Horrible variable naming. SQL queries written with VBA function calls in the query string.

    My goal is to turn it into a highly-abstract class library with lambda expressions and iterators all over the place. That should frighten off anyone like the person who wrote the goddamn thing in the first place.


    Throw in a coupla' Funcs and some events, and they'll swear it's the work of the devil. (not saying that your *not* evil though)
  • C-Octothorpe 2011-07-05 15:34
    Matt Westwood:
    C-Octothorpe:
    trwtf:
    Jellineck:
    "Yes, I am an US-ian"

    Since you are unable to use the correct demonym for a citizen of the US, who really cares that you have your own special way(within the context of your countrymen) to say the date.


    The correct term, of course, is "USonian.


    Really? I thought it was pronounced "'merican, from the you ess ov ey"

    *ducks*


    Close, it's "merkin". (GIYF btw)


    What? I looked up merkin and found that it used to be a wig worn by prositutes after shaving their genitalia.

    Ah, I see what you did there...
  • Ton 2011-07-05 15:34
    We need a 'like' option for posts... or in this particular case: a 'ftw!' option...
  • Pete 2011-07-05 15:35
    hoodaticus:
    Lucent:
    SeySayux:

    1) Actually, the elections are over, it's the government formation that's taking a long time. But I guess that's a tad difficult to understand for an American that's used to a two-party winner-takes-all system.
    2) The government formations are taking almost 13 months now and still counting. Wikipedia has a nice article about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010%E2%80%932011_Belgian_government_formation

    Next time you bash Belgium, please study it first. Thanks.

    PS. This does not make me a "Belgium fanboy". It does make me a Belgian, though.


    To be frank, expecting Americans to know the details of how the Belgian system works, even though Belgians are familiar with the American system, is like complaining that you know everything about some celebrity's personal life and work, but he doesn't even know your name. How inconsiderate!
    I propose a trade. We'll adopt international dates when the international community adopts our language. I mean outside of navigation, aviation, software, entertainment, and contracts, where it has already been adopted.

    It isn't your language
  • Ton 2011-07-05 15:35
    Ton:
    We need a 'like' option for posts... or in this particular case: a 'ftw!' option...


    Argh. I meant to quote "Yup. Just like that grand American holiday, "July the 4th," that we just saw... ".
  • Matt Westwood 2011-07-05 15:41
    Ton:
    Ton:
    We need a 'like' option for posts... or in this particular case: a 'ftw!' option...


    Argh. I meant to quote "Yup. Just like that grand American holiday, "July the 4th," that we just saw... ".


    As a Brit in the US one 4th of July, I was asked by a native how we celebrate 4th of July in Britain.
  • dkf 2011-07-05 15:43
    David Emery:
    strongly typed objects
    Are they the ones where you bash the keyboard extra hard when writing them?
  • Flash 2011-07-05 15:44
    HP PhaserJet:


    You just used a contraction. Are you going to start throwing apostrophe's everywhere.

    Are you going to start throwing apostrophes everywhere?

    FTFY
  • Rodger C. 2011-07-05 15:51
    You have a point there. Months are pretty worthless as units (arbitrary, inconsistent...), and there's no real reason to have them to begin with. Why not just have a 365-day year, and do billing cycles by 4 weeks?
  • ContraCorners 2011-07-05 15:51
    Kev:
    Bort:
    It's because when you say the date out loud, you don't say "5th July." You say "July 5th."


    But you say "the 4th of July" (or at least the New York Times does), and we do actually say things like "the 5th of July Two Thousand and Eleven" here in the civilised world ;o)
    Is that what the New York Times does? Really?

    How do you explain this then?

    http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stories/142094/many-new-yorkers-beach-bound-this-holiday-weekend

    Damn...wrong link and can't delete. Ignore this for now. Sorry.
  • Stephen Cleary 2011-07-05 16:07
    MeRp:
    kikito:
    That mm/dd/yyyy and dd/mm/yyyy business is just a blasphemous invention from devil itself.

    There is only One True Date Format and that is yyyy-mm-dd.


    There is only One True Date Format and that is x, where x is the number of seconds since Jan 1, 1970.


    Ha! Your meager OTDF still falls prey to the dreaded threats of Leap Seconds, Time Zones, Daylight Saving Time! (that's "Summer Time" for our friends across the pond)

    There is only One True Date Format and that is (x, y), where x is the number of weeks since January 6, 1980; and y is the millisecond offset into that week starting from midnight (UTC, not including leap seconds since January 6, 1980).
  • Coyne 2011-07-05 16:09
    Ahhhh...yes! The old application destroys operating system problem class. Brings back memories.

    On the HP/3000 line of computers, back when MPE III was the proprietary operating system, we had what were called "system failures". These occurred, usually, when the operating system discovered it had "immolated itself", such as by trying to deadlock itself; or by corrupting a critical system table; or by terminating its own memory manager; and etc.

    We had a BASIC interpreter on this system that had a list command used to list source lines. If you tried to list lines that didn't exist, you would get something like this:

      > LIST 1-5 
    
    LINE NOT FOUND

    Repeat your erroneous command 4 times in a row (yeah, why would you, but users are called "lusers" for a reason) and the result would be a System Failure.

    Why? No idea. HP fixed the problem in the next version of the O/S, without providing any insight.

    But (as you might imagine) it's kind of...undesirable...to have the lusers on a time-sharing system be able to bring a whole system down by typing an erroneous user-application command 4 times in a row.
  • C-Octothorpe 2011-07-05 16:10
    Stephen Cleary:
    MeRp:
    kikito:
    That mm/dd/yyyy and dd/mm/yyyy business is just a blasphemous invention from devil itself.

    There is only One True Date Format and that is yyyy-mm-dd.


    There is only One True Date Format and that is x, where x is the number of seconds since Jan 1, 1970.


    Ha! Your meager OTDF still falls prey to the dreaded threats of Leap Seconds, Time Zones, Daylight Saving Time! (that's "Summer Time" for our friends across the pond)

    There is only One True Date Format and that is (x, y), where x is the number of weeks since January 6, 1980; and y is the millisecond offset into that week starting from midnight (UTC, not including leap seconds since January 6, 1980).


    And the biggest benefit is that it's human readable.
  • Coyne 2011-07-05 16:12
    Bryan the K:
    TL;DR
    The real WTF is VB amirite?

    First??


    No, the real WTF is functions that outlive their usefulness. Setting the date from Microsoft Basic (yeah, about 99 versions ago) was useful on the IBM PC, or even the IBM PC AT.

    It is more hazardous than useful these days. Yet it survives: An obsolete function looking for a place to happen.
  • Don L 2011-07-05 16:25
    In Danish, we count
    ....eighteen, nineteen, twenty, one-and-twenty, two-and-twenty, three-and-twenty etc. So we're using "middle endian" with numbers: "one thousand nine hundred four and eighty" (but "nineteen hundred four and eighty" when talking about calendar dates).

    And the names for 10^n, where n is an integer and 5<=n<=9, are actually named after the number's multiplum of 20.
    So 50 is actually "half-third-times-twenty" and 80 is "four-times-twenty".

    Not that any of you care.

    At least it's better than the old British monetary system where you had to do Mod(x, 12) constantly.... :-)
  • Meep 2011-07-05 16:25
    Matt Westwood:
    Ton:
    Ton:
    We need a 'like' option for posts... or in this particular case: a 'ftw!' option...


    Argh. I meant to quote "Yup. Just like that grand American holiday, "July the 4th," that we just saw... ".


    As a Brit in the US one 4th of July, I was asked by a native how we celebrate 4th of July in Britain.


    What an idiot. Anyone who's been to the Merrye Olde Englande knows you can't have fireworks when it's always raining.
  • Meep 2011-07-05 16:33
    Coyne:
    Bryan the K:
    TL;DR
    The real WTF is VB amirite?

    First??


    No, the real WTF is functions that outlive their usefulness.


    Nah, it's VB. BASIC had a fairly straightforward design: everything was a statement. Statements were control, assignment, or input/output.

    Newer BASICs took out the LET keyword, so now you had assignments, control statements and IO statements.

    VB then decides that some system calls will be done via an assignment, completely breaking the model. Ergo, TRWTF is VB, since even BASIC with its obsolescence got it right.
  • Matt Westwood 2011-07-05 16:38
    Meep:
    Matt Westwood:
    Ton:
    Ton:
    We need a 'like' option for posts... or in this particular case: a 'ftw!' option...


    Argh. I meant to quote "Yup. Just like that grand American holiday, "July the 4th," that we just saw... ".


    As a Brit in the US one 4th of July, I was asked by a native how we celebrate 4th of July in Britain.


    What an idiot. Anyone who's been to the Merrye Olde Englande knows you can't have fireworks when it's always raining.

    +1 (with a guffaw)

    nah, us Brits are far more gung-ho than that. We deliberately hold our fireworks night right in the middle of the rainy season (5th November, so as to celebrate the almost-success of one of our more popular anarchists who spectacularly failed in his attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament - the UK equivalent of the White House - because his gunpowder was damp). We have learned from those days to make our fireworks superior to those of most other nations by making them waterproof.

    Till you've been to a proper Bonfire Night party in Britain you haven't lived. The birthrate rockets (no pun intended) around the beginning of August.
  • Bhaadhwaal Ghanash Ullamcharphar 2011-07-05 16:38
    Where I come from we use this format:

    yyy-ddd-q-w-YYY-g-ddd-ll-7

    yyy -> last three digits of the year
    ddd -> abbreviation of the day of the week
    q -> current quarter
    w -> day of the week
    YYY -> the first three digits of the year
    g -> current incarnation of ganash
    ddd -> the day again, in case you forgot it
    ll -> the number of days lindsay lohan has not appeared in court, so far two digits have been sufficient
    7 -> 7 goes here, forgot why, but everyone does it
  • Matt Westwood 2011-07-05 16:41
    Bhaadhwaal Ghanash Ullamcharphar:
    Where I come from we use this format:

    yyy-ddd-q-w-YYY-g-ddd-ll-7

    yyy -> last three digits of the year
    ddd -> abbreviation of the day of the week
    q -> current quarter
    w -> day of the week
    YYY -> the first three digits of the year
    g -> current incarnation of ganash
    ddd -> the day again, in case you forgot it
    ll -> the number of days lindsay lohan has not appeared in court, so far two digits have been sufficient
    7 -> 7 goes here, forgot why, but everyone does it


    I'm okay with all of this except "w". Which day does the week start? Sunday or Monday? Or Wednesday? Or what? (Can't remember which d.o.w is sacred to Ganesh.)
  • Hortical 2011-07-05 16:42
    Matt Westwood:
    Till you've been to a proper Bonfire Night party in Britain you haven't lived. The birthrate rockets (no pun intended) around the beginning of August.


    "...you haven't lived..." Yes, I'm sure everything you have is better than everything everyone else has.
  • jmt 2011-07-05 16:42
    When I went to visit an old cemetery here in Finland, I noticed that the OTDF is actually "YY dd/mm YY" where the numbers for the year are actually much larger than the others. On even older gravestones the day and month are on top of each other and the month is expressed in Roman numerals.

    I would like to see some software that would support that beautiful style.
  • John 2011-07-05 16:45
    TRWTF is working with formatted dates.... Use a goddamn time-stamp and do the formatting (and DST, timezones etc.) only when presenting a date to the user. Geez...
  • Hortical 2011-07-05 16:46
    Matt Westwood:
    hoodaticus:
    Matt Westwood:
    The important message from this lesson is that governments are universally redundant. Their only use is to give bossy pricks something to do to make them feel important.

    Don't forget about the busy-bodies who want to ban every benign thing you do because it doesn't please their god/philosophy/moronosity.

    Religion became redundant the moment the police force was invented.

    *facepalm*
  • Matt Westwood 2011-07-05 16:47
    Hortical:
    Matt Westwood:
    Till you've been to a proper Bonfire Night party in Britain you haven't lived. The birthrate rockets (no pun intended) around the beginning of August.


    "...you haven't lived..." Yes, I'm sure everything you have is better than everything everyone else has.


    But of course. We rule the world, always did, always will.
  • Stephen Cleary 2011-07-05 16:48
    C-Octothorpe:
    Stephen Cleary:
    MeRp:
    kikito:
    That mm/dd/yyyy and dd/mm/yyyy business is just a blasphemous invention from devil itself.

    There is only One True Date Format and that is yyyy-mm-dd.


    There is only One True Date Format and that is x, where x is the number of seconds since Jan 1, 1970.


    Ha! Your meager OTDF still falls prey to the dreaded threats of Leap Seconds, Time Zones, Daylight Saving Time! (that's "Summer Time" for our friends across the pond)

    There is only One True Date Format and that is (x, y), where x is the number of weeks since January 6, 1980; and y is the millisecond offset into that week starting from midnight (UTC, not including leap seconds since January 6, 1980).


    And the biggest benefit is that it's human readable.


    It's second-biggest benefit is that it's unambiguous for all pre-1980 dates as well as modern dates.
  • boog 2011-07-05 17:17
    Pete:
    hoodaticus:
    We'll adopt international dates when the international community adopts our language.

    It isn't your language
    As badly as we've mangled it over the years, you still want it?
  • boog 2011-07-05 17:19
    C-Octothorpe:
    hoodaticus:
    ...I'm at the beginning of a project to rewrite a ginormous transaction processing engine written in VBA. Can you tell I'm crying right now? 14 page long subroutines sans indentation. GOTO everywhere. Horrible variable naming. SQL queries written with VBA function calls in the query string.

    My goal is to turn it into a highly-abstract class library with lambda expressions and iterators all over the place. That should frighten off anyone like the person who wrote the goddamn thing in the first place.

    Throw in a coupla' Funcs...
    I'm not sure if that's necessary.

    From his description, it sounds funky enough.
  • boog 2011-07-05 17:36
    Gary:
    Duh! Just run the reports on Jan 1, Feb 2, March 3, etc.
    A valid solution; as valid as running single-page reports twice or rebooting.
  • ~~ 2011-07-05 18:00
    Eeeeee... Function parameters' order depending on the system locale? Is everybody sane there in VB land?
  • Spoe 2011-07-05 18:10
    At least we're only partially backwards, not completely like DD-MM-YYYY. The only logical way is biggest to smallest: YYYY-MM-DD.
  • Mark 2011-07-05 18:20
    What is this "entire world" of which you speak?

    When you go from Los Angeles to New York following the sun. It's sometimes referred to as "Hawaii" I think ;-)
  • ~~ 2011-07-05 18:29
    Spoe:
    At least we're only partially backwards, not completely like DD-MM-YYYY.
    This is of a much help when one tries to read 01-12-2011 (better yet - 01-12-11). In any case - both - sorted alphabetically - give bizarre results of sorted by day or by month.
  • pjt33 2011-07-05 18:32
    Meep:
    Bryan the K:
    TL;DR
    The real WTF is VB amirite?


    It really is VBA. A simple assignment to a common word changes system state, in an embedded language. Unbelievable.

    Worse than that: it doesn't even require the assignment to be of the correct type, but parses a string!

    Matt Westwood:
    As a Brit in the US one 4th of July, I was asked by a native how we celebrate 4th of July in Britain.

    I hope you told him the truth. Lots of Brits lie and say that we don't celebrate it because they're too embarrassed to admit that we call it Thanksgiving and have a second cup of tea with our cucumber sandwiches at 4p.m. to celebrate not being responsible for the current clowns competing for the White House.
  • eric76 2011-07-05 18:41
    Matt Westwood:
    Ton:
    Ton:
    We need a 'like' option for posts... or in this particular case: a 'ftw!' option...


    Argh. I meant to quote "Yup. Just like that grand American holiday, "July the 4th," that we just saw... ".


    As a Brit in the US one 4th of July, I was asked by a native how we celebrate 4th of July in Britain.
    Don't you spend the day on the Ben-my-Chree traveling to the Isle of Man so you can be there on July 5th to celebrate Tynwald Day?
  • Beta 2011-07-05 19:10
    boog:
    "You could also reboot."
    Translation: "I can't figure out what's wrong, but could you leave me alone for a while?"

    "...And then call back and bother someone else?"
  • A Kiwi 2011-07-05 19:20
    I (and other non-Americans) DO say 5th July. Bad assumption mate!
  • Pedant 2011-07-05 19:31
    Matt Westwood:
    Meep:
    Matt Westwood:
    Ton:
    Ton:
    We need a 'like' option for posts... or in this particular case: a 'ftw!' option...


    Argh. I meant to quote "Yup. Just like that grand American holiday, "July the 4th," that we just saw... ".


    As a Brit in the US one 4th of July, I was asked by a native how we celebrate 4th of July in Britain.


    What an idiot. Anyone who's been to the Merrye Olde Englande knows you can't have fireworks when it's always raining.

    +1 (with a guffaw)

    nah, us Brits are far more gung-ho than that. We deliberately hold our fireworks night right in the middle of the rainy season (5th November, so as to celebrate the almost-success of one of our more popular anarchists who spectacularly failed in his attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament - the UK equivalent of the White House - because his gunpowder was damp). We have learned from those days to make our fireworks superior to those of most other nations by making them waterproof.

    Till you've been to a proper Bonfire Night party in Britain you haven't lived. The birthrate rockets (no pun intended) around the beginning of August.


    Actually, the Houses of Parliament are the UK equivalent of the Capitol. 10 Downing Street is the equivalent of the White House.
  • Zebedee 2011-07-05 19:36
    Matt Westwood:
    Zebedee:
    HP PhaserJet:
    Zebedee:
    That's interesting, most people in the UK would say two thousand and eleven. How would you say the year 2000, twenty-hundred?


    You're misunderstanding the pattern, the pattern is what way is shortest.

    We'd say it "Two-thou-sand" because it has fewer syllables than "Twen-ty-hund-red".

    And we say "Twen-ty-ele-ven" because it has fewer syllables than "Two-thou-sand-and-ele-ven".

    When it comes to informal language, I think this shortest-way pattern is acceptable. You just used a contraction. Are you going to start throwing apostrophe's everywhere.


    Well I'll forgive myself for misunderstanding the pattern, having been given only one sample to work from. And it's not me that introduced the contraction:

    1900 - Nineteen hundred
    1911 - Nineteen (hundred and) eleven
    2000 - Twenty hundred
    2011 - Twenty (hundred and) eleven

    That follows a pattern.

    The UK way:

    1900 - Nineteen hundred
    1911 - Nineteen (hundred and)eleven
    2000 - Two Thousand
    2011 - Two thousand and eleven

    Your way:

    2000 - Two Thousand
    2011 - Twenty (hundred and) eleven

    Even less syllables:

    2011 - Two (thousand and) eleven



    Okay, as an exercise for the advanced student - express:

    1901
    2001

    in UK, American, Dutch and Zebedee format.


    Damn you! You are right, nineteen hundred and oh-one does not fit the pattern (nineteen-hundred-and-oh-one makes no sense), but I would still say two-thousand-and-one. BTW, has anyone figured out what to call that decade yet? Or even this one?
  • Rookierookie 2011-07-05 19:41
    5th of July.

    What's wrong with you?
  • Zebedee 2011-07-05 19:42
    Zebedee:
    nineteen hundred and oh-one does not fit the pattern (nineteen-hundred-and-oh-one makes no sense), but I would still say two-thousand-and-one. BTW, has anyone figured out what to call that decade yet? Or even this one?


    That should have read 'nineteen oh-one does not fit the pattern'
  • Dirk 2011-07-05 19:49
    Bort:
    It's because when you say the date out loud, you don't say "5th July." You say "July 5th."
    Ummm... which holiday did you just celebrate? Say it out loud bitch.
  • Sutherlands 2011-07-05 20:12
    Dirk:
    Bort:
    It's because when you say the date out loud, you don't say "5th July." You say "July 5th."
    Ummm... which holiday did you just celebrate? Say it out loud bitch.
    IN-DE-PEN-DENCE-DAY.

    I don't get it.
  • distracted 2011-07-05 20:14
    Dirk:
    Bort:
    It's because when you say the date out loud, you don't say "5th July." You say "July 5th."
    Ummm... which holiday did you just celebrate? Say it out loud bitch.

    "Independence Day"

    Or at least that's the response I got when I challenged someone on this same question a few years ago.
  • Post Master General 2011-07-05 20:16
    Zebedee:
    BTW, has anyone figured out what to call that decade yet? Or even this one?


    That was the oughts. This is the teens.
  • Shinobu 2011-07-05 20:25
    The real WTF is that the date assignment line in question is a no-op on American systems. What kind of superstition made people add it in is beyond me.
    Also, if your users tell you that your software does X, and you don't know how to do X in the programming language / runtime you're using, look it up.
    Steve The Cynic:
    Oh, and it has dead-keys for accents. That's lame on any keyboard layout.
    It sure beats AltGr+impossible to remember letter, or Alt+impossible to remember numerical code. Still, I prefer the US International layout to AZERTY.

    Bonus historical note: DATE$ = <value> was already present in GW-BASIC. In VB properties were introduced and the DATE$ function and DATE$ = statement were turned into the Date property, although VB4's help file still talks about the Date function and the Date statement. (These pages are cross-linked from the other date-time functions, so the developers have no excuse. In particular the Date function page, where they probably got their date in the first place, reads: To set the system date, use the Date statement. A notable doc flaw is that it isn't cross-linked from the Date data type, but judging from the code snippet, the developers didn't use it.)
  • kosh 2011-07-05 20:41
    The real WTF is that the bug report was described as "superstitious" and disbelieved. Because that's a pretty good and specific behavioral description and should've triggered alarm bells.

    The other WTF is that the user had to insist on having someone observe it.
  • Son Of Thor 2011-07-05 21:06
    And while we are at it Stop priting on US letter format.

    If I want to print a web page I dont want the left edge cut off
  • immibis 2011-07-05 21:41
    Bort:
    It's because when you say the date out loud, you don't say "5th July." You say "July 5th."

    No, I say "the 5th of July"
  • Scarlet Manuka 2011-07-05 22:20
    paul:
    So now if I try to localize my program using built-in date functions, I have to fucking worry about the order of the month and day? Unbelievable.

    I'm not sure where you got this from. If you want to display a date to the user, format it using vbLongDate or vbShortDate as appropriate, which use the long and short date formats defined in regional settings. (There are also vbGeneralDate, vbLongTime and vbShortTime formats, all of which use the user's settings.) The problem is lazy developers who hardcode the date format to whatever they're used to.

    ~~:
    Eeeeee... Function parameters' order depending on the system locale? Is everybody sane there in VB land?

    There was only one function parameter in this instance: the date to which you want the system date to be set. The programmer just assembled a string in his favourite date order and hit the Date function with it, so the Date function did its best to interpret it. If he'd used a Date object, or even a string formatted with the system setting, there'd have been no problem.

    But it's highly likely, as others have mentioned, that the programmer didn't intend to be calling Date at all in this code - rather, he probably intended to use a local variable to store a formatted string. Multiple fails here still, including using a variable with the same name as an inbuilt function, (presumably) omitting the variable declaration, and not using the regional settings to format your date string.
  • 23 2011-07-05 23:23
    "Actually, the Houses of Parliament are the UK equivalent of the Capitol. 10 Downing Street is the equivalent of the White House."

    Wrong, sorry. The White House is the residence of the US head of state. In the UK the head of state is the queen, so the approximate equivalent of the White House would be Buckingham Palace.
  • Earp 2011-07-06 00:34
    'Hold up. The developer was able to confirm the problem, and then just shrugged and said "no apparent root cause" and went on his way? A bug like this is easy to track down -- attach the debugger remotely and use binary search to find out where the date change happens.'

    Exactly. The REAL WTF is that the tech had a confirmed, reproducible issue, and instead of solving it (which would have involved *shock* actual diagnosis) fobbed the users off with a crappy workaround for over a year.

    Sounds like a first level support drone who will never get to any other role (hopefully).
  • Arvind 2011-07-06 01:17
    TRWTF is the We All Live In America attitude. Seriously, why would it take THREE YEARS to identify that it was an issue with the date format?
  • Kiss me I'm Polish 2011-07-06 01:56
    23:
    "Actually, the Houses of Parliament are the UK equivalent of the Capitol. 10 Downing Street is the equivalent of the White House."

    Wrong, sorry. The White House is the residence of the US head of state. In the UK the head of state is the queen, so the approximate equivalent of the White House would be Buckingham Palace.
    the US president holds both head of the state and prime minister functions, so the equivalent would be Buckingham Palace AND 10 Downing Street.
  • Trevor 2011-07-06 02:32
    Interesting that for really "important" dates they go back to the British method.
  • Simon 2011-07-06 02:41
    Someone who can't be bothered to login from work:
    Belgium can't regulate anything, they can't even elect a government right now. Seriously, they went for nearly eight months without one. They might still be without one for all I know.


    And are probably functioning at least as well as the rest of us...
  • Matt Westwood 2011-07-06 02:57
    Post Master General:
    Zebedee:
    BTW, has anyone figured out what to call that decade yet? Or even this one?


    That was the oughts. This is the teens.


    Last decade was generally referred to by the press in the UK as the "noughties". I suppose "teens" will do for this one.
  • ~~ 2011-07-06 03:00
    Scarlet Manuka:
    ~~:
    Eeeeee... Function parameters' order depending on the system locale? Is everybody sane there in VB land?

    There was only one function parameter in this instance: the date to which you want the system date to be set. The programmer just assembled a string in his favourite date order and hit the Date function with it, so the Date function did its best to interpret it.

    And this is insane for the date function to interpret the input without means to validate its guesses, and changing the system configuration on that. In any case localizing the functions' input is just as sane, as localizing the programming language (some Access version had it... Imagine changing the system language...). This function tries to combine the business logic and the presentation, and nicely fails. Surprisingly, only in one place.

    Scarlet Manuka:
    If he'd used a Date object, or even a string formatted with the system setting, there'd have been no problem.
    Probably, but this is wishful thinking. He should at least have been warned.

    Scarlet Manuka:
    But it's highly likely, as others have mentioned, that the programmer didn't intend to be calling Date at all in this code - rather, he probably intended to use a local variable to store a formatted string. Multiple fails here still, including using a variable with the same name as an inbuilt function, (presumably) omitting the variable declaration, and not using the regional settings to format your date string.
    True, the developer made bunch of mistakes. And no warning from the interpreter? No screams from the code validator? Anything goes?

    So far we have:
    - function making wild guesses on it's input and modifying system time on the result,
    - function that breaks BL/presentation separation,
    - environment/language hiding errors from developers,
    - and the sloppy/inexperienced/tired/... developer.
    Still see it more as a failure of VB, than the developer.
  • Matt Westwood 2011-07-06 03:01
    Scarlet Manuka:
    paul:
    So now if I try to localize my program using built-in date functions, I have to fucking worry about the order of the month and day? Unbelievable.

    I'm not sure where you got this from. If you want to display a date to the user, format it using vbLongDate or vbShortDate as appropriate, which use the long and short date formats defined in regional settings. (There are also vbGeneralDate, vbLongTime and vbShortTime formats, all of which use the user's settings.) The problem is lazy developers who hardcode the date format to whatever they're used to.

    ~~:
    Eeeeee... Function parameters' order depending on the system locale? Is everybody sane there in VB land?

    There was only one function parameter in this instance: the date to which you want the system date to be set. The programmer just assembled a string in his favourite date order and hit the Date function with it, so the Date function did its best to interpret it. If he'd used a Date object, or even a string formatted with the system setting, there'd have been no problem.

    But it's highly likely, as others have mentioned, that the programmer didn't intend to be calling Date at all in this code - rather, he probably intended to use a local variable to store a formatted string. Multiple fails here still, including using a variable with the same name as an inbuilt function, (presumably) omitting the variable declaration, and not using the regional settings to format your date string.


    ... and failure to respond to the alarm bell (alluded to but not stated explicitly elsewhere) that the program would only run when the user was configured as "administrator".
  • David Martensson 2011-07-06 03:04
    Meep:
    Zebedee:
    It was fairly obvious from the first sentence that this was going to have something to do with the unusual way Americans represent dates.


    Ah, as opposed to the international standard of yymmdd, or, wait, is it ddmmyy?

    It just breaks my heart that I'm not a European and don't have a bunch of obsessive compulsive Belgian bureaucrats to regulate every fucking aspect of my life.


    Either YYMMDD or DDMMYY is logical, start with most significant value (year) or most precise value (day).

    The American format with month first is due to their way of saying dates in spoken language, "October 5th, 2011".

    Also, in computer situations you should always go for SQL standard, "YYYY-MM-DD hh:ii:ss" that will as far as I have seen work in any situation no matter what language you work with and it is unambiguous.
  • Guido 2011-07-06 03:20
    Step 1: Reproduce Bug by setting French localization on Test/Developer System (pretty obvious to most developers)
    Step 2: Reduce functionality until bug disappears
    Step 3: Isolate just removed functionality through separate test
    Step 4: Repeat Steps 2 and 3 until epiphany occurs

    Shouldn't take that long...
  • Banaan 2011-07-06 03:23
    luptatum:
    Anyone speaking ISO (yyyy-mm-dd) btw.?


    I am, because that, at least, is numeric sortable.

    TRWTF is ofcourse a function that takes values that are dependant on language settings, instead of taking either ISO/Epoch, or forcing to enter a date format.
  • Kempeth 2011-07-06 03:24
    Matt Westwood:
    Hortical:
    Matt Westwood:
    Till you've been to a proper Bonfire Night party in Britain you haven't lived. The birthrate rockets (no pun intended) around the beginning of August.


    "...you haven't lived..." Yes, I'm sure everything you have is better than everything everyone else has.


    But of course. We rule the world, always did, always will.


    Yeah. You know that "Special Relationship" they always talk about. They just don't want to admit the US is still a colony... ;-p

    Also do you have any measurement unit that scales to another through a power of ten? I seriously cannot imagine how one can stay sane working with all those weird units...
  • Blerp 2011-07-06 03:25
    Guido:
    Step 1: Reproduce Bug by setting French localization on Test/Developer System (pretty obvious to most developers)
    Step 2: Reduce functionality until bug disappears
    Step 3: Isolate just removed functionality through separate test
    Step 4: Repeat Steps 2 and 3 until epiphany occurs

    Shouldn't take that long...


    Or confiscate one of the Frenchies PC's and start tracing.
  • Severity One 2011-07-06 03:55
    CDave:
    Severity One:
    Well, the typical American unawareness of people in other countries doing things differently (actually, the entire world doing things differently) is an issue, of course. Well, at least we don't get 'Letter' as standard paper format instead of A4. That's the progress over the last 20 years. Now, if we wouldn't be wouldn't be forced to enter our state, (bit useless if you live in a country with just over 400,000 people) that would be really swell.

    What makes you think Americans should conform to the way you do things? Are you really so arrogant that you can't tolerate any other way of doing things other than your own? Every time I see some arrogant pos like this I thank god my ancestors left the "old" country.

    Yes, and we're quite happy that we got rid of all the religious fanatics, Irish who couldn't get a potato from the ground, or Sicilians who otherwise would have ended up at the business end of a lupara. But I digress.

    The point is, since you're happy to sell your software to us, you should at least make an effort to conform to the standards that we're using, and some of those standards come from a time that you could count the number of US presidents on the fingers of one hand.

    NOBODY outside the USA, Liberia and Burma/Myanmar uses imperial measurements, yet somehow office software think we use inches.

    EVERYBODY with the exception of Japan, Canada, Mexico and the USA use the A-sizes for paper, yet somehow Windows used to think that we use Letter, Legal, etc. Even to this day I get documents, written by European users, that are in the Letter format, because that's what the paper size is set to.

    Now, well a decade into the 21st century, we actually get the standards we use without having to set them manually, and admittedly, it's been like this for a while now.

    But still, if I purchase a game from Steam, I have to fill in my state. Never mind that very few countries outside the USA use this. If you send a letter to someone in Cologne, do you have to specify that it is in North Rhine-Westphalia? Not bloody likely.

    And even though Germany has states, the country I live in is a handful of islands in the middle of the Mediterranean. You can cross it in two hours, and that includes a ferry trip. Not surprisingly, there aren't any states, nor provinces, nor any other layer between the government and local councils (more or less like a county in the USA).

    So no, I'm not being arrogant, I just don't want someone else's standards forced upon me. And that's not an unreasonable thing to ask.
  • inmate 1523412 2011-07-06 04:11
    The rest of the world doesn't matter, because we are in jail.
  • Garmoran 2011-07-06 04:23
    snoofle:
    Tom:
    make dates YYYYMMDD


    +1 This (I do it all the time)


    So do I (and, apparently, many other posters). But we are writing software that has to accept input from users who cannot understand why on earth we would want them to use another date format that they have never seen before. Users in Europe and North America want to read, or enter, the DD/MM/YY or MM/DD/YY format that they are used to.
  • foo 2011-07-06 04:28
    Bryan the K:
    TL;DR
    The real WTF is VB amirite?

    First??


    actually, yes, TRWTF is VB in this case
  • pjt33 2011-07-06 04:28
    Garmoran:
    snoofle:
    Tom:
    make dates YYYYMMDD


    +1 This (I do it all the time)


    So do I (and, apparently, many other posters). But we are writing software that has to accept input from users who cannot understand why on earth we would want them to use another date format that they have never seen before. Users in Europe and North America want to read, or enter, the DD/MM/YY or MM/DD/YY format that they are used to.

    But these are users who wouldn't know what to do with a CLI, so we have no excuse for not making the GUI use a suitably unambiguous control.
  • Bombomill (guest) 2011-07-06 04:46
    Here are a few examples:
    ...

    And the same for you.
    http://www.google.com/search?q=%22fourth+of+july+holiday%22&btnG=Search&hl=en&rlz=1T4GGHP_enUS433US433&sa=2

    Seeing that (both formats used) I have no doubt that even your fellow countrymen get confused when they see an all-numeric date on something (let alone the rest of the world) ...

    Captcha: damnum. Truly a damnum situation to be stuck in.
  • Shrug 2011-07-06 05:09
    Patrick:
    Come on, get real


    You want them to use 2011.3956 instead of counting months and days?

    Damn, shit just got double!
  • Dave 2011-07-06 05:33
    OldCoder:
    Enter State: Furious!


    And now I must show you the angry leg...
  • DDSez 2011-07-06 05:34
    Yep, but not to Americans. They still cant figure out why the whole world uses "the wrong date format"
  • Sir Robin-The-Not-So-Brave 2011-07-06 05:40
    Meep:
    SeySayux:
    Someone who can't be bothered to login from work:
    Meep:
    Zebedee:
    It was fairly obvious from the first sentence that this was going to have something to do with the unusual way Americans represent dates.


    Ah, as opposed to the international standard of yymmdd, or, wait, is it ddmmyy?

    It just breaks my heart that I'm not a European and don't have a bunch of obsessive compulsive Belgian bureaucrats to regulate every fucking aspect of my life.


    Belgium can't regulate anything, they can't even elect a government right now. Seriously, they went for nearly eight months without one. They might still be without one for all I know.

    I'm sure the US and everywhere else in the world has its own fair share of stupid bureaucratic laws anyway.


    1) Actually, the elections are over, it's the government formation that's taking a long time. But I guess that's a tad difficult to understand for an American that's used to a two-party winner-takes-all system.
    2) The government formations are taking almost 13 months now and still counting. Wikipedia has a nice article about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010%E2%80%932011_Belgian_government_formation

    Next time you bash Belgium, please study it first. Thanks.


    But to recap: he's saying Belgium can't regulate anything, and you're countering by saying that they're just lost in the sauce because of months of pointless negotiations just to form a government, but soon they'll gear up to start producing unbelievable quantities of red tape.

    Is there a point to this? I mean, will you ever have enough regulation, enough laws and enough welfare?


    "Belgium" doesn't regulate anything in Europe, that's the work of the Eurocrats who just happen to have their offices in Brussels. The Eurocrats come from all over Europe and are responsible for the rising housing costs on the east side of Brussels.

    Anyway, Belgium has 6 governments: 1 federal government and 5 regional governments. The 5 regional governments work just fine. The problem at the federal level is that only one part of the country wants a smaller federal gov't. The concept of a small federal gov't shouldn't be too unfamiliar to USA-ians (or whatever you peeps want to call yourselves).
  • DDSez 2011-07-06 05:48
    LANMind:
    Severity One:
    Well, the typical American unawareness of people in other countries doing things differently (actually, the entire world doing things differently) is an issue, of course.


    Wrong, we aren't unaware. We just don't give a fsck, because the rest of the world in general - and the French in particular - doesn't matter.


    Yes , but it wont be too long before you start giving a fsck: when China and India start outsourcing to US. Till then, maybe you should give a fcsk about your poor grammar. It should be "beause the rest ... don't matter".
  • Jibble 2011-07-06 05:54
    anon:
    Yea, have to agree with several people, TRWTF is that not one developer bothered testing with their date format switched to DDMMYYYY since it could not have been more obvious it was related to that.


    THIS. Times ten. Not one person was aware that other countries have different date formats and not one of them thought of configuring a machine like a French machine.

    In three years of constant bug reports.

    The fact that VBA lets you change the system time pales into insignificance compared to this.
  • Don 2011-07-06 06:24
    LANMind:
    Wrong, we aren't unaware. We just don't give a fsck, because the rest of the world in general - and the French in particular - doesn't matter.


    Yep. This is the basic issue in the US. I remember back when that Arab guy got killed. It was all over the game forums (run by an American crowd). Seems it was "unusual" that nobody in Europe thought it was great, wonderful, best thing in the world, etc.

    Get over yourselves. Seriously.
  • Justin 2011-07-06 06:31
    So while attemtping to diagnose what is clearly an internationalisation issue (someone in another country reports an issue with dates...) the developers never bothered to try changing thair locale settings?
  • kabelo 2011-07-06 07:00
    Blame it on the american developer --- date('Y-m-d'); or is it date('d-m-Y');
  • Fred 2011-07-06 07:12
    Bort:
    It's because when you say the date out loud, you don't say "5th July." You say "July 5th."


    Define 'You', because I always say 'The 5th of July', as do most people outside of the US (in my experience anyway).
  • Andreas 2011-07-06 07:15
    Bort:
    Bort:
    It's because when you say the date out loud, you don't say "5th July." You say "July 5th."


    Holy shit. Another guy named Bort who was thinking exactly what I was thinking.


    Recent statistics show that Bort is a name commonly given to morons, maybe that could explain some of your surprise?
  • Dorus 2011-07-06 07:20
    I just tried to write down 15 june 1917 13:45:32 in Dutch, the way i pronounce it:
    vijftien juni negentien-zeventien tweeëndertig seconden na kwart voor twee 's middags
    That comes down too:
    5-10 june 9-10-7-10 2-30 seconds after a quarter to two in the afternoon

    Luckely we would write that as:
    15 juni 1917 13:45:32
  • styx 2011-07-06 07:41
    like in nineteen-eightyfive? ;)
  • Severity One 2011-07-06 07:49
    Julius Caesar:
    As an American, I admit I'm not all that familiar with parliamentary governments. But 13 months to form a government?

    Actually, 13 months and still no government yet. Even the Dutch, who like to poke fun at the Belgians, have stopped laughing.

    I think after Britain's last election it took them about a week, and usually it's a matter of a couple of days.

    It was actually a bit longer than that, and that's because there was a 'hung parliament', which is Britspeak for no party having an outright majority.

    Israel may have the most parties in their parliament of any country -- I read once that Israel has NEVER had a majority government, not sure if that's true -- and they're constitutionally limited to 45 days to form a government.

    There's probably a reason for that. Israel must have one of the most messed up political situations in the world. And I'm only talking about their parliament, not about the wider regional conflict.

    Anybody else on here from countries with parliamentary systems? How long does it usually take to form a government? I'd guess when one party has a majority, it's a day or two, but when you have to form a coalition, presumably longer.

    It really depends. Some countries have proportionate representation, others don't. Some countries have an election threshold, others don't. Some countries have a head of state (usually a president, but there are quite a few left monarchs in Europe) with executive power, others don't.

    As a rule, the more parties there are in parliament, the longer it takes a government. Case in point: Belgium has the Christian-democrats, social democrats, liberals (the European meaning of the word), greens, and nationalists. And all of these times two: one in Dutch, and one in French. Plus a couple of fringe parties.

    But the bigger problem in Belgium is that the two main language areas are quite different, both culturally and economically. The biggest issues are that the Flemish (Dutch speaking) generate a higher portion of the GDP than the Walloons (French speaking), and aren't willing to have a flow of money going south. Another issue is the francophonisation of traditionally Dutch-speaking areas around the capital Brussels (which is officially bilingual). And then there are some historical sore points, of when the Flemish were poorer than and discriminated by the Walloons.

    On the other hand, whilst a parliamentary system that relies on coalitions may be more unstable than a presidential system, the government can almost always count on a majority in parliament. (As an example, the Netherlands have a solid reputation for stable government, even though the vast majority of the post-war governments made the full four years between scheduled elections.)

    This is in contrast to the USA, where the Founding Fathers created the state with so many checks and balances that nobody can become too powerful, and as a result, the president and Congress are often in each others' hair.

    This is not to say that one system is better than the other; each has its pros and cons.
  • oh THAT Brian! 2011-07-06 07:55
    Strangely, I had a similar experience. I worked at a large company in a past position and was assigned a relatively simple task, to write a program in VB to give the disk cost for storage. We had a common formula to measure how much it would cost a department to store their files on a network share.

    Everything went well, and I used a standard system API to obtain the free space of the desired network share, performed the calculations and returned the cost to the user to approve.

    I spread the program to numerous testers and it was even included in the beta push of our product. All went well - up to the release.

    Suddenly, my manager was deluged with calls, saying my program was failing. It was traced down to one API call that, if you weren't on the latest service pack of Windows, or hadn't applied a patch, it would fail.

    No problem, I said. They can just update. "They could, but they refuse to" my manager told me. Why? They didn't want to bother with it, was the implication (not said out loud, of course).

    Where were these Luddites?

    France.

    Every other tester - worldwide - had no problems. Because of France, my module was pulled from the project.
  • trtwtf 2011-07-06 08:09
    DDSez:
    LANMind:
    Severity One:
    Well, the typical American unawareness of people in other countries doing things differently (actually, the entire world doing things differently) is an issue, of course.


    Wrong, we aren't unaware. We just don't give a fsck, because the rest of the world in general - and the French in particular - doesn't matter.


    Yes , but it wont be too long before you start giving a fsck: when China and India start outsourcing to US. Till then, maybe you should give a fcsk about your poor grammar. It should be "beause the rest ... don't matter".
  • Master and Commander of the Troll Amry 2011-07-06 08:13
    Well done, Moe. Well done. You managed to slip an article by the moderators containing all of the standard Troll tactics. Europe? Check. Date format? Check. BOFH? Check. VB? Oh, man, you really nailed them with that one.

    I think your set to receive the Medal of Honor, my lad.
  • Spike 2011-07-06 08:16
    1) In code and in storage you always use: YYYYMMDD because it sorts well, it searches fine and you never ever have troubles finding out which date is meant.

    2) To display and to parse input you use the system preferences of the pc you work on: That means 2 little functions to handle the GUI dtIntern => dtDisplay and dtDisplay to dtIntern.

    The Real WTF is that they did over a year talking and searching for something that a good programmer knows within 1.65 seconds after receiving this bugreport. So its not a victory at all, its a shame!
  • Bert Glanstron 2011-07-06 08:19
    Dear Moe,

    In case you can’t tell, this is a grown-up place. The
    fact that you insist on using your ridiculous date format
    clearly shows that you’re too young and too stupid
    to be using VB.

    Go away and grow up.

    Sincerely,
    Bert Glanstron
  • boog 2011-07-06 08:31
    Spike:
    a good programmer knows within 1.65 seconds after receiving this bugreport.

    Whatever. I guess in your opinion, every programmer should be a Jeopardy Champion. Moe is glorified tech support, and not really on that caliber.
  • bjolling 2011-07-06 08:33
    Severity One:

    It really depends. Some countries have proportionate representation, others don't. Some countries have an election threshold, others don't. Some countries have a head of state (usually a president, but there are quite a few left monarchs in Europe) with executive power, others don't.

    As a rule, the more parties there are in parliament, the longer it takes a government. Case in point: Belgium has the Christian-democrats, social democrats, liberals (the European meaning of the word), greens, and nationalists. And all of these times two: one in Dutch, and one in French. Plus a couple of fringe parties.

    But the bigger problem in Belgium is that the two main language areas are quite different, both culturally and economically. The biggest issues are that the Flemish (Dutch speaking) generate a higher portion of the GDP than the Walloons (French speaking), and aren't willing to have a flow of money going south. Another issue is the francophonisation of traditionally Dutch-speaking areas around the capital Brussels (which is officially bilingual). And then there are some historical sore points, of when the Flemish were poorer than and discriminated by the Walloons.

    On the other hand, whilst a parliamentary system that relies on coalitions may be more unstable than a presidential system, the government can almost always count on a majority in parliament. (As an example, the Netherlands have a solid reputation for stable government, even though the vast majority of the post-war governments made the full four years between scheduled elections.)

    This is in contrast to the USA, where the Founding Fathers created the state with so many checks and balances that nobody can become too powerful, and as a result, the president and Congress are often in each others' hair.

    This is not to say that one system is better than the other; each has its pros and cons.
    To explain this to an American I always apply our situation to the USA. Assume that:
    - USA consists of only 2 states: North & South for example
    - North speaks English, is richer, votes Republican
    - South speaks Spanish, is poorer, votes Democrat
    Both North and South agree that the division of authority between the federal level and the state level is wrong and want to change it. North wants more power for the states so they everyone can solve specific state problems themselves without approval from the other state. South wants more authority for the federal government so that everyone in North and South gets treated equally.

    In order to change anything however, they need to change the constitution which requires they compromise. How long would that take in the US, finding a compromise between 'more power to the states' and 'more power to the federal government'?
  • Medinoc 2011-07-06 08:40
    Steve The Cynic:
    Oh, and it has dead-keys for accents. That's lame on any keyboard layout.

    Are you kidding? That's the only way to do an accent on a capital letter without resorting to alt+numpad!
  • YOU mispelled "Army" 2011-07-06 08:43
    Master and Commander of the Troll Amry:
    Well done, Moe. Well done. You managed to slip an article by the moderators containing all of the standard Troll tactics. Europe? Check. Date format? Check. BOFH? Check. VB? Oh, man, you really nailed them with that one.

    I think your set to receive the Medal of Honor, my lad.

    Actually I think you're minions went a little out of control. I noticed yesterday that all these European comments started popping up in what would have been long after midnight.

    In other words: a bunch of fake Europeans were trolling each other, who thought they were trolling real Europeans and/or Americans.
  • Euro Grammer Nazi 2011-07-06 08:44
    Medinoc:
    Steve The Cynic:
    Oh, and it has dead-keys for accents. That's lame on any keyboard layout.

    Are you kidding? That's the only way to do an accent on a capitol letter without resorting to alt+numpad!

    Fixed that for you, Yank.
  • The Corrector 2011-07-06 08:50
    Bert Glanstron:
    Dear France,

    In case you can’t tell, this is a grown-up planet. The
    fact that you insist on using your ridiculous date format
    clearly shows that you’re too young and too stupid
    to be using VB.

    Go away and grow up.

    Sincerely,
    Bert Glanstron
  • MM/DD/YYYY - Fine with me! 2011-07-06 08:52
    Here in Monaco, we generally try to follow the U.S. standards for date format. We have found that it makes business with America easier, and most of our European counterparts understand the format already anyway.
  • drusi 2011-07-06 08:57
    Nagesh:
    HP PhaserJet:
    Anonymous non Coward:

    "Most common usage
    See also: Category:Date and time representation by country
    [edit] Date
    See also: Date format by country

    In terms of dates, most countries use the "day month year" format. In terms of people the big-endian form is also very common, since that is used in East Asia, Iran and partially in India."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_format_by_country

    Medium Indian is roughly use , in ... The USA only.

    So that's about the same as with USI.


    What's "Medium Indian"?

    I am Medium Indian only.

    Does that mean you can channel the spirits of the deceased, but only if they died in India?
  • SG_01 2011-07-06 09:15
    Bombomil (guest):
    Here in The Netherlands we swap, when speaking, some of the digits in the value. Like 21 becomes een-en-twintig (one-and-twenty). If the value has 4 digits we often pronounce it as a number of hundreds. This means that something like 2345 becomes drie-en-twintig honderd, vijf-en-veertig (three-and-twenty hundreds, five-and-fourty).

    I would just *love* to see that expressed in computer-programming (most, but not all pairs of digits swapped). It would make a language as white-space an easy one to decipher. :-)

    Oh, by the way: wasn't yesterday "the fourth of july" for you guys ? :-p


    Actually, the English have that even worse. At least we Dutchies stick with it.

    For Dutch numerical order orders you get:

    Written: 1 - 12* - 123456 - 123456789 - 123456.789 - 12.3456789 - 1.23456789
    Pronounciation: 1 - 21* - 132465 - 132465798 - 132465.798 - 12.3465798 - 1.32465798


    * Just like the English "twelve", it has a custom pronunciation

    English have it reversed for the 10 range, but not the 20 - 90 ranges: Fourteen, yet twenty-four.

    And then you have eleven and twelve, which don't fit in either.
  • frits 2011-07-06 09:19
    drusi:
    Nagesh:
    HP PhaserJet:
    Anonymous non Coward:

    "Most common usage
    See also: Category:Date and time representation by country
    [edit] Date
    See also: Date format by country

    In terms of dates, most countries use the "day month year" format. In terms of people the big-endian form is also very common, since that is used in East Asia, Iran and partially in India."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_format_by_country

    Medium Indian is roughly use , in ... The USA only.

    So that's about the same as with USI.


    What's "Medium Indian"?

    I am Medium Indian only.

    Does that mean you can channel the spirits of the deceased, but only if they died in India?


    I bet he has a huge rack, like the ghost whisperer and that other medium, too.
  • Hortical 2011-07-06 09:21
    pjt33:
    I hope you told him the truth. Lots of Brits lie and say that we don't celebrate it because they're too embarrassed to admit that we call it Thanksgiving and have a second cup of tea with our cucumber sandwiches at 4p.m. to celebrate not being responsible for the current clowns competing for the White House.


    Even though your prime minister is typically in his pocket. Who's the fool - the fool or the fool who follows him?

    Wasn't that Sir Alec Guinness?
  • quibus 2011-07-06 09:24
    Chelloveck:
    YYYY-MM-DD. Learn it. Live it. It is the One True Date Format. Thou shalt have no other date formats before me.


    Except for YYYY-M-DD, of course, where M is the month's number written in Roman number format. Helps distinguish the month from the day without having to resort to locale-specific month names. Example: 2011-VII-06.

    Among other advantages, it also sorts correctly. Patent pending.
  • Medinoc 2011-07-06 09:25
    The One True Date Format is 0.511.011.M03
  • SG_01 2011-07-06 09:26
    The Corrector:
    Bert Glanstron:
    Dear United States of America,

    In case you can’t tell, this is a grown-up planet. The
    fact that you insist on using your ridiculous date format
    clearly shows that you’re too young and too stupid
    to be using VB.

    Go away and grow up.

    Sincerely,
    Bert Glanstron

    FTFY


    FTFY ^^
  • Hortical 2011-07-06 09:26
    Master and Commander of the Troll Amry:
    Well done, Moe. Well done. You managed to slip an article by the moderators containing all of the standard Troll tactics. Europe? Check. Date format? Check. BOFH? Check. VB? Oh, man, you really nailed them with that one.

    I think your set to receive the Medal of Honor, my lad.


    Trolling? Or a desperate attempt by Eurofags to maintains self-confidence in the face of their growing irrelevance?

    If life is so great over there, why don't you just keep to yourselves and enjoy it?
  • Kempeth 2011-07-06 09:32
    What you folks mean is "Middle Endian" referring to having the day in the middle like MM/DD/YYYY.

    Technically this designation isn't even correct since Endianness names are determined by where the most significant part of a value are. Thus MM/DD/YYYY would still be "Little Endian" from that perspective. More accurate would be "Messed up little Endian". (If you mistype it again with an 'I' you get a good title for a potential Bollywood Exploitation movie)

    True "Middle Endian" would be either DD-YYYY-MM or MM-YYYY-DD.

    Earlier in the discussion there was mentioning of the Norwegian? tombstone date format YY DD/MM YY. I'll call that "Outer Endian"...
  • Herr Otto Flick 2011-07-06 09:36
    Kempeth:
    Matt Westwood:
    Hortical:
    Matt Westwood:
    Till you've been to a proper Bonfire Night party in Britain you haven't lived. The birthrate rockets (no pun intended) around the beginning of August.


    "...you haven't lived..." Yes, I'm sure everything you have is better than everything everyone else has.


    But of course. We rule the world, always did, always will.


    Yeah. You know that "Special Relationship" they always talk about. They just don't want to admit the US is still a colony... ;-p

    Also do you have any measurement unit that scales to another through a power of ten? I seriously cannot imagine how one can stay sane working with all those weird units...


    It's actually much more useful having non-decimal units when using mental arithmetic, particularly for monetary units, since you can easily divide a 240-pence pound by 2,3,4,5,6,8,10,12 etc. Its got lots of factors.

    A similar analogy is angles in degrees or time, both of which are based around the same sexagesimal number system (base 60).
  • operagost 2011-07-06 09:40
    Rast a mouse:
    Maybe if the presumabley American team responsible used a logical date format like the rest of the world in the first place this would never have happened.

    I assume you mean the ISO 8601 format, which is YYYY-MM-DD? No? Oh, European xenophobia again.
  • Doesn't speak French 2011-07-06 09:41
    Troll des Affaires étrangères est étranger.
  • quibus 2011-07-06 09:42
    Kempeth:
    What you folks mean is "Middle Endian" referring to having the day in the middle like MM/DD/YYYY.


    "Middle" is not a size, so it does not go between Big and Little - Medium does. Respect consistency.

    Medium Indian - is that when the vegetables are still a little bit raw on the inside?
  • SomeDude 2011-07-06 09:48
    le réel est pire que l'échec de Visual Basic pour applications, n'est-ce pas?
  • MrBester 2011-07-06 09:59
    quibus:

    Except for YYYY-M-DD, of course, where M is the month's number written in Roman number format. Helps distinguish the month from the day without having to resort to locale-specific month names. Example: 2011-VII-06.

    Among other advantages, it also sorts correctly. Patent pending.

    I'll see your 6th July and raise you 14th September. See how well IX sorts after VIII (no-one uses VIIII)
  • Ubuntu Nut 2011-07-06 10:05
    MrBester:
    quibus:

    Except for YYYY-M-DD, of course, where M is the month's number written in Roman number format. Helps distinguish the month from the day without having to resort to locale-specific month names. Example: 2011-VII-06.

    Among other advantages, it also sorts correctly. Patent pending.

    I'll see your 6th July and raise you 14th September. See how well IX sorts after VIII (no-one uses VIIII)

    No one uses vi either, but they still have to ship it with every effing Linux distro.
  • SG_01 2011-07-06 10:22
    operagost:
    Rast a mouse:
    Maybe if the presumabley American team responsible used a logical date format like the rest of the world in the first place this would never have happened.

    I assume you mean the ISO 8601 format, which is YYYY-MM-DD? No? Oh, European xenophobia again.


    That would constitute to a logical date format. Both Little and Big endian have their uses, however middle endian is just silly ^^
  • quibus 2011-07-06 10:27
    MrBester:
    quibus:

    Except for YYYY-M-DD, of course, where M is the month's number written in Roman number format. Helps distinguish the month from the day without having to resort to locale-specific month names. Example: 2011-VII-06.

    Among other advantages, it also sorts correctly. Patent pending.

    I'll see your 6th July and raise you 14th September. See how well IX sorts after VIII (no-one uses VIIII)


    The Romans did. IV and IX were invented much, much later.
  • operagost 2011-07-06 10:35
    bjolling:
    Severity One:

    It really depends. Some countries have proportionate representation, others don't. Some countries have an election threshold, others don't. Some countries have a head of state (usually a president, but there are quite a few left monarchs in Europe) with executive power, others don't.

    As a rule, the more parties there are in parliament, the longer it takes a government. Case in point: Belgium has the Christian-democrats, social democrats, liberals (the European meaning of the word), greens, and nationalists. And all of these times two: one in Dutch, and one in French. Plus a couple of fringe parties.

    But the bigger problem in Belgium is that the two main language areas are quite different, both culturally and economically. The biggest issues are that the Flemish (Dutch speaking) generate a higher portion of the GDP than the Walloons (French speaking), and aren't willing to have a flow of money going south. Another issue is the francophonisation of traditionally Dutch-speaking areas around the capital Brussels (which is officially bilingual). And then there are some historical sore points, of when the Flemish were poorer than and discriminated by the Walloons.

    On the other hand, whilst a parliamentary system that relies on coalitions may be more unstable than a presidential system, the government can almost always count on a majority in parliament. (As an example, the Netherlands have a solid reputation for stable government, even though the vast majority of the post-war governments made the full four years between scheduled elections.)

    This is in contrast to the USA, where the Founding Fathers created the state with so many checks and balances that nobody can become too powerful, and as a result, the president and Congress are often in each others' hair.

    This is not to say that one system is better than the other; each has its pros and cons.
    To explain this to an American I always apply our situation to the USA. Assume that:
    - USA consists of only 2 states: North & South for example
    - North speaks English, is richer, votes Republican
    - South speaks Spanish, is poorer, votes Democrat
    Both North and South agree that the division of authority between the federal level and the state level is wrong and want to change it. North wants more power for the states so they everyone can solve specific state problems themselves without approval from the other state. South wants more authority for the federal government so that everyone in North and South gets treated equally.

    In order to change anything however, they need to change the constitution which requires they compromise. How long would that take in the US, finding a compromise between 'more power to the states' and 'more power to the federal government'?

    Well, it took about six months to get the requisite 9 states to ratify the Constitution (and another 1.5 to get the last four) out of 13. But the scenario you're proposing is suspiciously similar to that which started the Civil War, with simply the North and South reversed and no language barrier.
  • Civil War Historian 2011-07-06 10:45
    operagost:
    bjolling:
    Severity One:

    It really depends. Some countries have proportionate representation, others don't. Some countries have an election threshold, others don't. Some countries have a head of state (usually a president, but there are quite a few left monarchs in Europe) with executive power, others don't.

    As a rule, the more parties there are in parliament, the longer it takes a government. Case in point: Belgium has the Christian-democrats, social democrats, liberals (the European meaning of the word), greens, and nationalists. And all of these times two: one in Dutch, and one in French. Plus a couple of fringe parties.

    But the bigger problem in Belgium is that the two main language areas are quite different, both culturally and economically. The biggest issues are that the Flemish (Dutch speaking) generate a higher portion of the GDP than the Walloons (French speaking), and aren't willing to have a flow of money going south. Another issue is the francophonisation of traditionally Dutch-speaking areas around the capital Brussels (which is officially bilingual). And then there are some historical sore points, of when the Flemish were poorer than and discriminated by the Walloons.

    On the other hand, whilst a parliamentary system that relies on coalitions may be more unstable than a presidential system, the government can almost always count on a majority in parliament. (As an example, the Netherlands have a solid reputation for stable government, even though the vast majority of the post-war governments made the full four years between scheduled elections.)

    This is in contrast to the USA, where the Founding Fathers created the state with so many checks and balances that nobody can become too powerful, and as a result, the president and Congress are often in each others' hair.

    This is not to say that one system is better than the other; each has its pros and cons.
    To explain this to an American I always apply our situation to the USA. Assume that:
    - USA consists of only 2 states: North & South for example
    - North speaks English, is richer, votes Republican
    - South speaks Spanish, is poorer, votes Democrat
    Both North and South agree that the division of authority between the federal level and the state level is wrong and want to change it. North wants more power for the states so they everyone can solve specific state problems themselves without approval from the other state. South wants more authority for the federal government so that everyone in North and South gets treated equally.

    In order to change anything however, they need to change the constitution which requires they compromise. How long would that take in the US, finding a compromise between 'more power to the states' and 'more power to the federal government'?

    Well, it took about six months to get the requisite 9 states to ratify the Constitution (and another 1.5 to get the last four) out of 13. But the scenario you're proposing is suspiciously similar to that which started the Civil War, with simply the North and South reversed and no language barrier.

    Don't forget the part where the Northern-controlled Congress was successfully keeping the South impoverished by leveraging unreasonable tariffs.
  • Meep 2011-07-06 10:46
    Sir Robin-The-Not-So-Brave:
    Meep:
    SeySayux:
    Someone who can't be bothered to login from work:
    Meep:
    Zebedee:
    It was fairly obvious from the first sentence that this was going to have something to do with the unusual way Americans represent dates.


    Ah, as opposed to the international standard of yymmdd, or, wait, is it ddmmyy?

    It just breaks my heart that I'm not a European and don't have a bunch of obsessive compulsive Belgian bureaucrats to regulate every fucking aspect of my life.


    Belgium can't regulate anything, they can't even elect a government right now. Seriously, they went for nearly eight months without one. They might still be without one for all I know.

    I'm sure the US and everywhere else in the world has its own fair share of stupid bureaucratic laws anyway.


    1) Actually, the elections are over, it's the government formation that's taking a long time. But I guess that's a tad difficult to understand for an American that's used to a two-party winner-takes-all system.
    2) The government formations are taking almost 13 months now and still counting. Wikipedia has a nice article about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010%E2%80%932011_Belgian_government_formation

    Next time you bash Belgium, please study it first. Thanks.


    But to recap: he's saying Belgium can't regulate anything, and you're countering by saying that they're just lost in the sauce because of months of pointless negotiations just to form a government, but soon they'll gear up to start producing unbelievable quantities of red tape.

    Is there a point to this? I mean, will you ever have enough regulation, enough laws and enough welfare?


    "Belgium" doesn't regulate anything in Europe, that's the work of the Eurocrats who just happen to have their offices in Brussels. The Eurocrats come from all over Europe and are responsible for the rising housing costs on the east side of Brussels.


    Really, you let them put that in your backyard? Hey, we've got a whole lot of nuclear waste and the greens won't let us put it in Yucca Mountain, we're just going to dig a small hole, well away from anything populated, just a few thousands barrels, no one will notice.

    Anyway, Belgium has 6 governments: 1 federal government and 5 regional governments. The 5 regional governments work just fine. The problem at the federal level is that only one part of the country wants a smaller federal gov't. The concept of a small federal gov't shouldn't be too unfamiliar to USA-ians (or whatever you peeps want to call yourselves).


    Having read (some of!) the EU constitution, you don't grok limited, enumerated and delegated government. I'm still not sure why the EU bothered with a constitution at all.

    While my familiarity with Belgium government is limited, I understand it has the same deficiencies common in Europe: you have a federalist structure, but the institutions, the political culture and the legal framework are modernized versions of the structures in the old fractious European aristocracy. This isn't a bad thing, it's a consequence of the fact that you never fundamentally broke with the old aristocracy but reformed it; the concept just isn't what Americans are familiar with. Our politics are on a very different cultural and historical footing than Europe's.

    BTW, when did we stop calling ourselves Americans??
  • Joe 2011-07-06 10:48
    I don't understand why this is so hard.

    The One True Date Format is "YYYYWWD", WW represents the week number.

    The obvious advantage of this format is that the D parameter (being only 1-7) can be encoded in 3 bits instead of the usual 4, so the value will fit nicely in a 25-bit register, or for you on modern hardware, it can include a 9-bit representation of the number of pentiminutes past midnight in a single 36-bit data word.

    --Joe
    Cogito ergo vindico. I think I'm right, therefore...
  • Henning Makholm 2011-07-06 10:50
    Kempeth:
    What you folks mean is "Middle Endian" referring to having the day in the middle like MM/DD/YYYY.

    Technically this designation isn't even correct since Endianness names are determined by where the most significant part of a value are

    Um, no. The most significant part of the value is by definition its big end. Being most significant is what makes it the big end. The Swiftian terminology tells which of the ends is written down first (i.e., at the lowest address in memory or as the leftmost character in an LTR script).

    Thus MDY, which begins with a unit of intermediate significance, is middle endian.
  • Joe 2011-07-06 10:53
    Oh, and it's actually not "One True Date Format", the real specifier is "Won True Format" So TRWTF is... YMYDYMYD. Of course, YMMV.

    --Joe
  • zunesis 2011-07-06 10:53
    Ubuntu Nut:
    No one uses vi either, but they still have to ship it with every effing Linux distro.


    Say what you want about my country, my people, my way of life and my mother, but NEVER say a single, derogatory word about vi!!!

    You don't know what you're talking about if you don't get on your knees and THANK GOD for vi!!!
  • Marcus Junius Brutus 2011-07-06 10:55
    Julius Caesar:
    TheCPUWizard:
    Bort:
    It's because when you say the date out loud, you don't say "5th July." You say "July 5th."


    No, I say the "5th of July".


    Here in the Imperium Romanum, we say "The third of the Nones of July".


    Shouldn't it be Quintilis? After all, you're still alive, Gaius!
  • Stephen Cleary 2011-07-06 11:06
    bjolling:
    Severity One:

    This is in contrast to the USA, where the Founding Fathers created the state with so many checks and balances that nobody can become too powerful, and as a result, the president and Congress are often in each others' hair.

    This is not to say that one system is better than the other; each has its pros and cons.
    To explain this to an American I always apply our situation to the USA. Assume that:
    - USA consists of only 2 states: North & South for example
    - North speaks English, is richer, votes Republican
    - South speaks Spanish, is poorer, votes Democrat
    Both North and South agree that the division of authority between the federal level and the state level is wrong and want to change it. North wants more power for the states so they everyone can solve specific state problems themselves without approval from the other state. South wants more authority for the federal government so that everyone in North and South gets treated equally.

    In order to change anything however, they need to change the constitution which requires they compromise. How long would that take in the US, finding a compromise between 'more power to the states' and 'more power to the federal government'?


    It takes 4 years (minus 3 days), the states-rights people lose, and the government becomes more federal. No compromise necessary.

    Been there, done that.
  • jimbo 2011-07-06 11:07
    The real WTF is that frogs were using their software under the admin account which allows you to change date. Reporting software under admin account, seriously?
  • Meep 2011-07-06 11:08
    Civil War Revisionist Historian:
    operagost:
    bjolling:
    Severity One:

    It really depends. Some countries have proportionate representation, others don't. Some countries have an election threshold, others don't. Some countries have a head of state (usually a president, but there are quite a few left monarchs in Europe) with executive power, others don't.

    As a rule, the more parties there are in parliament, the longer it takes a government. Case in point: Belgium has the Christian-democrats, social democrats, liberals (the European meaning of the word), greens, and nationalists. And all of these times two: one in Dutch, and one in French. Plus a couple of fringe parties.

    But the bigger problem in Belgium is that the two main language areas are quite different, both culturally and economically. The biggest issues are that the Flemish (Dutch speaking) generate a higher portion of the GDP than the Walloons (French speaking), and aren't willing to have a flow of money going south. Another issue is the francophonisation of traditionally Dutch-speaking areas around the capital Brussels (which is officially bilingual). And then there are some historical sore points, of when the Flemish were poorer than and discriminated by the Walloons.

    On the other hand, whilst a parliamentary system that relies on coalitions may be more unstable than a presidential system, the government can almost always count on a majority in parliament. (As an example, the Netherlands have a solid reputation for stable government, even though the vast majority of the post-war governments made the full four years between scheduled elections.)

    This is in contrast to the USA, where the Founding Fathers created the state with so many checks and balances that nobody can become too powerful, and as a result, the president and Congress are often in each others' hair.

    This is not to say that one system is better than the other; each has its pros and cons.
    To explain this to an American I always apply our situation to the USA. Assume that:
    - USA consists of only 2 states: North & South for example
    - North speaks English, is richer, votes Republican
    - South speaks Spanish, is poorer, votes Democrat
    Both North and South agree that the division of authority between the federal level and the state level is wrong and want to change it. North wants more power for the states so they everyone can solve specific state problems themselves without approval from the other state. South wants more authority for the federal government so that everyone in North and South gets treated equally.

    In order to change anything however, they need to change the constitution which requires they compromise. How long would that take in the US, finding a compromise between 'more power to the states' and 'more power to the federal government'?

    Well, it took about six months to get the requisite 9 states to ratify the Constitution (and another 1.5 to get the last four) out of 13. But the scenario you're proposing is suspiciously similar to that which started the Civil War, with simply the North and South reversed and no language barrier.

    Don't forget the part where the Northern-controlled Congress was successfully keeping the South impoverished by leveraging unreasonable tariffs.


    You mean the part the Southern plantation owners fabricated to foment unrest and make the case for secession?

    What freed slaves all over the world wasn't that everyone suddenly had a change of heart and decided that slavery was immoral. Plenty of people were genuinely abolitionist, but that didn't become 90+% until well after slavery had ended.

    What happened was industrialization, which required large numbers of workers concentrated in factories. Slavery, for a number of reasons, isn't suited to staffing a factory. The biggest is probably that it's cheaper to pay workers a wage than to take care of all their expenses for them and police them 24/7.

    Plantation owners completely controlled the media and the government in the South; you had a regional oligarchy. The economic divide was because in the South the plantation owners made themselves "too big to fail" while the Northern economy was restructuring and industrializing. You had an agrarian economy compared to an early industrial economy, but the average Southerner had no idea why because all he heard was propaganda about devious Northerners.

    In a way, it's fortunate that they took us to war: in the course of the Civil War, the North killed a quarter of a million rabid pro-slavery zealots, and all that remain are a pitiful remnant of the descendants of cowards.
  • feugiat 2011-07-06 11:09
    Meep:
    BTW, when did we stop calling ourselves Americans??

    The Canadians were bitching about it.
  • Civil War Historian 2011-07-06 11:27
    Meep:
    Civil War Historian:

    Don't forget the part where the Northern-controlled Congress was successfully keeping the South impoverished by leveraging unreasonable tariffs.


    You mean the part the Southern plantation owners fabricated to foment unrest and make the case for secession?

    What freed slaves all over the world wasn't that everyone suddenly had a change of heart and decided that slavery was immoral. Plenty of people were genuinely abolitionist, but that didn't become 90+% until well after slavery had ended.

    What happened was industrialization, which required large numbers of workers concentrated in factories. Slavery, for a number of reasons, isn't suited to staffing a factory. The biggest is probably that it's cheaper to pay workers a wage than to take care of all their expenses for them and police them 24/7.

    Plantation owners completely controlled the media and the government in the South; you had a regional oligarchy. The economic divide was because in the South the plantation owners made themselves "too big to fail" while the Northern economy was restructuring and industrializing. You had an agrarian economy compared to an early industrial economy, but the average Southerner had no idea why because all he heard was propaganda about devious Northerners.

    In a way, it's fortunate that they took us to war: in the course of the Civil War, the North killed a quarter of a million rabid pro-slavery zealots, and all that remain are a pitiful remnant of the descendants of cowards.

    Obviously, industrialization was appealing to the Northern States, where winter still requires extensive preparation to keep your livestock from dying. Meanwhile, the fertile South has longer growing seasons and more fertile soil, making it naturally more appealing to agriculture. (You can have as many factories as you want, but you still need food, BTW).

    What people fail to realize is that the North was doing to the South what the British did, sparking the Revolutionary War. "Taxation without representation" was a problem because they wanted to eliminate the taxes which made products shipped across the Atlantic "cheaper" that the local farmer could sell (if all this sounds suspiciously like Walmart, there's a reason why that we won't get into right now). The Northerners had all their nice factories, but no one to sell their stuff to because it was then cheaper for the Southern farmer to import from overseas. Solution? Tax the imports until it was cheaper! Also, tax exports until the South had so much surplus that they had to sell the raw materials at lower prices! The South came to the same conclusion that the early colonies did: "This Union is not in our best interest."

    Unfortunately for them, the North was just as unreasonable as Britain: they liked their stranglehold--they couldn't exist without it! Industrialization is better for things like bullets and guns and uniforms. That, coupled with a higher population ultimately doomed the courageous and strategically superior Confederation.

    Might does not make right.
  • LANMind 2011-07-06 11:47
    DDSez:
    LANMind:
    Severity One:
    Well, the typical American unawareness of people in other countries doing things differently (actually, the entire world doing things differently) is an issue, of course.


    Wrong, we aren't unaware. We just don't give a fsck, because the rest of the world in general - and the French in particular - doesn't matter.


    Yes , but it wont be too long before you start giving a fsck: when China and India start outsourcing to US. Till then, maybe you should give a fcsk about your poor grammar. It should be "beause the rest ... don't matter".


    Actually, if you remove the clause "- and the French in particular -", you'll find that "don't matter" in your correction is poor English. "Doesn't" refers to the world, not the French. If you're going to try and correct my grammar, please try be, you know, correct.
  • Ryan 2011-07-06 11:49
    No, you don't use hyphens there. You use dashes. There's a difference, people!
  • Yankee Doodle 2011-07-06 11:50
    Civil War Historian:
    the fertile South has longer growing seasons and more fertile soil.


    You *might* want to recheck that fact, Mr. "Historian".
  • Yankee Doodle 2011-07-06 11:53
    Civil War Historian:
    You can have as many factories as you want, but you still need food, BTW.

    Last time I checked, it's hard to subsist on cotton and tobacco.
  • LANMind 2011-07-06 11:53
    Yankee Doodle:
    Civil War Historian:
    the fertile South has longer growing seasons and more fertile soil.


    You *might* want to recheck that fact, Mr. "Historian".


    It depends on what you're growing. Seriously.
  • Swapper 2011-07-06 11:56
    I have swapped your days and months an odd number of times. Pray I don't swap them any more.
  • ContraCorners 2011-07-06 12:15
    Civil War Historian:
    Meep:
    Civil War Historian:

    Don't forget the part where the Northern-controlled Congress was successfully keeping the South impoverished by leveraging unreasonable tariffs.


    You mean the part the Southern plantation owners fabricated to foment unrest and make the case for secession?

    What freed slaves all over the world wasn't that everyone suddenly had a change of heart and decided that slavery was immoral. Plenty of people were genuinely abolitionist, but that didn't become 90+% until well after slavery had ended.

    What happened was industrialization, which required large numbers of workers concentrated in factories. Slavery, for a number of reasons, isn't suited to staffing a factory. The biggest is probably that it's cheaper to pay workers a wage than to take care of all their expenses for them and police them 24/7.

    Plantation owners completely controlled the media and the government in the South; you had a regional oligarchy. The economic divide was because in the South the plantation owners made themselves "too big to fail" while the Northern economy was restructuring and industrializing. You had an agrarian economy compared to an early industrial economy, but the average Southerner had no idea why because all he heard was propaganda about devious Northerners.

    In a way, it's fortunate that they took us to war: in the course of the Civil War, the North killed a quarter of a million rabid pro-slavery zealots, and all that remain are a pitiful remnant of the descendants of cowards.

    Obviously, industrialization was appealing to the Northern States, where winter still requires extensive preparation to keep your livestock from dying. Meanwhile, the fertile South has longer growing seasons and more fertile soil, making it naturally more appealing to agriculture. (You can have as many factories as you want, but you still need food, BTW).

    What people fail to realize is that the North was doing to the South what the British did, sparking the Revolutionary War. "Taxation without representation" was a problem because they wanted to eliminate the taxes which made products shipped across the Atlantic "cheaper" that the local farmer could sell (if all this sounds suspiciously like Walmart, there's a reason why that we won't get into right now). The Northerners had all their nice factories, but no one to sell their stuff to because it was then cheaper for the Southern farmer to import from overseas. Solution? Tax the imports until it was cheaper! Also, tax exports until the South had so much surplus that they had to sell the raw materials at lower prices! The South came to the same conclusion that the early colonies did: "This Union is not in our best interest."

    Unfortunately for them, the North was just as unreasonable as Britain: they liked their stranglehold--they couldn't exist without it! Industrialization is better for things like bullets and guns and uniforms. That, coupled with a higher population ultimately doomed the courageous and strategically superior Confederation.

    Might does not make right.


    "Taxation without representation" doesn't really apply here. The southern states WERE represented in Congress right up until their secession.
  • Decius 2011-07-06 12:16
    Meep:
    Zebedee:
    It was fairly obvious from the first sentence that this was going to have something to do with the unusual way Americans represent dates.


    Ah, as opposed to the international standard of yymmdd, or, wait, is it ddmmyy?

    It just breaks my heart that I'm not a European and don't have a bunch of obsessive compulsive Belgian bureaucrats to regulate every fucking aspect of my life.

    I think you meant the international standard of yyyymmdd, or mayber dd-MMM-yyyy

    CAPTCHA: I wanted to augue my eyes out after this.
  • Decius 2011-07-06 12:36
    I assume you meant an ASCIIbetiacal sort, where "-IX-" would come after "-IV-"
    of the roman numerals I to XII, with punctuation first

    -I-
    -II-
    -III-
    -IV-
    -IX-
    -V-
    -VI-
    -VII-
    -X-
    -XI-
    -XII-

    April-September-May or may not sort correctly on your calendar.
  • Meep 2011-07-06 12:43
    Civil War Revisionist Historian:
    Meep:
    Civil War Revisionist Historian:

    Don't forget the part where the Northern-controlled Congress was successfully keeping the South impoverished by leveraging unreasonable tariffs.


    You mean the part the Southern plantation owners fabricated to foment unrest and make the case for secession?

    What freed slaves all over the world wasn't that everyone suddenly had a change of heart and decided that slavery was immoral. Plenty of people were genuinely abolitionist, but that didn't become 90+% until well after slavery had ended.

    What happened was industrialization, which required large numbers of workers concentrated in factories. Slavery, for a number of reasons, isn't suited to staffing a factory. The biggest is probably that it's cheaper to pay workers a wage than to take care of all their expenses for them and police them 24/7.

    Plantation owners completely controlled the media and the government in the South; you had a regional oligarchy. The economic divide was because in the South the plantation owners made themselves "too big to fail" while the Northern economy was restructuring and industrializing. You had an agrarian economy compared to an early industrial economy, but the average Southerner had no idea why because all he heard was propaganda about devious Northerners.

    In a way, it's fortunate that they took us to war: in the course of the Civil War, the North killed a quarter of a million rabid pro-slavery zealots, and all that remain are a pitiful remnant of the descendants of cowards.

    Obviously, industrialization was appealing to the Northern States, where winter still requires extensive preparation to keep your livestock from dying. Meanwhile, the fertile South has longer growing seasons and more fertile soil, making it naturally more appealing to agriculture. (You can have as many factories as you want, but you still need food, BTW).


    So basically, "yeah, there was that industrial revolution thing going on which completely explains the discrepancy, but rather than address a major historical era, I'm going to change the subject and hope no one notices."

    What people fail to realize is that the North was doing to the South what the British did, sparking the Revolutionary War. "Taxation without representation" was a problem because they wanted to eliminate the taxes which made products shipped across the Atlantic "cheaper" that the local farmer could sell (if all this sounds suspiciously like Walmart, there's a reason why that we won't get into right now).


    If only there was an actual list of all the complaints the American colonies had against the British. Oh wait, yes there is. "For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent" is one complaint out of about 30. And, as another poster pointed out, they were represented.

    The South was perfectly willing to ignore states' rights when it suited them, as with the Fugitive Slave Act. Oh yeah, forgot, "it wasn't about slavery." Right, just keep telling yourself that.

    The Northerners had all their nice factories, but no one to sell their stuff to because it was then cheaper for the Southern farmer to import from overseas. Solution? Tax the imports until it was cheaper! Also, tax exports until the South had so much surplus that they had to sell the raw materials at lower prices! The South came to the same conclusion that the early colonies did: "This Union is not in our best interest."


    Let me get this straight: the Northerners built factories to produce goods, got frustrated when the South imported goods instead of buying them from the North, and those Damnyankees never thought to export their goods?

    Really? This is what passes for history down there?

    Unfortunately for them, the North was just as unreasonable as Britain: they liked their stranglehold--they couldn't exist without it! Industrialization is better for things like bullets and guns and uniforms. That, coupled with a higher population ultimately doomed the courageous and strategically superior Confederation.


    Ah, a "historian" who doesn't understand the difference between strategy and tactics.

    If you're strategically superior it means that you're better equipped for winning the war in the long run, meaning that you've got more soldiers, more supplies and a better means of getting supplies to soldiers. The Confederacy was _tactically_ superior to the Union, in that they won more battles.

    Might does not make right.


    I guess it's all the South had, given that it's kind of fucking hard to win an argument defending slavery. (Not that they didn't try when they could stack the Supreme Court, e.g. Dred Scott.)
  • Jay 2011-07-06 13:01
    Marcus Junius Brutus:
    Julius Caesar:
    TheCPUWizard:
    Bort:
    It's because when you say the date out loud, you don't say "5th July." You say "July 5th."


    No, I say the "5th of July".


    Here in the Imperium Romanum, we say "The third of the Nones of July".


    Shouldn't it be Quintilis? After all, you're still alive, Gaius!


    No thanks to you ... Et tu?
  • KSG 2011-07-06 13:17
    "If we print the GL-DLG-ADM report on the fifth day of the month," he explained in an e-mail, "it will 'swap' the day and the month on our computer. So, if my computer says it's Oct. 5, then the report will change my computer date to May 10. But, this only will happen if the report is one page long."

    A perfectly reproducable problem, so I'd like to ask the submitter...

    "Moe went back and dug through the code, but couldn't find a thing."

    Do you always just browse the codebase when trying to fix a problem? Do you know what a debugger is for? Are you capable of using a debugger?

    Moe is a developer FAIL.
  • Jay 2011-07-06 13:19
    shixilun:
    Mason Wheeler:
    ShatteredArm:
    Dates (and everything else) should be in order from most general to least.


    So do you find the way the US (and pretty much the entire rest of the world, for that matter) does mailing addresses to be objectionable?


    Within China, addresses are big-endian (e.g., province city district street number).


    US Zip Codes go from high-order to low-order. The first digit is a region code, digits 2 & 3 are are a sub-region within that region, and then digits 4 & 5 are a city code within the sub-region. (Initially these were in alphabetical order, except it didn't seem to occur to anyway to leave gaps in the numbers for new cities that might be created later, so those tend to come at the end.) Then the plus-4 part is typically a section of a street within the city. (Though PO boxes generally each get their own plus-4 code, and some bigger businesses get their own plus-4.)

    So sorting by zip code does put letters or packages that go to places that are near each other in the real world, near each other in the sort order.
  • Jay 2011-07-06 13:20
    Gary:
    Duh! Just run the reports on Jan 1, Feb 2, March 3, etc.


    +10!! Here's a man who knows how to create practical work-arounds!
  • Jay 2011-07-06 13:41
    Soy Americano:
    The real WTF is how people don't understand that people speak different languages. Don't assume that any other country follows the same dates or numbers you do.


    Do you know that when you're talking to a French person, you can't just talk about a calendar: you have to say "calendrier". And you can't talk about a field being true or false: they say "vrai" and "faux". It seems like those people have a different word for EVERYTHING! What are they thinking? This makes communication awfully difficult. Why can't they just speak plain English like everybody else?
  • Severity One 2011-07-06 13:45
    Severity One:
    (As an example, the Netherlands have a solid reputation for stable government, even though the vast majority of the post-war governments made the full four years between scheduled elections.)
    That should be 'didn't make the full four years'.

    Interestingly, we evil Europeans have managed to rekindle the American civil war. We're very good at starting wars. Winning them is another issue, of course.
  • Severity One 2011-07-06 13:47
    Joe:
    Oh, and it's actually not "One True Date Format", the real specifier is "Won True Format" So TRWTF is... YMYDYMYD. Of course, YMMV.
    Nah 'YMMV' is possibly the worst date format in existence. Look at it, only one digit for the year, two for the months, and one for the... thingy.
  • Jay 2011-07-06 13:51
    Matt Westwood:
    Ton:
    Ton:
    We need a 'like' option for posts... or in this particular case: a 'ftw!' option...


    Argh. I meant to quote "Yup. Just like that grand American holiday, "July the 4th," that we just saw... ".


    As a Brit in the US one 4th of July, I was asked by a native how we celebrate 4th of July in Britain.


    I've heard it's not quite as big a holiday over there as it is here.

    Equally curious, Guy Fawkes Day is not a big holiday in Vatican City.
  • Bnon 2011-07-06 14:28
    Best translation I can think of for WTF would be "Qu'est-ce que c'est que ce bordel ?"

    So: LVQQCQCB, c'est VB.

    French is verbose.
  • trwtf 2011-07-06 14:32
    Swapper:
    I have swapped your days and months an odd number of times. Pray I don't swap them any more.


    Actually, could you just swap them one more time? Thanks awfully.
  • Sean 2011-07-06 14:51
    There's an easy solution, we'll have a vote.

    US ~300 million votes to write it as we say it
    France ~65 million votes to write it sequentially

    All we have to do is agree that the Chinese don't get to vote. :)
  • kastein 2011-07-06 15:11
    Yikes...

    yep, VB (more specifically, setting a function to a value sets the system time? WTF?! not having to declare variables and their type? WTF?!) is the real WTF here. Oh, and the whole "silently failed call" when it gets passed an invalid date is a real gem too. If VB just had proper error handling (of ANY kind, even barfing an invalid return value such as -1 like C APIs do would be better, because it would trash the date completely on many more days and the cause would become obvious) or made people define their variables (thus throwing an error concerning the reserved word conflict) this wouldn't have happened.

    Oh, and YYYY-MM-DD HH:mm:ss is where it's at. Got to left-pad all fields with 0s or the columns don't line up and you lose the benefit of free sort-by-time.

    captcha: captcha "jokes" were last funny in 2008
  • Meep 2011-07-06 15:22
    Severity One:
    Joe:
    Oh, and it's actually not "One True Date Format", the real specifier is "Won True Format" So TRWTF is... YMYDYMYD. Of course, YMMV.
    Nah 'YMMV' is possibly the worst date format in existence. Look at it, only one digit for the year, two for the months, and one for VICTORY.


    FTFY.
  • trwtf 2011-07-06 15:48
    kastein:
    Yikes...

    yep, VB (more specifically, setting a function to a value sets the system time? WTF?! not having to declare variables and their type? WTF?!) is the real WTF here.


    Typical Windows, yeah?

    ASSOC Displays or modifies file extension associations.
    ATTRIB Displays or changes file attributes.
    BREAK Sets or clears extended CTRL+C checking.
    CACLS Displays or modifies access control lists (ACLs) of files.
    CD Displays the name of or changes the current directory.
    CHCP Displays or sets the active code page number.
    CHDIR Displays the name of or changes the current directory.
    CHKNTFS Displays or modifies the checking of disk at boot time.
    COMPACT Displays or alters the compression of files on NTFS partitions.
    DATE Displays or sets the date.
    ECHO Displays messages, or turns command echoing on or off.
    LABEL Creates, changes, or deletes the volume label of a disk.
    MODE Configures a system device.
    PATH Displays or sets a search path for executable files.
    SET Displays, sets, or removes Windows environment variables.
    TIME Displays or sets the system time.



  • zunesis 2011-07-06 16:25
    Meep:
    The South was perfectly willing to ignore states' rights when it suited them, as with the Fugitive Slave Act. Oh yeah, forgot, "it wasn't about slavery." Right, just keep telling yourself that.

    It wasn't directly about slavery - it was about economics (as all wars are).

    The way people phrase things today, they make it sound like the south are a bunch of meanies that wanted to keep slaves just for the hell of it. Just because they were EEEEVVVVVIIIILLLLL.

    They needed slaves in order to outproduce their competition. Slavery (then and now) was/is the free market at work.
  • The Dude 2011-07-06 18:24
    Zebedee:
    BTW, has anyone figured out what to call that decade yet? Or even this one?
    The past decade was The Noughties (twenty-nought-one, twenty-nought-two). This decade is the Teens. Or the twenty-teens if you're not into the whole brevity thing.
  • Tin Foil Hat 2011-07-06 18:35
    The US date format proves that "9/11" was an inside job.

    They did the British attack on "7/7" so as not to confuse the American public...
  • nonpartisan 2011-07-06 18:42
    Matt Westwood:
    Scarlet Manuka:
    paul:
    So now if I try to localize my program using built-in date functions, I have to fucking worry about the order of the month and day? Unbelievable.

    I'm not sure where you got this from. If you want to display a date to the user, format it using vbLongDate or vbShortDate as appropriate, which use the long and short date formats defined in regional settings. (There are also vbGeneralDate, vbLongTime and vbShortTime formats, all of which use the user's settings.) The problem is lazy developers who hardcode the date format to whatever they're used to.

    ~~:
    Eeeeee... Function parameters' order depending on the system locale? Is everybody sane there in VB land?

    There was only one function parameter in this instance: the date to which you want the system date to be set. The programmer just assembled a string in his favourite date order and hit the Date function with it, so the Date function did its best to interpret it. If he'd used a Date object, or even a string formatted with the system setting, there'd have been no problem.

    But it's highly likely, as others have mentioned, that the programmer didn't intend to be calling Date at all in this code - rather, he probably intended to use a local variable to store a formatted string. Multiple fails here still, including using a variable with the same name as an inbuilt function, (presumably) omitting the variable declaration, and not using the regional settings to format your date string.


    ... and failure to respond to the alarm bell (alluded to but not stated explicitly elsewhere) that the program would only run when the user was configured as "administrator".


    Objection: presumes facts not in evidence.

    It could be there were other applications that "required" Administrator access and this one just enjoyed the ride. The original story stated they realized on dates after the 12th, the assignment silently failed. No reason to think it wouldn't do the same if no Administrator rights.

    (I throw "required" in quotes because a little research on the permissions may allow for giving the necessary rights without full-blown Administrator access. I teched in a communications center [call center for an ED] one time where an application "needed" Administrator rights but we didn't want users with that much leeway. FileMon, RegMon, a few Registry changes late, *poof* regular user access worked just fine.)
  • Strider 2011-07-06 19:27
    Actually, the rest of the world would say "the 5th of July".

    It might be a little more verbose but I believe both are a reflection of the date format.
  • mike5 2011-07-07 01:52
    Elezar:
    My best guess is that during the Revolutionary War, people were trying to be "less British" in as many ways as possible, so changed even little things like the way they write/say dates.


    LOL. I'm pretty sure during those days most of them were illiterate peasants, who couldn't care less what date it was, and how it's written. Whereas today in the US, I think general population is much more edu... wait a minute!
  • Severity One 2011-07-07 02:58
    nonpartisan:
    It could be there were other applications that "required" Administrator access and this one just enjoyed the ride. The original story stated they realized on dates after the 12th, the assignment silently failed. No reason to think it wouldn't do the same if no Administrator rights.
    This is actually a very good point. The number of times I had to repair my son's computer (the boy is eight years old now) because some rubbish software, usually from Activision, won't run unless you're administrator, and my son is very much like me, and will try EVERYTHING... well, you get the idea.
  • Anonymous Coward 2011-07-07 05:37
    I think you mean 1.21 jiggahertz.
  • Martin 2011-07-07 06:41
    I am pretty sure that if the U.S. ever change their date format, it will be to YYYY-DD-MM...
  • vrt3 2011-07-07 07:37
    Belgium can't regulate anything, they can't even elect a government right now. Seriously, they went for nearly eight months without one. They might still be without one for all I know.

    Oh yes, we're still without one. 389 days now, and counting. I hope I'm wrong, but I have the impression that the end is not in sight.

    To be correct, we do have a government. Several of them, in fact; it's only the federal government where the politicians are showing of their incompetency in this particular way. We still have a Flemish government, and a Brussels government, and a Walloon government, and governments of the Francophone and German speaking communities where policitians have other means of being incompetent.
  • Mijzelf 2011-07-07 09:04
    Cujo DeSockpuppet:
    Come on, we all know the only real date format worth using is YYDDD. It saves a lot of space on my punch cards.
    And just wait for the next decade bug.
  • Jens 2011-07-07 10:17
    Sean:
    There's an easy solution, we'll have a vote.

    US ~300 million votes to write it as we say it
    France ~65 million votes to write it sequentially

    All we have to do is agree that the Chinese don't get to vote. :)


    It is more like:

    US ~300 million
    Rest of the world: more than 6000 million
  • Kai 2011-07-07 11:36
    Bort:
    It's because when you say the date out loud, you don't say "5th July." You say "July 5th."


    Well, actually, I say "5 July". But I write 2011-07-05 or "5 Jul 2011" depending on my audience and purpose. Most of my peers do. We live in California, Utah, and Illinois. But we use dates a lot, so we like standard formatting.
  • Jay 2011-07-07 12:35
    mike5:
    Elezar:
    My best guess is that during the Revolutionary War, people were trying to be "less British" in as many ways as possible, so changed even little things like the way they write/say dates.


    LOL. I'm pretty sure during those days most of them were illiterate peasants ...


    Umm ... no.

    I heard a lecture once by a college professor talking about the Federalist Papers. These were, you may recall, essays written by supporters of the new Constitution urging people to vote in favor of its ratification. He mentioned that he assigned some readings from these to his students, and many of them complained that this was very difficult material. The Federalist Papers just assume that the reader is very well-versed in history, philosophy, and political theory. So, he said, he had to explain to the class, "Yes, but you have to understand that the Federalist Papers were not written for undergraduate history majors in a 21st century American university. They were intended for the average farmer in upstate New York in 1789."

  • Jay 2011-07-07 12:38
    vrt3:
    Belgium can't regulate anything, they can't even elect a government right now. Seriously, they went for nearly eight months without one. They might still be without one for all I know.

    Oh yes, we're still without one. 389 days now, and counting. I hope I'm wrong, but I have the impression that the end is not in sight.

    To be correct, we do have a government. Several of them, in fact; it's only the federal government where the politicians are showing of their incompetency in this particular way. We still have a Flemish government, and a Brussels government, and a Walloon government, and governments of the Francophone and German speaking communities where policitians have other means of being incompetent.


    Hey, and I have to wonder: If the government is paralyzed into inaction, does this mean that civilization has crumbled and everyone is starving in the streets? I mean here in the U.S. we are repeatedly warned that if the government were to shut down for a few days over some legislative deadlock, that the economy would collapse and everyone would die. For of course, how could anyone possibly run a grocery store or a factory without a horde of helpful government bureaucrats to explain to him how to do every step of his job?
  • Jay 2011-07-07 12:48
    Sean:
    There's an easy solution, we'll have a vote.

    US ~300 million votes to write it as we say it
    France ~65 million votes to write it sequentially

    All we have to do is agree that the Chinese don't get to vote. :)


    We don't have to. The present government of China has already taken care of that.
  • Jay 2011-07-07 12:54
    zunesis:
    They needed slaves in order to outproduce their competition. Slavery (then and now) was/is the free market at work.


    Umm, I think slavery is pretty much the oppposite of a free market by definition. I don't doubt that slavery was economically beneficial to the slave-owners. I don't doubt that government subsidies are economically beneficial to those who receive them, that laws preventing new companies from entering a market are economically beneficial to the companies who are already in that market, etc. But "somebody makes money from it" != "free market". Under every economic system that's every been implemented, SOMEBODY makes money from it or they wouldn't have set the system up in the first place.
  • hoodaticus 2011-07-07 13:00
    trtwtf:
    DDSez:
    LANMind:
    Severity One:
    Well, the typical American unawareness of people in other countries doing things differently (actually, the entire world doing things differently) is an issue, of course.


    Wrong, we aren't unaware. We just don't give a fsck, because the rest of the world in general - and the French in particular - doesn't matter.


    Yes , but it wont be too long before you start giving a fsck: when China and India start outsourcing to US. Till then, maybe you should give a fcsk about your poor grammar. It should be "beause the rest ... don't matter".
    Given that you were 100% incorrect, I'm going to go with sarcasm.
  • Frenchie 2011-07-07 13:05
    MM/DD/YYYY - Fine with me!:
    Here in Monaco, we generally try to follow the U.S. standards for date format. We have found that it makes business with America easier, and most of our European counterparts understand the format already anyway.

    Huh? Monaco uses the same date format as France and Europe: DD/MM/YYYY. Also, on software I wrote for the Monegasque branch of a US company, I just used YYYY-MM-DD to avoid confusion, and nobody called me out on that…
  • Matt 2011-07-07 13:07
    My guess is that the report developer was using the system date as a sort of global variable. Hence the temporary assignment to a user-specified value, after which it was changed back.
  • Joe 2011-07-07 13:12
    Severity One:
    Joe:
    Oh, and it's actually not "One True Date Format", the real specifier is "Won True Format" So TRWTF is... YMYDYMYD. Of course, YMMV.
    Nah 'YMMV' is possibly the worst date format in existence. Look at it, only one digit for the year, two for the months, and one for the... thingy.


    "V" being an indicator of the Version of the date format. Gotta be future-proof, in case the format changes.

    --Joe
  • AMerrickanGirl 2011-07-07 15:36
    People are missing something here. The developer wasn't TRYING to set the system date. Rather, they neglected one of the ironclad rules of programming, which is to avoid using a word such as "Date" as a variable name, and they accidentally reset a system value.

    Unfortunately, older versions of VBA don't require you to declare a variable before using it unless you put "Option Explicit" in your code to force declaration. So if you don't force it, the report will compile without the variable being declared.

    So yes, the real WTF was the bug in VBA that allowed this to happen, but it's also the fault of a bad programmer who didn't follow protocol.
  • trtrwtf 2011-07-07 15:54
    Jay:
    Hey, and I have to wonder: If the government is paralyzed into inaction, does this mean that civilization has crumbled and everyone is starving in the streets? I mean here in the U.S. we are repeatedly warned that if the government were to shut down for a few days over some legislative deadlock, that the economy would collapse and everyone would die. For of course, how could anyone possibly run a grocery store or a factory without a horde of helpful government bureaucrats to explain to him how to do every step of his job?


    Sigh. No, sorry, you don't seem to understand. Go do a bit of reading. Your task: find out how the failure to assemble a government in Belgium affects government services in that country. Explain how that's different from what happens when lazy legislators in the US decide they don't want to do their job after all and go on strike.

    (come to think of it, why don't we use the Reagan solution? If the republicans don't want to do their jobs, we just fire them and find replacements)
  • abico 2011-07-07 16:46
    Bryan the K:
    TL;DR
    The real WTF is VB amirite?

    First??


    Oh, go to hell with that "first" or "frist" already - all of you that are competing to post it. Frist, it's become boring. Sceond, I'm tired of wasting time on comments that don't say anything useful, funny, interesting. This goes for all others that want to post something but don't have anything cooking in their mushy brain. Geez
  • Anonymous 2011-07-07 16:49
    ShatteredArm:
    Dates (and everything else) should be in order from most general to least. That makes the ISO format superior, and dd/mm/yy one of the worst. The only thing worse than dd/mm/yy is anything with the year in the middle.


    ...(and everything else)...

    Right, like street addresses
  • Peter 2011-07-07 16:53
    I thought the southern states were over represented since they got to count slaves as 60% of an adult voter. Some people think history is written by the victor but actually everyone gets to rewrite it a little to suit their point of view.
  • jmt 2011-07-07 17:18
    ShatteredArm:
    Dates (and everything else) should be in order from most general to least. That makes the ISO format superior, and dd/mm/yy one of the worst. The only thing worse than dd/mm/yy is anything with the year in the middle.


    This clearly means that the old gravestone format "YY dd/mm YY" is the winner :-)

    - jmt 20 8/VII 11
  • trtwtf 2011-07-07 18:49
    Peter:
    I thought the southern states were over represented since they got to count slaves as 60% of an adult voter. Some people think history is written by the victor but actually everyone gets to rewrite it a little to suit their point of view.


    True. Nice trick, that. Get the slaves counted towards the electoral representation that they didn't actually get to vote in, so their very existence supports their slavery.
  • Sir Robin-The-Not-So-Brave 2011-07-08 05:24
    Meep:

    Really, you let them put that in your backyard? Hey, we've got a whole lot of nuclear waste and the greens won't let us put it in Yucca Mountain, we're just going to dig a small hole, well away from anything populated, just a few thousands barrels, no one will notice.

    When the EU started half a century ago, it had only 6 members: France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg. France and Germany were still a bit at unease about something that a little Austrian guy started, so the European HQ couldn't be in one of those 2 countries. Italy? No way. So it had to be in one of the 3 small member states, and Belgium is the middle of the 3.
    It's the same reason why the NATO HQ is also in Brussels. So it's not only the Eurocrats that drive up the housing prices, but also all those American generals.

    Meep:
    Anyway, Belgium has 6 governments: 1 federal government and 5 regional governments. The 5 regional governments work just fine. The problem at the federal level is that only one part of the country wants a smaller federal gov't. The concept of a small federal gov't shouldn't be too unfamiliar to USA-ians (or whatever you peeps want to call yourselves).


    Having read (some of!) the EU constitution, you don't grok limited, enumerated and delegated government. I'm still not sure why the EU bothered with a constitution at all.

    Heh. I agree. I'm not even sure if it's officially called a constitution.

    Meep:
    While my familiarity with Belgium government is limited, I understand it has the same deficiencies common in Europe: you have a federalist structure, but the institutions, the political culture and the legal framework are modernized versions of the structures in the old fractious European aristocracy. This isn't a bad thing, it's a consequence of the fact that you never fundamentally broke with the old aristocracy but reformed it; the concept just isn't what Americans are familiar with. Our politics are on a very different cultural and historical footing than Europe's.

    That's probably true. You guys had the chance to do a total reboot in the late 1700's. France tried something similar, and failed. Then Napoleon exported the French failure all over Europe. Did you know that Belgium still has a few laws that predate its existance? Some laws have dates from the French revolutionary calendar, so they are about 20 years older than Belgium itself.

    Meep:
    BTW, when did we stop calling ourselves Americans??

    You're just one country that happens to have the same name as two continents. It's just not precise enough. The full name of your country is "United States of America". Don't worry, I'll just call you leftponders. ;-)
  • Sir Robin-The-Not-So-Brave 2011-07-08 05:33
    Sean:
    There's an easy solution, we'll have a vote.

    US ~300 million votes to write it as we say it
    France ~65 million votes to write it sequentially

    All we have to do is agree that the Chinese don't get to vote. :)

    US ~300 million votes
    EU ~500 million votes
    China ~1.3 billion votes
    (Ignoring the fact that anyone younger than 18 isn't allowed to vote. Also ignoring the fact that China won't have free elections.)
  • Benjamin 2011-07-08 08:10
    The Real WTF is the American-style date pattern (really - month/day/year - what sense does this make? Its even crappier than not using the metric system for distances :-P ).
  • saepius 2011-07-08 12:06
    The full name of your country is "United States of America".


    It's actually "United States", Mr. Informed.
  • hoodaticus 2011-07-08 14:22
    Sir Robin-The-Not-So-Brave:
    Sean:
    There's an easy solution, we'll have a vote.

    US ~300 million votes to write it as we say it
    France ~65 million votes to write it sequentially

    All we have to do is agree that the Chinese don't get to vote. :)

    US ~300 million votes
    EU ~500 million votes
    China ~1.3 billion votes
    (Ignoring the fact that anyone younger than 18 isn't allowed to vote. Also ignoring the fact that China won't have free elections.)
    Now now, we're not saying that Chinese people can't vote; all we're saying is that Chinese aren't really people.
  • Peter 2011-07-08 19:33
    You got any better proof than that? I guess you should know since it is your country but the constitution refers to it as the United States of America.


    "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
  • wgc 2011-07-08 22:22
    Usually the real wtf is VBA, but then again some moron at my company managed to do something similar in Java. For some reason they thought it would be a good idea to parse a timestamp out of a filename but didn't think to parse by locale. Apparently no one thought to try it in a different locale, even though we "support" them all. It actually got out the door until the fourth customer was European ... FAIL.
  • Volapuk 2011-07-08 23:06
    @Bort: so that's why you write prices like "$1.50": because when you say it out loud, it's "dollar one fifty". Got it.
  • Daniel 2011-07-09 09:21
    You should have told the French this when they came to your rescue when we were kicking your rebellious colonial butts :) If you did you would be speaking proper English and not American !

    Any unfortunately yes, I have seen things like this happen when the dev team cannot give a damn and file away strange bugs linked to internationalisation when a few tests and some common sense would have pulled an answer and an easy fix - in an alphabetically ordered list, why did "AA*" come after "ZZ*" in an ordered list only on Danish versions of Windows? => AA = non accented representation of the Danish 'circle A' letter which they consider the last letter of the alphabet... Nailed in 5 minutes by a system support dude when the dev team filed it for no further action as not reproducable...
  • HASd ;ro 2011-07-10 22:14
    Jay:
    Sean:
    There's an easy solution, we'll have a vote.

    US ~300 million votes to write it as we say it
    France ~65 million votes to write it sequentially

    All we have to do is agree that the Chinese don't get to vote. :)


    We don't have to. The present government of China has already taken care of that.


    Uhm, except the Frechies aren't the only ones in the world that think the Yankees are wrong - in fact, does anyone other than the yankess use MM/DD/[YY]YY ????
  • persto 2011-07-10 22:17
    Frenchie:
    MM/DD/YYYY - Fine with me!:
    Here in Monaco, we generally try to follow the U.S. standards for date format. We have found that it makes business with America easier, and most of our European counterparts understand the format already anyway.

    Huh? Monaco uses the same date format as France and Europe: DD/MM/YYYY. Also, on software I wrote for the Monegasque branch of a US company, I just used YYYY-MM-DD to avoid confusion, and nobody called me out on that…


    Zigactly. Makes far more sense to start with largest units, then sub units - sorting by date is easy, provided you use Full Year, Month, Day (bit of a pain if we use 2char year, but)
  • gravis 2011-07-10 22:22
    ShatteredArm:
    Dates (and everything else) should be in order from most general to least. That makes the ISO format superior, and dd/mm/yy one of the worst. The only thing worse than dd/mm/yy is anything with the year in the middle.


    Uhm, once they're out of order, I'm not sure it matters how much out of order they are - there's still a problem.

    Personally (goign against what I just said), I think it makes more sense to have the ddmmyy over mmddyy, because there is still a logical order (ascending to the more general, rather than descending from the most general).

    Now let's consider where time should go in the big equation....
  • Andy 2011-07-11 10:10
    luptatum:
    Anyone speaking ISO (yyyy-mm-dd) btw.?

    Yes, here. I even use it on various forms (paper, goverment) if the expected date isn't specified. I find it quite amusing when the people look at it curious.

    For internal date representation in XML, JSON or other format I stick on ISO 8601 full date format with time zones (YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ssZ) as this is the only standardized and painless parseable time format.
  • similis 2011-07-11 11:58
    Anonymous:
    ShatteredArm:
    Dates (and everything else) should be in order from most general to least. That makes the ISO format superior, and dd/mm/yy one of the worst. The only thing worse than dd/mm/yy is anything with the year in the middle.


    ...(and everything else)...

    Right, like street addresses


    Yeah, right - current time is 555 milliseconds, 15 seconds, 56 minutes, 8 hours, of 11th July, 2011.

    There is no PROPER way. All formats are good (they tell correct date/time, ain't they?). The problem is uniformity, and the only solution is to pick one and convince all others to start using it instead of theirs.
  • caecus 2011-07-11 12:02
    Peter:
    You got any better proof than that? I guess you should know since it is your country but the constitution refers to it as the United States of America.


    "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."


    It doesn't matter what a country calls itself. It matters what the rest of the world is calling it. There are numerous countries and places globally not known [at all!] by its native name. International name for this piece of land is "United States", it's global country code is "US", and it doesn't matter what the US will internally call itself.
  • similis 2011-07-11 12:04
    similis:
    Anonymous:
    ShatteredArm:
    Dates (and everything else) should be in order from most general to least. That makes the ISO format superior, and dd/mm/yy one of the worst. The only thing worse than dd/mm/yy is anything with the year in the middle.


    ...(and everything else)...

    Right, like street addresses


    Yeah, right - current time is 555 milliseconds, 15 seconds, 56 minutes, 8 hours, of 11th July, 2011.

    There is no PROPER way. All formats are good (they tell correct date/time, ain't they?). The problem is uniformity, and the only solution is to pick one and convince all others to start using it instead of theirs.


    Or, the other way around, rather. :)
  • Bnon 2011-07-11 20:13
    Jay:

    Hey, and I have to wonder: If the government is paralyzed into inaction, does this mean that civilization has crumbled and everyone is starving in the streets? I mean here in the U.S. we are repeatedly warned that if the government were to shut down for a few days over some legislative deadlock, that the economy would collapse and everyone would die. For of course, how could anyone possibly run a grocery store or a factory without a horde of helpful government bureaucrats to explain to him how to do every step of his job?


    I always wonder how and why it is that Americans do not, on a linguistic but also, too often, on an intellectual level, make a distinction between:

    a) The State, i.e. the set of institutions to which we the people delegate the organization of basic services necessary to a modern society (the appropriate level of which can of course be debated), and

    b) Government, i.e. elected officials in charge of top-level management of the latter.

    If the Belgian experience proves positive, it will vindicate the technocratic worldview, certainly not the libertarian one.
  • SzaboPeter 2011-07-12 11:23
    Big endian dates: one of the few things that my country (Hungary) got almost right. ("/" as separator would be a lot better though.)
  • Reed 2011-07-12 11:49
    I get bugs like this all the time. One of your tests should ALWAYS be to try using the locale of the bug reporter. It should be one of the FIRST steps if you're talking about dates, times, currency markers, decimal place markers, etc. They would have fixed the bug in a day rather than years.
  • argh 2011-07-14 07:10
    "Even this american non-developer figured out in the first few lines that the problem lie in the backwards dates in the rest of the world"
    Fixed that for you... oviously, any non-american standart is the backwards one ;)
  • Thomas Wright 2011-07-15 01:39
    I would propose it is the American dates which are backwards...
  • Arancaytar 2011-07-24 20:35
    After the twelfth day of the month, when most reports were run, the line silently failed.


    And that is what makes VisualBasic the most awesome language in the world! Completely error-free!
  • Haha 2011-08-01 06:51
    TRWTF is not using a Time Server. Any date change would be soon reversed away by re-sync to the proper time and date.

    It's tedious working on Windows networks where the time is always a few minutes wrong because the admin can't synch to accurate time on the net!
  • Mark 2011-09-14 13:49
    Zebedee:
    HP PhaserJet:
    Zebedee:
    That's interesting, most people in the UK would say two thousand and eleven. How would you say the year 2000, twenty-hundred?


    You're misunderstanding the pattern, the pattern is what way is shortest.

    We'd say it "Two-thou-sand" because it has fewer syllables than "Twen-ty-hund-red".

    And we say "Twen-ty-ele-ven" because it has fewer syllables than "Two-thou-sand-and-ele-ven".

    When it comes to informal language, I think this shortest-way pattern is acceptable. You just used a contraction. Are you going to start throwing apostrophe's everywhere.


    Well I'll forgive myself for misunderstanding the pattern, having been given only one sample to work from. And it's not me that introduced the contraction:

    1900 - Nineteen hundred
    1911 - Nineteen (hundred and) eleven
    2000 - Twenty hundred
    2011 - Twenty (hundred and) eleven

    That follows a pattern.

    The UK way:

    1900 - Nineteen hundred
    1911 - Nineteen (hundred and)eleven
    2000 - Two Thousand
    2011 - Two thousand and eleven

    Your way:

    2000 - Two Thousand
    2011 - Twenty (hundred and) eleven

    Even less syllables:

    2011 - Two (thousand and) eleven



    You're overlooking linguistics. The pattern is not based on the content but the linguistic structure. There is a rhythmic pattern and a social construction at work. For much of the 20th century the year 2000 was presented as a behemoth event by media and culture. "~**The Year TWO THOUSAND!!!! **~" It constructed the idea of 2000 = TWO THOUSAND in people's minds. The rhythmic flow will likely completely take over around 2013 when "twenty thirteen" escapes the lips much easier than the encumbered "two thousand thirteen"

    The actual logic of what the words represent is almost irrelevant. Nineteen Ten could mean "Nineteen (hundred) and 10" or it could just mean the number nineteen standing next to the number 10 which together means 1910. When formats become language they abstract themselves from any foundation.