• Jay (unregistered) in reply to vrt3
    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 (unregistered) in reply to Sean
    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 (unregistered) in reply to zunesis
    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.

  • (cs) in reply to trtwtf
    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 (unregistered) in reply to MM/DD/YYYY - Fine with me!
    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 (unregistered) in reply to Anon

    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 (unregistered) in reply to Severity One
    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

  • (cs) in reply to Jay

    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 (unregistered) in reply to Jay
    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 (unregistered) in reply to Bryan the K
    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 (unregistered) in reply to ShatteredArm
    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 (unregistered) in reply to ContraCorners

    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 (unregistered) in reply to ShatteredArm
    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 (unregistered) in reply to Peter
    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 (unregistered) in reply to Meep
    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 (unregistered) in reply to Sean
    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 (unregistered)

    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 (unregistered) in reply to Sir Robin-The-Not-So-Brave
    The full name of your country is "United States of America".

    It's actually "United States", Mr. Informed.

  • (cs) in reply to Sir Robin-The-Not-So-Brave
    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 (unregistered) in reply to saepius

    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 (unregistered) in reply to ObiWayneKenobi

    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 (unregistered) in reply to Bort

    @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 (unregistered) in reply to LANMind

    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 (unregistered) in reply to Jay
    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 (unregistered) in reply to Frenchie
    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 (unregistered) in reply to 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.

    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 (unregistered) in reply to luptatum
    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 (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous
    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 (unregistered) in reply to Peter
    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 (unregistered) in reply to similis
    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 (unregistered) in reply to Jay
    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 (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous non Coward

    Big endian dates: one of the few things that my country (Hungary) got almost right. ("/" as separator would be a lot better though.)

  • Reed (unregistered)

    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 (unregistered) in reply to Mike

    "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 (unregistered) in reply to Mike

    I would propose it is the American dates which are backwards...

  • (cs)
    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 (unregistered)

    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 (unregistered) in reply to Zebedee
    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.

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