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Subject: RE: AW: ISO 8601 anyone?? And more on Parties.

On 2001-Apr-19 Stephanie Cooper <stephenie_cooper@hp.com> wrote in <ebXML-core>:


> It takes 19 pages to define the format of date and 30 e-mail
> messages to debate about it?  Fortunately, there was enough
> power in California today to allow all of them to be read here.

Yep, it does take that much. An item with a BarCode ID of 5012345987650 will
be written exactly the same all over the world. The address 15 Times Square,
New York, 12345, USA  will be written just about the same all over the
world. The date today will be written as  20/04/01  or  20-04-01  in much of
Europe, mostly as  04/20/01  in the US, and as  01.04.20  or  01/04/20  in
much of Asia. So what does  '03/02/01'  mean?

The 'Year 2000 Problem' was caused solely by short-sighted thinking on the
part of designers and programmers, using only two digits for the Year. Many
people have learnt a lesson from that one, but most have still not sorted
out the global ambiguity problem. A date will probably appear in every
transaction. Pretty important that we get it right then? It is one of the
most fundamental pieces of data (is that why it's a core component?), there
are probably 50 different ways to do it, and most of them have some sort of
ambiguity, or some nationalistic (dis)advantage.

> Please warn me before you launch into binary numbers so I can
> make sure I have enough flashlight batteries and supplies of
> non-perishable foods on hand ;-)

All I need warning of, is super-large attachments filling my Inbox. Has
anyone got a pointer to a copy of the latest ISO8601:2000 standard, as the
copy of ISO 8601 that was recently circulated is now out of date?  The
ISO8601:1988 version was withdrawn on 2000-12-21, and was then replaced by
the ISO8601:2000 standard instead.






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