Would you prefer to see dates formatted as DD Mon YYYY?

+26 votes
Hi WikiTreers,

In most places on WikiTree we've always used the long form Month DD, YYYY, e.g. August 15, 2016.

Where space is tight we use DD Mon YYYY, e.g. 15 Aug 2016.

I know the latter is actually preferred by many genealogists. Would you like to see DD Mon YYYY everywhere?

I'll post "yes" and "no" answers. Please use the +1 to vote your preference. If you'd prefer something other than these two options, post a new answer.


in The Tree House by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)

8 Answers

+40 votes
Best answer

I would prefer to see DD Mon YYYY.
by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
selected by Chris Whitten
It looks like this is the clear winner.

We might keep DD Month YYYY in a few places, but DD Mon YYYY will be the default format.
Aw man - I completely missed this thread.
+7 votes

I like Month DD, YYYY.
by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
+7 votes
I would prefer to see YYYY-MM-DD format.

This is the ISO 8601 international date format.

by Eric Weddington G2G6 Pilot (184k points)
I use YYYY Mon DD, but when ever there are dates regardless of the format I am happy.
Alphabetical version of the month name (abbrev. or full) helps avoid people mixing up the numbers.
When I started at WikiTree, I was surprised to see the flexibility of inputting dates as the genealogists' standard is DD Mon YYYY.

But because WikiTree is a genealogy site that welcomes all levels of genealogists, I embraced the philosophy of this "every-man" genealogy site more and stayed.

But since you need a specific answer, I prefer DD Mon YYYY as long as no numbers are used to signify months ( like 7 2 1788 = 7 Feb 1788 ).
+14 votes

I certainly prefer DD Mon YYYY as it can't be confused.  It's what I took up using shortly after I took up genealogy seriously in the early 2000s.  But, of course, it's awkward for people who don't use English.  One thing I like about FamilyTree Maker is that you can choose a date preference and all the dates displayed will appear in that format, even if you enter a date a different way.  

by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (401k points)
+6 votes
I vote for no change, keep both
by Sandra Davidson G2G6 Pilot (153k points)
+25 votes
Another option would be DD Month YYYY, e.g. 15 August 2016.

We actually use this in a number of places, such as change histories. (Don't ask me why we've been inconsistent on this.)
by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
I already voted for the first option, but I actually prefer this one.
I'm marking this as a "best answer" just to make sure it gets seen.

I think DD Month YYYY would be my preference, with DD Mon YYYY when space is tight.

I would prefer this option, with as you say the shorter version when space is short.

I thought I had seen something in Elizabeth Shown Mills, book Evidence Explained that stated that long version DD Month Year is not just preferred by many genealogists but considered the Genealogical standard, but I couldn't see anything just now.

She does state that it is the International convention for dates  and should be used, unless we are quoting a source exactly that includes a date in a different format or a different calendar (French revolutionary for instance); in which case you leave the date as is, in quotation marks, but add the usual date in square brackets.


Aw Chris, even you prefer DD Month YYYY.

I (would have) vote(d) for this as well.
+4 votes

But I'm Military connected.  I enter this way and tg6e system converts to something else...

But in the bio, I default to DD Mon YYYY.
by Terri Rick G2G6 Mach 3 (37.2k points)
+3 votes
MediaWiki has date format in user preferences. Why not use that and anyone can choose the format he likes.
by Aleš Trtnik G2G6 Pilot (421k points)
I think that could become very confusing, particularly if people chose to use only numerals.

07-02-2016 can mean 7 February or 2 July depending on whether you are used to a day month year way of writing dates or a month day year.
Date formats are usually country specific. In Slovenia we use D. M. YYYY and there is no confusion on what is date an what is month. If it is slovenian it is in this format. Since dates are really important on Wikitree, I would use D. MMM. YYYY since then copy/paste to Bio and G2G would still be exact.
As a general rule, I think we should avoid letting users set preferences so that they see different things. As John says, it can cause confusion in subtle ways.

WikiTree will probably have to face this some day -- some day we will probably add the ultimate preference setting: language -- but for now I think we need to be one community who communicates in the same language about the same things. A little thing such as date formats really doesn't matter much, but these little things add up.

I am looking forward for that Some day. It will mean a lot for Wikitree outside US/UK.

Maybe it's over my head, but I just can't see how it wouldn't lead to multiple WikiTrees, like there are multiple Wikipedias.

How do we not end up establishing separate community cultures for resolving disputes? Separate style rules? And if we don't share those, how can we collaborate on the same profiles?

Enabling viewers to see information in different languages is one thing. Enabling community members to collaborate in different languages is another.

First step is to translate wikitree to many languages. I think it is not such problem. You would need to rewrite all outputs to use mediawiki translation for each text. Then we USERS will translate it to many languages.

Making multidomain wikitree is not something, that could be done and I also don't see much benefit in it. Collaboration is too important in Wikitree. There could be some local portals, like dutch have for local communities but the tree should remain global and centralized.
Thanks, Aleš.

Let me make sure I understand you regarding the translation. You just mean helping WikiTreers compose biographies in different languages by using an automated translation tool and manually correcting its errors?

No. I mean to first translate all menus, and texts on the pages. Red text below.

    Franc Stupica

    Born May 30, 1910 in Ljubljana, Slovenija

    Son of Franc Stupica and Irma (Ažman) Stupica

    Brother of Marija (Stupica) Kiauta and Leo Stupica

    Husband of Jožica (Kosec) Stupica — married September 23, 1938 in Ljubljana, Slovenija

    Father of Franci StupicaAndrej StupicaJelka (Stupica) Trtnik and Matic Stupica

    Died June 22, 1990 in Ljubljana, Slovenija

    Profile managerAleš Trtnik  [send private message]

    Stupica-4 created 29 Jun 2015 | Last modified 24 Feb 2016

    Stran je bila naložena 159-krat. (This is allready translated to slovenian)

    Help cousins find this profile.

    CategoriesPokopališče Žale, Ljubljana, Slovenija | Ljubljana, Slovenija.

    That would make wikitree usable to non english speaking persons. The bio is usually in english and could have a button to google translate to user's language or if it is in local language buttons to translate to english and user's language. That would make Wikitree international site.

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