[lug] MEAS Data file format

David dajo at frii.com
Wed Aug 16 16:25:44 MDT 2000

   Of course, the point of using an all-numeric form in the ISO format was (I
   assume) to avoid human language difference issues.  So I suppose one could
   decided to use only English and avoid the numeric ambiguity.  Is that what
   you were advocating?
   In the technical context of exchange of physical measurements, I still
   think the slight ambiguity of the ISO-8601 format is acceptable.  After
   all, some human being -- maybe even a native English speaker -- will
   confuse "June" and "July" as well.

Above all, for me, the lesson from date confusion is just how complex
something "obviously" utterly simple can become.  I recall that some
years ago a whole racing car organisation (that I think was American)
turned up at (I think) LeMans to do the 24 hour race with a team of
cars prepared to the wrong formula, and therefore ineligible to race,
simply because of different interpretations of an all-numeric date
specifying when the new formula would become effective.

Another point you are raising here is just how difficult it is to do
what Wayde is trying to do if you try to please everyone.

I was not really advocating anything, I, too, was pointing out how
difficult it is to do what Wayde is trying to do.  And I was doing
this by raising a few questions about what I saw.

Lastly I must 'fess up to a personal procedure ( I hope that it does
not count as bigotry :) that I adopted years ago; it does totally
ignore "furriners" who do not speak some form of English.  I always
write the month, usually just three letters.  The point is that if you
write the month, it seems that nobody gets it wrong.  For some reason,
or set of reasons, the year and the day are not muddled.  4 JUL 00 =
JUL 4, 00 to every(english-speaking)body.

If you accept the rule that months are always alphabetic and days and
years are always numeric you can accept a lot of variation by parsing
even with regular expressions.

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