1. Short Date Formats Suck

    When I'm traveling, I often like to sample beer that's unavailable here in beer-wasteland-Quebec (local microbreweries not withstanding).

    For some reason, I often get asked for ID... especially in near-airport bars and restaurants. I noticed that in Orlando, last year, everyone in every group was carded each time anyone ordered any sort of alcohol. I guess they have a low-tolerance for under age drinking, there, or perhaps their waiters are just well-trained to ask everyone for ID.

    Anyway, the first piece of ID I usually have on-hand is my Quebec driver's license. Quebec is messed up in many ways, but one that they're particularly oblivious about is that our driver's licenses don't explicitly show the holder's birth date. It's abstracted into the license number, and isn't obvious to anyone who's never seen one before.

    (note: yes, there is a PHP (or at least code) related component to this piece, if you feel like reading on. It has to do with idiotic short date formats.)

    I get a kick out of handing my driver's license to bouncers/bartenders/waitresses and watching their faces as they try to find the birth date. It must be there... right?

    My license has a number similar to the following, at the top (changed in case there's any "private" information in there, but the format is the same): C6401-090280-01.

    Now that I've pointed it out, you can probably pick out my birth date: September 2nd, 1980. Or perhaps it's February 9th, 1980... and I'm only sure about the year because there's no month for "80". The practice of displaying an abstracted birth date on a piece of identification that is normally used much more often as... identification... than as an actual license to drive, but I digress.

    Let's get get to the real issue: ambiguous date formats. Can we stop this, please? I realize that each country is different, but it's really annoying. Take my example above: you have no idea which month I was born in.

    On top of that, why should the YEAR–read: the most significant digits–ever be last? Today's date should be denoted 2007.09.27. Choose your own punctuation for all I care, but please, PLEASE, use a little bit of sense, here.

    Don't even get me started on 24h date formatting.

    Rant over. Sorry about that.

    Anyway, IF you must represent dates in a messed up format like 090507 (which what?), then at LEAST let your users choose their own format.

    S (changing the world one reader at a time.... (-; )