« UI Control of the Week: Rendering arbitrary data on a calendar with a Flickr-style CalendarMonthNavigator | Main | UI Control of the Week: Facebook-style PersistentPanel keeps important controls from scrolling away »

November 07, 2011



This looks really nice, though I have one suggestion-- if if a user types the date in the format MM/DD/YY, it defaults to the 2000's. I think it would be simple enough and quite elegant to have it default to the 1900's if the YY is greater than the current year's YY. Example:

1/1/10 would default to: 1/1/2010
1/1/20 would default to: 1/1/1920

The main issue is that the box auto-updates with the millennium and century only after the element loses focus, so if the user types in 1/1/20 and clicks away, they might not see that it changed to 1/1/2020.

Other than that, keep up the good work! I'm not sure how involved you are at Cozi anymore, but it's a great product. I don't use it as our family isn't big enough to need it, but I've suggested it to many friends who all adore it!

Jan Miksovsky

S.I.: Good point. If you include the core Globalize script (which I'm not doing on the site at the moment), the Globalize parser takes a more intelligent guess at the year. It defines a cutoff (2029, right now) below which a date is assumed to be in the 21st century; above that cutoff, the date is assumed to be in the 20th centure. So 1/1/12 is 1/1/2012, but 1/1/70 is 1/1/1970. This is useful for things like birthdays, while still allowing easy specification of dates in the near future (including next year).

It might be nice to add such a cutoff to the default parser, so that non-Globalize users could benefit from that too. I may add that in the future.

Glad to hear you like Cozi and have recommended it to friends. I continue to advise Cozi's board and product team, so it's always nice to hear positive feedback.


You expect essentially zero users using the ISO standardized date format? I guess by the same logic you also think no one actually uses the metric system, right? :)

Jan Miksovsky

Max: Perhaps I should have said, "consumers", or maybe, "U.S. consumers". In 20+ years of watching U.S. consumers try software, I've never once seen someone type a date in this YYYY-MM-DD format, or ask to be able to. I'm curious: where does that ISO format actually get used in real, everyday life?

To my (perhaps limited) knowledge, this doesn't seem anything like a U.S. vs metric question. This seems more like a question of picking a user-friendly date format versus a programmer-friendly date format. No?

Miles Bader

YYYY-MM-DD is also one of the most common date formats in Japan, for "real people", not programmers....

(The separator character used varies, sometimes it's ".", sometimes "-", sometimes "/"...but the order is quite fixed)

Jan Miksovsky

Miles: As I've already said, perhaps I should have confined my comments to the U.S., but I don't think this changes the fundamental weirdness with the browser controls.

Granted, in Japan (and China, and Korea, and probably many others) may prefer YYYY-MM-DD. That's exactly what localization libraries like Globalize are for -- to cope with locale and/or culture preferences. In fact, if you use Globalize to select one of those cultures, the posted DateComboBox should support those formats already.

There's literally a world of difference in date formats. Anyone who wants to bank their business on getting *all* their customers around the world (including the U.S., France, Germany, ...) to enter dates in ISO 8601 format is obviously free to make that choice. They can even use the browser's built-in date picker to let users do so. They should be aware that their competitors may make different decisions. :)


You actually did say consumers, but yeah, I guess US consumers are used to their own particular date format, which is used in the US (and Saudi Arabia).

Funny how opinions on usability differs. As an outsider the MM/DD/YYYY format just seems very illogical to me. There's no order, it doesn't go from largest to smallest or vice versa. It's just.. random. By http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_format_by_country it look's like DD/MM/YYYY is much more common than the US format, so I guess you can imagine the confusion when entering dates on an English site - is it US English, or actual English? Hopefully your date picker will solve this!

The comments to this entry are closed.