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August 27, 2009


Now just think what will happen when the same people who run the FCC are in charge of your healthcare.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

and just think of what would happen if the GOP was in charge of healthcare reform.

If only websites could be subject to death panels.

Leading zeros are important, because otherwise it might be -5.

That's awful, pubs.

Perhaps I've just held too many jobs involving data entry, but having to include a leading zero just doesn't seem like such an onerous requirement to me.

@ Dave C:

It doesn't seem so much that the annoying thing about the "leading-zero" requirement is that it is so "onerous", but that it is inconsistent. In 2009, a website ought to be able to read and retreive a file/archive from May 3, 2007 whether the date is entered as "5/3/07", "5/03/07", "5/03/2007" or whatever. The Y2K legacy of requiring four-digit years is somewhat understandable: other date formats shouldn't be so rigidly defined. At least for us low-tech types....


Especially as, frex, the dates on the FCC's [dull] front page links are given as "x/x/09" or "x/xx/09". Like pub said: retro has its limits...

Variable date formats shouldn't be an issue. I mean, Google Earth can take lat/lon coordinates in decimal degrees, degrees and decimal minutes, or degrees, minutes and decimal seconds. Possibly other formats as well; I have no idea.

This is not difficult to code for. Even I could do it. They probably paid someone a few million dollars to set it up, though.

In former lives, the FCC's CIO and I used to whine about finding things that didn't work (bad code, bad economics, bad science). I forwarded your complaint to him.

They probably paid someone a few million dollars to set it up, though.

Sadly, this is highly likely to be so.

As crappy websites go, pernickety date entry fields are pretty mild. I mean, they do at least tell you the required format. You should try searching the website of Standard & Poor's. If you use the general search field, the chances of you finding what you want, even if you type in the exact title of the document you're looking for, are next to none. It throws up tens of thousands of irrelevant results.

Until fairly recently, Metacritic had an absurdly fussy search engine which needed almost the exact title, including punctuation. Trying to search for sequels or things with subtitles was infuriating.

For TELRIC reasons, they had to implement it on an ENIAC, which is some respects impressive.

So, the website that brings us Typepad complains about a date format?

Which website is that? This one?

I'm pretty sure none of us had anything to do with coding Typepad.

No. Just choosing it.

None of us chose Typepad.

Well, some of us, you included, chose to read a Typepad blog. But no one currently a front-pager at OW chose Typepad.

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