Honor system date format settings

The user interface and documentation are written in (mostly American) English, and both are too extensive to be easily translated into other languages.

— Notenik “Product Vision” № 9: Presented in English

I do understand the challenge of ever making a fully i18n’d version of Notenik — it’s so very text-centric! However, there may be some areas in which it could be made a little friendlier to users in other parts of the world (no matter their preferred language), or even for Americans who happen to have unusual preferences.

My preferred date format, for example, is ISO 8601:

xkcd № 1179

Notenik does support this format pretty well, which makes me happy! :smile:

But I would be happier yet if it honored my “First day of week” setting. Ever since I saw my first German calendar as a teen, I have vastly preferred the layout where the weekend is placed at the end of the week, instead of split in two with Sunday as the first day:

This is not an important enough issue that I’d want it to take you away from more vital work; however, if it seems fairly simple, there are those of us who would be grateful.

Thanks for considering it!

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I’m all for this as well. I’ve always found Sunday as the first day of the week somewhat archaic.

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I may have spoken too soon about Notenik’s use of ISO 8601. I was so bedazzled by the mere existence of the Standardize Dates to YMD option in the Collection menu, that I never really did any actual testing.

If I create a new empty collection with a Date field, and then use the Today button to enter today’s date, Notenik uses dd Mmm yyyy format, even though my system setting is (and forever shall be!) yyyy-mm-dd.

The date is then presented in the collection list as dd Mmm yyyy / Dd. And in the display of the note, it’s dd Mmm yyyy.

If I choose the aforementioned Standardize menu command, Notenik tells me that 1 Note was updated. (Nicely done with the singular and plural forms, btw — if there were two, it says 2 Notes were updated.)

However, nothing actually changes, even after reloading the collection.

And if I look at the underlying .md file, I see that the Date: line also contains the date in dd Mmm yyyy format.

Now, in the grand scheme of the universe there are many date formats that are considerably worse than dd Mmm yyyy. (RFC 4021, RFC 2822, RFC 822 §5.1, and RFC 2822 §3.3 (all for email!), I’m looking at you!) But I really do want yyyy-mm-dd.

So, once again, I’m not sure whether this is a bug (Standardize Dates to YMD doesn’t do what it says on the tin) or a typo (perhaps it should read Standardize Dates to DMY), or what.

So I’m putting this here as a feature request. Could there please be a way for me to have all Notenik dates stored and processed and sorted and presented as yyyy-mm-dd?

Check out the latest beta, which should fix the problem of standardizing dates as they appear on disk.

I’m a little bit conflicted about changing the display, though. The current format I’m using, with day of month, short alpha name of month, year, then alpha day of week just seems so darned readable. And I’m a bit of the school that an opinionated design is better than an infinitely flexible design that throws all choices back into the laps of the users.

But certainly open to more discussion on the topic.

@wgrace and @ErikMH: Check out the 12.5.5 beta I just posted and let me know how this works for you! The Notenik date picker (Calendar window) should now respect your System Setting for first day of week.

A question here for you, @ErikMH, and anyone else interested in dates.

I’m updating Notenik to respect the user’s Systems setting for first day of week.

In terms of greater flexibility in date formatting in displays (such as adherence to ISO 8601), I’m not sure what your intentions might be: adhere to some sort of system setting, or allow the user to modify a Notenik setting to change display formats for dates?

Thanks @hbowie all works well so far.

While I am strongly of the opinion that recorded date (in the text file itself) should be yyyy-mm-dd, I’m not particularly bothered by the note display itself.

Well, just as long as it is never MDY in numeric-only form, e.g. 07/28/2023, without being able to be changed to something else.

… adhere to some sort of system setting, or allow the user to modify a Notenik setting to change display formats for dates?

I’d be happy with one or the other.

BTW, @wgrace, is the variable first day of the week working out for you with the latest release?

Just looking for some confirmation that I scratched that itch.

@hbowie certainly does, thanks. One of those things that, once the friction of the original annoyance is gone, fades into the background nicely.

Either would be just fine. I suppose my hope would be that it would default to my system setting, but that I could override it. But honestly, I personally want the same date format everywhere, the slightly-modified ISO-8601 format that I have had as my system default for as long as that was a possibility:

yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm[:ss]

I say “slightly-modified,” recognizing that strict ISO-8601 wants a T between the date and the time, that the seconds aren’t really optional, and that a time-zone offset is supposed to be included. I recognize that this introduces the ambiguity of whether it represents UTC (GMT) or my own local time, but I’ve built my own conventions such that if it matters, I’ll know for sure which I’ve used.