-- Alarics (talk) , 29 September 2009 (UTC) As examples of Wikipedia editors confused by the ambiguity of the YYYY-MM-DD style, who have input what appear to be dates in the YYYY-DD-MM style (I am assuming of course that they were not dyslexic), we have , , , , , and . B.: Since I pointed out these errors, users have deleted or corrected the errors, so you will have to look back in the history to see my point.
Note: these are examples where our fix-it bots have not yet gotten around to "fixing" the entry.
While our bots will no doubt eventually fix the above references where the inputter was confused, that won’t resolve the ambiguity problem that plagues the YYYY-MM-DD format.
Because: (a) the bot will not know that there is an error unless the month is greater than 12; and (b) readers will of course be faced with the same ambiguity that plagued the inputter of those dates--and that is something that bots can’t fix.
I would support any reasonable method of hiding accessdate, it is pretty much a time-stamp in the article. But basically the field should be not shown at all - the only relevance is when the URL is no longer serving the content, and then, to do anything about it it is necessary to go to the edit tab.
Accessdate provides useful information to readers for web sites that do not provide any publication date, or that change constantly, or both.
For example, there will be no instruction about whether the access date and the publication date should use consistent format.
Proposal: to amend WP: Manual of Style (dates and numbers) as follows: Present text: YYYY-MM-DD style dates (1976-05-31) are uncommon in English prose, and should not be used within sentences.
Proposed text: YYYY-MM-DD style dates (1976-05-31) are uncommon in English prose, and should not be used in sentences or footnotes.
I also find it amazing that we can have text like "YYYY-MM-DD style dates (1976-05-31) are uncommon in English prose, and should not be used within sentences." (The proposal here would then be "Dates like 1976-05-31 should not be used." or "Dates like 1976-05-31 and 2/3/1999 should not be used.") We have a lot of information to pass on in Mo S, really the injunction against using these dates in text is almost superfluous - perhaps the only value in having it in Mo S is in case of some YYYY-MM-DD warrior getting into an edit war over it.
As far as footnotes go the only place I like to see it is accessdate.
In the meantime, yyyy-mm-dd is the best format for accessible and sortable full dates in tables.