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NPOV :Alabama Cooperative Extension System, written almost entirely by a news and public affairs employee at ACES, so needs some neutral eyes to give it a going-over to check for both neutrality, and layout/content inclusion, etc.
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MOSNUM no longer encourages date autoformatting, having evolved over the past year or so from the mandatory to the optional after much discussion there and elsewhere of the disadvantages of the system. Related to this, MOSNUM prescribes rules for the raw formatting, irrespective of whether or not dates are autoformatted. MOSLINK and CONTEXT are consistent with this.
There are at least six disadvantages in using date-autoformatting, which I've capped here:
Disadvantages of date-autoformatting
(1) In-house only
(a) It works only for the WP "elite".
(b) To our readers out there, it displays all-too-common inconsistencies in raw formatting in bright-blue underlined text, yet conceals them from WPians who are logged in and have chosen preferences.
(c) It causes visitors to query why dates are bright-blue and underlined.
(2) Avoids what are merely trivial differences
(a) It is trivial whether the order is day–month or month–day. It is more trivial than color/colour and realise/realize, yet our consistency-within-article policy on spelling (WP:ENGVAR) has worked very well. English-speakers readily recognise both date formats; all dates after our signatures are international, and no one objects.
(3) Colour-clutter: the bright-blue underlining of all dates
(a) It dilutes the impact of high-value links.
(b) It makes the text slightly harder to read.
(c) It doesn't improve the appearance of the page.
(4) Typos and misunderstood coding
(a) There's a disappointing error-rate in keying in the auto-function; not bracketing the year, and enclosing the whole date in one set of brackets, are examples.
(b) Once autoformatting is removed, mixtures of US and international formats are revealed in display mode, where they are much easier for WPians to pick up than in edit mode; so is the use of the wrong format in country-related articles.
(c) Many WPians don't understand date-autoformatting—in particular, how if differs from ordinary linking; often it's applied simply because it's part of the furniture.
(5) Edit-mode clutter
(a) It's more work to enter an autoformatted date, and it doesn't make the edit-mode text any easier to read for subsequent editors.
(6) Limited application
(a) It's incompatible with date ranges ("January 3–9, 1998", or "3–9 January 1998", and "February–April 2006") and slashed dates ("the night of May 21/22", or "... 21/22 May").
(b) By policy, we avoid date autoformatting in such places as quotations; the removal of autoformatting avoids this inconsistency.
Removal has generally been met with positive responses by editors. I'm seeking feedback about this proposal to remove it from the main text (using a script) in about a week's time on a trial basis/ The original input formatting would be seen by all WPians, not just the huge number of visitors; it would be plain, unobtrusive text, which would give greater prominence to the high-value links. Tony(talk) 08:56, 28 July 2008 (UTC)