Template talk:Use dmy dates

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Where on an article should this tag go? Top? Bottom? Somewhere inbetween? Lugnuts (talk) 09:14, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

It can go anywhere, but is typically added near the top of the article. I have updated the doc page to say this. HairyWombat 15:55, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Why the top? I know at least one editor who is annoyed by that idea and is planning to change it if a good reason is not provided. (talk) 18:17, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
Because the top is the most logical place. In addition, please tell that editor that 1. Editing on Wikipedia is supposed to be fun and if he is annoyed, let him not edit here. 2. If editors think that they can change things that have been done a certain way for a long time on many articles, they are mistaken. Wikipedia is a community and works based on consensus. Such an editor will be reverted and blocked if necessary. Debresser (talk) 09:17, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
Here's an edit from the editor and this is a notice from said editor that the editor will continue to move and likely change the documentation as well. Feel free to discuss with the editor. (talk) 17:00, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'm altering the documentation as per that discussion. Top-placement has the potential to cause whitespace issues, and having a hard rule here is simply causing people to waste people's time with petty rules enforcement. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 10:03, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

I have reverted that edit till such time as a proper discussion takes place. The formal reason is that the discussion took place on your talkpage and showed a distinct lack of consensus, which is not enough to overthrow longstanding and properly established consensus. I may add that I personally am of the opinion that the tag should be at the top of articles, to be readily visible for editors. As to the whitespace issue, I remember a discussion on WP:VPT where this issue was raised and solved with a very smart edit. Debresser (talk) 11:28, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Sigh. I don't expect any such discussion to take place, but feel free to waste even more time with pointless bureaucracy because of your own personal whim. I'll restore the new documentation in a few months when said discussion fails to materialise. For the time being I'll continue to follow the new advice. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 11:33, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
You will do no such thing. You can not make non-consensus edits, not even after a few months. If you still don't know that after such a long time on Wikipedia, I propose you voluntarily relinquish your admin status till such time as you do. WP:CONSENSUS is one of the policies of Wikipedia and definitely a major thing to keep in mind when editing. Debresser (talk) 12:46, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, that's a pretty good demonstration that you don't understand collaborative editing here at all (a hint: consensus is not a case of one guy jumping up and down shouting "that's not consensus" over and over). You'll argue your case, or you'll go away and let people do their work without being pestered with mindless rules-lawyering. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 10:04, 15 June 2015 (UTC)

In this case I agree with Chris Cunningham , and disagree with Debresser. These templates are potentially useful, but I do not wish to clutter the top of the source with them, nor to scare new editors who are worried about their ability to edit to this guidance, or simply confused by additional top-cruft.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 17:50, 17 August 2016 (UTC).

I think that is an underestimation of new editors, and an overestimation of the effect a template will have on them. Not to mention that usually there are already quite a few templates on the top of articles. Also, the amount of new editors, and how long they remain "new", is not so high compared to non-new editors. Debresser (talk) 01:20, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
Have to agree with Debresser on this that it should be at the top so that you can clearly see which format you are working to when editing an article. Should be placed along with the corresponding template that identifies the variety of English that the article is in e.g. {{use British English}}. You do not want to go searching though the code to find them when you go in to edit. Keith D (talk) 21:59, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
I can understand why some may prefer less clutter at the top – there is already too much, the likes of dab templates, infoboxes etc. Because I mostly work with date alignment, I prefer to see the templates at the top, so that they are visible as I open an article. It would make me think again about running the dmy script if I saw the mdy template was already in place, and vice versa. -- Ohc ¡digame! 08:47, 20 August 2016 (UTC).
Should we be optimising for the top 1% of editors who spend their time sweeping pages with scripts they've written, or the 99% of editors for whom invisible and obscurely-named templates are little more than an opportunity to break things? Hatnotes and infoboxes are unavoidable (and in the case of the latter, are one of the few types of templates that truly casual editors are known to commonly edit) - this one isn't. If a script is capable of finding an existing tag regardless of where it lies in the page source then we should endeavour to place it where it helps the script without hindering humans.
I'm going to gently suggest that as much as certain editors lapse into a furious rage at the thought of an article containing mixed English variants, it simply isn't a big enough issue to warrant this tag's current placement. Especially when you've got more than one editor treating it as a job to go adding it to random articles, and at least one edit warring over the bleeding thing. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 07:03, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
I strongly disagree with User:Thumperward. 1. Wikipedia is not for editors, but for all. Wikipedia is certainly not for script editors only, but for everybody, so I reject in the strongest of terms the approach of User:Thumperward, who wants to divide editors in groups. 2. I think that this template's name is clear to everybody. 3. I think that almost all editors understand what a template is and how not to break it. Ergo, the template should be placed where it is the most visible for everybody: the top. Debresser (talk) 14:50, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
I prefer the top, where it is more human readable. The reason why a template is used is so that the bots can honour it too, although of course they don't care where it is placed. I regret that there is edit warring over this; the whole purpose of the templates was to avert edit wars by clearly identifying the date format and the variety of English being used. Hawkeye7 (talk) 04:30, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't think there is edit-warring over it. If there was we could create {{Use top-cruft}} and {{Use bottom-cruft}}. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 10:06, 30 September 2016 (UTC).


Is this tag adding a spurious newline to pages? Int21h (talk) 19:02, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, looks that way. Can someone with rights to edit remove the extra spacing. Jweiss11 (talk) 02:37, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Edit request (TfD template)[edit]

Gigs has nominated this template for deletion here. As the instructions at wp:TFD#Listing a template say, I am using {{editprotected}} here to request that this line be added to the beginning of the template:

<noinclude>{{Tfd|{{subst:PAGENAME}}|Template:Use mdy dates}}</noinclude>

Thanks, Dynamic|cimanyD talk·edits 17:39, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Done. JIMp talk·cont 00:41, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

You seemed to have accidentally added # Numbered list item to the top of the page. Please remove.  Hazard-SJ  ±  00:51, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

I'm deactivating the {{editprotected}} because it looks like Jimp has already removed that line. Dynamic|cimanyD talk·edits 12:41, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Not visible in edit mode[edit]

The doc page states, "It is visible only in edit mode." This is not true for me. If this is not true for everybody else (I use old browsers) could it please be fixed. When I look at the source I see no mechanism to do this, so perhaps only the doc page needs fixing. HairyWombat 16:22, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

What precisely do you see or not see? Debresser (talk) 18:18, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

When I edit a page containing the template, for example, Short Stack, I do not see a message requesting me to use dmy dates. (I do see that the article has been added to the hidden category Category:Use dmy dates from March 2011.) HairyWombat 02:20, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

All you are supposed to see is {{Use dmy dates|date=March 2017}}. And even that is not visible if you are not editing. That is what the words "visible only in edit mode" mean. I agree that it is a little confusing, perhaps. Debresser (talk) 05:02, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Well, it confused me. Also, if the template is added at the top of an article (as is typical), when you edit a section you will see nothing. I will see if I can clarify the doc page a little. I wish the template did work as I thought; I know it is meant for bots, but I feel it could have a lot more value if it was also aimed at humans. HairyWombat 14:53, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Later. I have updated the doc page. With regard to improving the template, what I have in mind is behaviour similar to biographies of living people. When I edit the article Tim LaHaye, for example, a banner is displayed above the Preview beginning with the text, "This article must adhere to the policy on biographies of living persons." (Disappointingly, the banner is not displayed when I edit only a section.) What I don't see is how this is achieved. HairyWombat 16:50, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

I saw your improvements to the documentation, and think they are good. One thing though is only partly correct. The template is often added to the top of the article, but there are those who add it to the top of the categories. Nevertheless, please don't change anything because of this. The present text will help further a uniform style. Debresser (talk) 18:58, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Scripts derived from my MOSNUM script will insert the template at the top of the file for convenience and easy parsing for maintenance runs. However, I believe that the tag will be moved down near to categories if a tagged article is edited by AWB. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 02:35, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

{{Tl:Dated maintenance category}}[edit]

See Template:Dated maintenance category, {{Cat use dmy dates}} and {{Cat use mdy dates}} section. — Robert Greer (talk) 17:56, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

mea maxima culpa[edit]

See Template talk:Dated maintenance category, {{Cat use dmy dates}} and {{Cat use mdy dates}} section. — Robert Greer (talk) 20:52, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

inappropriate linking[edit]

Use of this template appears to set up a link to the year article (such as 2012 of the year used in the date of the template tag. This does not seem like a link that serves any purpose and may just be an error. Please check and fix. Hmains (talk) 16:42, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

I don't see where this happens; the template shouldn't be making any visible output. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 17:08, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
I know little about templates, and I could not find it either. I am using AWB to look for articles with year links to 2011 and 2012 and I find nothing in the article that obviously links to these years but I do find use of this template to be the common factor among the articles. See VakıfBank or W9 (TV channel) or Washington State Senate for examples. Hmains (talk) 23:06, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Currently none of the pages link to any dates [1][2][3] and in each case [4][5][6] the link was removed on April 14. I'm guessing you are using a list which is slightly out of date. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 08:00, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Well, I am doing fresh searches in AWB, but now I think I remember something about AWB using lists for it searches that it only periodically gathers from Wikipedia so that is probably the explanation. Sorry to bother you. Thanks anyway. Hmains (talk) 05:10, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
    • I come across those articles that appear to link to years from time to time, and I am aware of some other templates that have hidden links to year articles. {{Infobox SCOTUS case}} is one such template. This template is not one of them, as far as I know. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 02:31, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Spacing problem[edit]

The template seems to create a spacing problem (extra vertical space), as seen here (removing it fixes the problem), but I have not been able to locate the cause of the problem. Can anyone check it out? —Ynhockey (Talk) 10:00, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

That editor has fixed the exhibited case. Evidently(?)(compare versions) one line of whitespace was displayed because {{Use dmy dates}} preceded {{Politics of Israel}}. --P64 (talk) 19:06, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Moving it from the top of the page apparently fixes the spacing problem. The source seems to show that there's a break after the template text. Perhaps that's what's causing the issue? 8ty3hree (talk) 21:56, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Which dates? need warning of universal scope[edit]

The documentation should warn that {dmy} pertains to all dates in an article --or may pertain, as interpreted by some editors. Not only dates in prose, including prose in Notes; also for example dates within References, including Retrieved dates.

So {dmy} is dangerous where editors do not intend that all dates use such format.

(I don't know enough about "Feb" and "Feb." implementation of mmm to be sure, but I fear the templates may also bear on the spelling of abbreviations. I have read here at en:wikipedia that "Feb." and mdy are USAmerican where "Feb" and dmy are British.) --P64 (talk) 20:58, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

There is related Talk --concerning date format primarily, template use and interpretation occasionally-- at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers. --P64 (talk) 22:32, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Due to there being some objection to totally unifying date formats within an article, the dmy and mdy templates have almost always been used to indicate date styles in the body of the articles; although it may also indicate the flavour of dates in reference sections or parts thereof. I guess this template notice ought to be read in conjunction with the blurb at Wikipedia:Date formattings, and on the MOSNUM script documentation. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 01:59, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Changing placement[edit]

I think the placement of this template at the top of pages is not a good idea. It goes against our general placement of metadata templates (e.g. Template:Persondata). This is the only template of its kind to have been placed at the top of an article – the very place we should be keeping clear of clutter in order not to deter less experienced editors (as templates have been shown to do during the accessibility project).

I believe a much better default placement would be directly above the category listings. This would be an appropriate home, given the presence of similar technical templates here. The current presence of the template at the top of the article does not serve a real purpose, seeing as only experienced editors would be able to parse what it demands of them – the very same editor group who will likely be matching their dates style to the current text anyway. SFB 19:56, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

I agree fully with the preceding. Incidentally, shouldn't the template be called Uses dmy dates? Its current name sounds like an order. — Hex (❝?!❞) 13:45, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
You raise a good question. And it is the answer to that question, which will also answer the initial question/proposal. The template says "Use", because it is an instruction. And so that editors may pay attention to that instruction this template is (often) placed at the top of articles. Debresser (talk) 19:25, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Assuming current behavior, I disagree with putting this template at the bottom of the page, as it's already hard enough to remember to look for when it's at the top of the page. Even though it is categorizing, it is also meant to be seen by editors. Personally, I don't think that this template serves this second goal well, and would prefer to see it make an edit notice. Then, it wouldn't matter where it was located on the page, and the burden of looking for it would be lightened to looking for a notice. —Ost (talk) 18:46, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Good idea. Debresser (talk) 19:09, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • For maintenance purposes, I would have no objection to it moved elsewhere. In the past, Rich Farmbrough suggested that this would be placed (by AWB) above the Personendata template, but my coding skills are limited to writing regexes, so its positioning was defaulted to the top of the page. In a few instances, I manually placed the template at that location, but gave it up as too tedious.

    As to the visibility, if we keep the template at the current location at the top of the page, I could cause another carriage return (or perhaps a line of visually-noticeable asterisks) to be inserted after the template. However, moving/ejecting the template to an editnotice would entail quite a lot of inconvenence, not to mention synchronising the tagging of articles for maintenance and monitoring changes. -- Ohconfucius ping / poke 02:59, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

  • Based on your reply and reading more about ENs, I can see why the structure for including them would make them unwieldy. If this template is a directive to editors, I still think that the top of the page is better than near the bottom; The top is immediately visible when a user clicks to edit the page, while the bottom entails scrolling. —Ost (talk) 22:44, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I thought the consensus was that these were expressly not meant as notices for human editors, but if people are using them for that purpose I suppose it makes sense to have them where they can be seen. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 13:44, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Yep, things do often have unintended consequences. I certainly didn't intend for it to be an instruction to editors, but I see no real harm that some see the advantage of it being a visual reminder of the formatting to use for the article. -- Ohconfucius ping / poke 13:59, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

On another note, placing this and the mdy template at the absolute top of the page often causes an extra line of whitespace to be added. 8ty3hree (talk) 22:00, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Wrong. The whiteline issue has been resolved recently. Debresser (talk) 23:44, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
No. 8ty3hree (talk) 13:56, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
For more examples, go to Special:Contributions/8ty3hree and Ctrl+F "fix spacing issue". 8ty3hree (talk) 14:03, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
It seems all these examples are because of another problem: that templates like DISPLAYTITLE or Italic title should be on the absolute top of the article. Debresser (talk) 17:47, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
{{DISPLAYTITLE}} is not a template but a behavior switch; but aside from that, the positioning of either {{DISPLAYTITLE}} or {{italic title}} is immaterial, it can go anywhere that you like - neither of these elements are mentioned in MOS:LEAD, and so neither is required to be in the lead section, let alone at the absolute top of the article. Their positioning is however subject to the proviso that some infoboxes (such as {{infobox album}}) do contain one of these, and the relative order is important: whichever comes last on the page is the one that affects the displayed title. --Redrose64 (talk) 21:35, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps it would be a good idea to (again) revive the discussion that led to the fix of the whiteline issue. The fix was real and works, in the cases it was intended to solve. This is a problem that was not discussed at that time, but is likely related. See here. Debresser (talk) 02:28, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
We can't use that technique (inserting a &#32; soft space) to "fix" {{DISPLAYTITLE}} because (as I stated earlier), it is not a template but a behavior switch. It does not add anything inline: it instructs the MediaWiki parser to alter the contents of the <h1>...</h1> element. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:41, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
First of all, I meant that perhaps there is something more that can be done to Use ... dates to prevent this from happening. But the main thing is that there is a simple solution: take care to place Use ... dates below the DISPLAYTITLE. My opinion is that Use ... dates is best placed at the top of the page, for all users to see when they start editing, but below hatnotes and below DISPLAYTITLE. Debresser (talk) 07:39, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Updating the template[edit]

I wondered why certain editors update the date in this template - my assumption was that the longer ago it was dated, the more entrenched the format was, so updating it seemed counterproductive.
There is no suggestion, recommendation, explanation or reason in the documentation for this template, but I eventually found what I assume to be the reason in Category:Use dmy dates i.e. that one day(!) a bot will use these dates, and look at dates inserted since then.
If this is the reason, could the suggestion and explanation be included in this template documentation, rather than having to be found by luck? If it is not the reason, could someone please explain what is.
Thanks Arjayay (talk) 19:29, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

  • I thought that I had put it in the documentation, and when I looked just now, it was there. Am I missing something? ;-) -- Ohconfucius ping / poke 23:41, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
    • Err not that I can see. The only reference to updating the template I can see is
      "a WP:bot can eventually be programmed to clean up formats periodically, correcting any new introductions since its last visit, and updating the visit date on the {{Use dmy dates}} template."
      I see no mention of manually updating the template, whatsoever. Perhaps you could help my myopia and tell me which line this is on? Arjayay (talk) 09:20, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
      • That was it. In view of your comment, I've made it more specific. Please note the proper place to talk about template date-stamping is at WP:MOSNUMscript. -- Ohconfucius ping / poke 07:44, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

Usage on articles that contain no dates[edit]

I would like to propose a general principle, that {{use dmy dates}} and {{use mdy dates}} not be used on articles that contain no months and days to be ordered. That is, if the article contains only bare years as dates then these templates should not be used. In those cases, there is no history of one date format or another to retain, it is just pointless cruft. This comes up in the history of Θ10, where several editors have been reverting my attempt to keep this cruft out. Would it be possible to get some suitable language (like the sentence "If the article contains only bare years as dates then this templates should not be used.") added to the template documentation, please? —David Eppstein (talk) 15:53, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

Although your proposal would at first glance seem logical, it ignores one thing. If articles are about England related subjects, then the date format should be dmy, and it is completely normal to indicate so using this template, even if so far the article doesn't contain any dates yet. Debresser (talk) 18:41, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
If the article is about an England related subject, then dmy dates should be used if and when dates are introduced to the article, regardless of how the article is templated, so the template accomplishes nothing but crufting up the source. In any case the article in question is about pure mathematics, not something that can be assigned a nationality, and (barring a change in reference format) there is little possibility of it ever containing months and days in its dates. —David Eppstein (talk) 19:17, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
Generally agree with Debresser on this. The proposal is something of a WP:BEANS change, Also, advance format guidance is helpful to editors who may introduce dates to an article in the future, to avoid contradicting things like WP:STRONGNAT. Also, why not apply some WP:COMMON? Dl2000 (talk) 23:58, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
[cross posted from my talk] @David Eppstein: With all due respect to you and your excellent contributions to WP, you seem to fail to understand how the overall aims of what the project, and how they are to be achieved. The templates may appear to be clutter, but it's not "mindless clutter" (nor is it cruft) as you state in such a derogatory fashion because they are there for a reason. As I explained on Dl2000's talk page, it's ultimately within the project's stated aim to ensure all WP articles have consistent dates. Templating is a necessary and inevitable part of that work by ensuring completeness of the effort, barring changes in the way we handle dates on WP. In any event, like many other articles, even though the article doesn't have any dates at present, it doesn't preclude that it will one day have dates. -- Ohc ¡digame!¿que pasa? 01:36, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
You know what they say about a foolish consistency. I don't even feel that achieving consistent date formats within an article that has dates is always a good idea. For instance, in an article about a subject that is primarily American, I would prefer most of the dates to be mdy, but to use dmy dates in references to British newspapers. But that's all a bit off-topic from my actual point, which is that carving out and strongly defending nationalistic boundaries on articles for which these boundaries have no meaning is wrongheaded and counterproductive. —David Eppstein (talk) 16:30, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
David, that's quite enough belittling the efforts of others, thank you. And if you are really interested, I'd say your idea of applying dates has a lot more disadvantages than the current consensus approach that I believe will get poo-poohed pretty rapidly if someone were to ever propose it. I have already stated for the record that I would prefer to see a single date format throughout the 'pedia, but until WP:TIES abolished, that's how the dates project will run. Yea, WP:TIES is a weird compromise, but it seems to be the most effective in preventing wholescale dates war. -- Ohc ¡digame!¿que pasa? 23:37, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
And you're still ignoring my point, which is that on articles with no dates, placing these templates *is* a date war, over nothing. —David Eppstein (talk) 23:40, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
Am I ignoring your point? I believe I have responded with sufficient explanation as to the aims in general to make the specific point moot. Anyway, there seems to be a minority of one in this discussion. Any warring over this would befit an entry into WP:LAME. -- Ohc ¡digame!¿que pasa? 23:58, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────: coming from my late arrival and different thinking routine, where would you have an article that did not have a ref with a source and an accessdate that needed to be ordered one way or the other ? Dave Rave (talk) 03:41, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Placement of template[edit]

This template's documentation says "Place this template near the top of articles", though I note that an editor of the "mdy" template has asked for it to be placed nearer the bottom. It isn't mentioned in the list of "Order of article elements" at WP:ORDER. I've started a discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style/Layout#Order_of_article_elements:_what_about_Italic_title.2C_Use_DMY_dates.2C_etc_.3F: do join in there if you have views. Thanks. PamD 15:03, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

That thread has been archived: Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Layout/Archive 11#Order of article elements: what about Italic title, Use DMY dates, etc ?.
I agree with placement very near the top of the article as we instruct (then and now) in the template documentation and for the same reason that supporters provide in the archived discussion. --P64 (talk) 01:08, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

Template's documentation concern...[edit]

I have a problem with something that's said in this template's documentation (and everything I am about to say applies equally to the {{Use mdy dates}} template, as well) – the passage in question states the following: "After being tagged, and bearing in mind article evolution, periodic script or bot runs clean up formats, correcting any new introductions since its last visit, and updating the visit date on the Use dmy dates template." (emphasis mine)

My problem with this is the following: updating the ("visit") date parameter in the {{Use dmy dates}} template will thus obscure when such a tag was originally added to an article! This has most recently come up at Lausanne Metro, where a {{Use dmy dates}} tag was first placed on the article in August 2010 (almost five years ago!), but has now recently been "updated" by script to "March 2015". I think this is unhelpful because it definitely does obscure when a 'dmy' tag was originally placed at the article.

So, perhaps the best solution to this would be to add a parameter to this template – perhaps something like an adddate parameter to indicate when the template was first added to a page, along with the (visit) date parameter to indicate when a script (or etc.) most recently updated the dates on this page?... Any other ideas here? TIA. --IJBall (talk) 08:10, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure how the adddate would be useful. The point of the template is to periodically check to ensure the right format is being used, and give a hint for other editors on what to use. Jerodlycett (talk) 13:03, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
The original date of when these templates are added can definitely be useful when MOS:DATEFORMAT discussions arise, with the idea being that it will give other editors a "hint" how long a particular date format has been implemented at a particular article. But I like your suggestion at my Talk page better than mine: namely, the "date" parameter can be used for when the template is first added (as it is with other templates, like {{citation needed}}) to an article, while a new parameter – like "last-checked=March 2015" as you suggested – can be used by bots and scripts to indicate when a bot or script last checked the date format at the particular article. I think that's a better solution than my suggested adddate parameter. --IJBall (talk) 14:44, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Makes sense, I support the change. Make sure you have added a link to this discussion at {{use mdy dates}} if you haven't already. Jerodlycett (talk) 03:11, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
OK, I've posted over at the {{Use mdy dates}} Talk page, routing any interest in this discussion over here. --IJBall (talk) 05:47, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Two things: The wikipedia versioning system has a built-in audit trail; the tagging is a maintenance system to implement and monitor clean-ups going forwards.

    There was never any intention nor a perceived need to have a multiplication of template parameters. If there are arguments about when exactly the date formats were aligned, this can be ascertained by doing a little bit of detective work using the article history. On average, most articles will only have been aligned one or twice by script in their entire history. AFAIK, such arguments are few and far between and I do not see much utility updating in excess of 500,000 articles to include the 'date added' parameter, or to manage additional new parameters going forwards. -- Ohc ¡digame! 06:51, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

On a technical level, what would it involve, though? Adding a parameter to the templates, and then some recoding of a few bots and, like, AWB?... Basically, I am curious exactly how much work would be involved. I don't think anyone is suggesting going back, and retroactively adding a new parameter to articles which already have these templates – it's more along the lines of adding the last-checked parameter upon new bot or script checks, going forward. And I'm afraid the "doing a little bit of detective work using the article history" rather misses the point – the utility of having the original dates "added" in these templates is exactly for newer editors (who would be able to quickly ascertain how long a particular article had a Use dmy dates tag just by a quick glance at the "Edit" tab) rather having to go digging through Edit histories (which newer editors may not know how to do)... But, failing all of that, the other solution is simply to not update the "date" parameter" upon every new "alignment", and simply to change to documentation that goes along with these templates to just leave the "add" date as is. If that's the simpler solution, far be it from me to oppose just the simpler change. --IJBall (talk) 07:16, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I am against adding a "date originally tagged" parameter. I see no reason to know the original date of tagging if a bot has since revisited the article. After all, that is the only reason we have the date parameter at all, to help understand which articles need to be revisited most urgently. Debresser (talk) 18:10, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it is unsurprising to me that the view around here is to accommodate the bots primarily rather than the editors who actually edit the articles (as these are the people who would find the date of the original 'dmy dates' tagging most useful). To be clear, the discussion has moved on from my original suggestion – the idea we're talking about now is leaving the (original) 'date' parameter as is, and adding a new 'last-checked' parameter which the bots (and scripts) would actually check (and update accordingly). --IJBall (talk) 20:43, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
I wonder where you got that dim view of Wikipedia from. There is simply no reason to provide editors with information on when the tag was originally added, but there is a reason to let bots know when the tag was last updated. Debresser (talk) 11:51, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
That's great, as one editor's opinion. Would it matter to you if I told you that I remember using the "add date" of a 'Use xxx dates' tag in at least one discussion of the appropriate DATEFORMAT to use in an article's references?... IOW, knowing when the tag is added can be useful in discussions that arise, and it would be helpful to editors (esp. newer, less knowledgeable one) if that info was readily available. In any case, I really don't see why anyone would oppose this, as the proposal would include both types of information – e.g. {{Use dmy dates|date=June 2010|last-updated=March 2015}}. Provided this isn't a massive coding headache (and, again, I'm not suggesting going back and "fixing" already-placed 'Use xxx dates' templates, simply adding the new 'last-updated' parameter on any new checks and updates, going forward), I can't figure out why anyone would be opposed to something like this... --IJBall (talk) 17:13, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
@IJBall:I understand what you are saying, but I fundamentally disagree with you. Just because you may have discussed with another editor about other possible uses for the date parameters is not all that relevant to article maintenance. I'd reiterate that the tags were placed to assist maintenance, and I do not feel that adding another parameter in improves the maintenance of date formats in any way for any given article. The templates are not for newer editors to avoid having to go digging through edit histories. And if original insertion dates were to be added, the dates may not even be accurately reflect when the article was actually dated, whereas the article history is never wrong. -- Ohc ¡digame! 17:20, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
I guess the ultimate question is: Why can't they do both? Both help with (bot) maintenance, and help editors by providing info for editing (and potential editing discussions). Let me clear here: I've done a lot more "date format fixing" on my end manually over the last year+, than I've ever seen bots, or editors using AWB, etc., doing the same. (Jerodlycett doing that at an article I sometimes check was possibly the first time I've seen an instance of the latter in over a year!) I really can't think of a good reason not to have these templates do both, unless doing so is such a coding nightmare that it literally becomes far too difficult to do. --IJBall (talk) 18:15, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
What I wrote is not "one editor's opinion", but the de facto consensus on Wikipedia. And as an editor who has been over many years heavily involved in maintenance templates, that should give you an indication. In any case, if we would add such a parameter to this template, we would have to do it for a large part of maintenance templates. I strongly oppose adding yet another parameter, but if yes, you'll have to reach a broader consensus than just at this talkpage. Debresser (talk) 09:49, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
  • This is not some "war" that you win or lose. It's a maintenance tag to which you want to incorporate another apparently unrelated feature whose benefit seems marginal. I'm opposing your suggestion because it will affect over half a million articles, and would be unnecessarily disruptive. That is not to say that I would oppose a new feature that would have clear benefits to article maintenance. -- Ohc ¡digame! 13:56, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

Category no longer hidden?[edit]

I added this cat to Ferial Haffajee but it is not hidden with date of January 2016 so I changed it to December 2015. The template may need a code tweak. HelenOnline 12:27, 3 January 2016 (UTC)

Oops, wrong template this is for {{Use South African English}}. HelenOnline 12:29, 3 January 2016 (UTC)
Seems to be correctly hidden as I write. Maybe some mechanical glitch, or someone has fixed it. -- Ohc ¡digame! 15:06, 3 January 2016 (UTC)


Without getting into a war over the respective rights and wrongs of dmy or mdy, I am more interested as to why this is hidden from readers. All articles should regard WP:RF as fundamental, and what is more confusing to a reader than not knowing how dates are used? It is all well and good saying "an English article uses dmy", but would a Michigan high school student realise that the 5/11/1605 gunpowder plot occurred in November, not May? Likewise would a Yorkshire high school student automatically realise that the the first battle of Fort Sumter occurred in April and not December if faced with 4/12/1861? Personally I would like to see the month spelled out explicitly or else ISO dates (YYYY-MM-DD) used. However, may I suggest that the two templates dmy and mdy ought to automatically produce a hatnote informing the reader of the convention in use.. The template is fully protected so there is nothing I can do. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 00:05, 28 December 2016 (UTC)

Comment The only valid format for all numeric dates is the ISO date format. Dates of the form 4/12/1861 are not allowed according to the Manual of Style so it should not be a problem for readers. Keith D (talk) 01:22, 8 January 2017 (UTC)

A Question[edit]

Is adding this template considered "cosmetic" or "non-substantial"? I don't believe that it has any effect on the rendered page, but does it add the page to some sort of hidden tracking category? Basically, I was wondering if it was considered appropriate to add this template to a page without making any other changes. Thanks, Gluons12 | 22:42, 23 February 2017 (UTC).

It adds a tracking category, and serves as information to editors. From what I have seen this is not considered a trivial edit, and can be made even with automated tools and not other change made. Debresser (talk) 23:27, 23 February 2017 (UTC)