Alpha Video Training
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 73

Thread: Date formats

  1. #1
    Member Martin's Avatar
    Real Name
    Martin Wolff
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    376

    Default Date formats

    I seem to have amazed some people by suggesting that the excellent range of formats in which dates can be displayed should be the same as the format displayed when a date field is in focus.

    So, can, for instance, a date displayed on a form as 07-MAY-06 should display in that format when the field is in focus (and being updated) and not change to, 06/07/2006.

    (Please don't say that the "in focus" format reflects the Windows setting - if we are to rely on the Windows setting, why have a facility to select the format in Alpha at all?)

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Member ChrisHawkes's Avatar
    Real Name
    Chris Hawkes
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Dorset, UK
    Posts
    295

    Default

    I'll second this request

    Chris
    If It Works First Time, There's Something Wrong!!!

  3. #3
    "Certified" Alphaholic
    Real Name
    Tom Cone Jr
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    23,310

    Default

    I would settle for military dates during data entry. i.e. 27 May 06

    This is universally understood regardless of regional customs in various parts of the world.

    -- tom

  4. #4
    Member John Gamble's Avatar
    Real Name
    John Gamble
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Newmarket, ON Canada
    Posts
    886

    Default

    Tom

    May I respectfully differ. I believe 27-May-2006 is primarily a US format.

    In Canada it would more likely be May 27, 2006. It seems to flow better.

    When asked the date, would you not more likely say "It's May twenty seventh two thousand and six". Oh well we Canadians just have to be different eh!

    Cheers, John

  5. #5
    Member Martin's Avatar
    Real Name
    Martin Wolff
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    376

    Default

    I didn't intend to start a discussion on what is the "best" format (but be my guest!) My client has decided (and his reasons are not the issue, just that his mix of US and European customers are a factor) that he'd like to represent dates in the format, 05-JUN-06. in version 6, Alpha has a comprehensive range of date formats to choose from, including that one. No problem so far.

    All I want is that, once a format has been chosen by the user, she or he can input in that format. That's it!

    Say, for example, someone had chosen my above format. As they tab through a form, they get to a date field which, when out of focus, says 05-JUN-06. As soon as it has focus the field changes to 06/05/06 and has to be updated in that format. How can this possibly not be confusing? If someone has a preference for a format, why can't they use that format throughout the system?

    In the end, what we think of as the "best" format is irrelevant; it's the clients and users who decide these things, although I must say I find the US custom of putting the month first, then the day, then the year rather odd. After all, we don't represent one hundred and thirty seven as "173" we go from smallest to largest (in one direction or the other).

    But, of course, it's a cultural thing. Why would someone want to be in one culture when they're viewing a form and another when they're amending it?

    I am genuinely surprised that this seems to be such a problem. It seems obvious to me. What have I failed to understand?

    Best wishes,

    Martin.
    PS: John, being different is what we like about Canadians!

  6. #6
    Member John Gamble's Avatar
    Real Name
    John Gamble
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Newmarket, ON Canada
    Posts
    886

    Default

    Martin

    In my system I have setup variables at startup to define a long & short Date & time format (user customizable). These are used for display only purposes.

    For Data entry it's set to numerics ONLY, for ease of entry using the numeric keypad. I would think that typing in the alpha month would be very cumbersome & time consuming.

    Difference makes the world go around.

    John

  7. #7
    Member Martin's Avatar
    Real Name
    Martin Wolff
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    376

    Default

    ...mine not to reason why, just to give the customer what he wants. We're not talking about ranks of specialist data entry clerks who want speed at all costs; most data entry is carried out during discussions with clients, etc. and is comparatively leisurely. They just want consistency.

    Martin.

  8. #8
    Member Ton Spies's Avatar
    Real Name
    Ton Spies
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
    Posts
    555

    Default unwanted loss of format

    Before I wanted to open a new thread I remember there was already one.
    That's why I add it here.

    Is this a recall? Maybe
    Is this a bug? I hope it is. Then there comes a solution.

    I have a form with a timefield ( european formatted ) as : 20-08-2007 14:39
    When in changmode it's confusing as it's unexpected shows: 20/08/2007 02:39:00 00 pm

    What happens is that the formatcode (while changing the field) is set to "None"


    It would not be nice, It would be terrific! if the format(code) whould NOT change.

    Ton

  9. #9
    Member
    Real Name
    Xichi Zheng
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Date formats

    I am willing to use Windows Regional Settings to input dates in my preferred format, which is yyyy-mm-dd (ISO 8601 standard). I have tried several times over the last few months to no avail. Can someone help me make my forms show and accept dates in yyyy-mm-dd format?

    I have a Alpha 4.5 application waiting to be upgraded to version 8. The date format yyyy-mm-dd worked just fine in 4.5, and I don't want to tell the user that she has to change her input format now.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by xichi; 09-09-2007 at 09:03 PM.

  10. #10
    Member Windrider6's Avatar
    Real Name
    Bruce A. Johnson
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Hardisty, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Date formats

    I'm a new user, trying out Alpha Five version 9.

    It is a huge black mark against Alpha in my book that date entry is only allowed in one format.

    I'm used to defining and using a custom date format (2009-Apr-18), for both display and entry, in Paradox and the spreadsheet in OpenOffice.org (Calc). Actually, I'm used to displaying the date in that format, and entering the date in either that format, or MM/DD/YY.

    On my Vista computer, I have my system locale as English-United States, and have set YYYY-MMM-DD as my short date format, but Alpha only seems to allow date entry in the format DD-MM-YYYY, which I never use. Very frustrating.

    I also find it disappointing that this thread in the Features Wishlist has existed for 3 years, and this standard feature has still not been added to Alpha.

  11. #11
    Member Martin's Avatar
    Real Name
    Martin Wolff
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    376

    Default Re: Date formats

    I, too, am amazed that this has not been resolved in version 9. I mainly used other languages now, but I'm tempted, from time to time, to buy a copy of the latest "all singing, all dancing" version. Looks like I might have the same problems I encountered all those years ago...

  12. #12
    VAR csda1's Avatar
    Real Name
    Ira J Perlow
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    3,530

    Default Re: Date formats

    Hi Bruce,

    Quote Originally Posted by Windrider6 View Post
    On my Vista computer, I have my system locale as English-United States, and have set YYYY-MMM-DD as my short date format, but Alpha only seems to allow date entry in the format DD-MM-YYYY, which I never use.
    What you stated is not quite correct. Alpha's input structure for date's is based upon a windows setting (I'm not sure of the exact one offhand), but can be the format mm/dd/yyyy or dd/mm/yyyy, and the slashes can be dashes, and possibly other special characters.

    For input, one could also collect dates in any format by using XDialog to gather the field info, and while not editiing the field, Alpha has the ability to store in many defined formats, and can even have user-defined formats as well.
    Regards,

    Ira J. Perlow
    Computer Systems Design


    CSDA A5 Products
    New - Free CSDA DiagInfo - v1.39, 30 Apr 2013
    CSDA Barcode Functions

    CSDA Code Utility
    CSDA Screen Capture



  13. #13
    Member Martin's Avatar
    Real Name
    Martin Wolff
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    376

    Default Re: Date formats

    I did, in another system in written in about 2001 I think, manage to make every date field in the application (there were many) display and update in the format dd-MMM-yy (BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT THE USER WANTED, before you all start) but this involved using character fields (derived from a stored date variable) with a filter and then a little bit of xbasic which converted it back to a date variable, validated it with error messages, then stored it. Very cumbersome and added quite a bit to the development time. It is still running, although I did think at the time that I might just as well have used a lower-level "line by line" language.

    Not what you want if you're a new user, Windrider6. Good luck, though, A5 has many good points, although my experience does not extend beyond version 6.

  14. #14
    "Certified" Alphaholic Keith Hubert's Avatar
    Real Name
    Keith Hubert
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    6,930

    Default Re: Date formats

    Hi Martin,

    Still using V6?

    I strongly recommend you at least have a trial version of V9.

    The field line up in design mode, is only one of the many great features.
    Regards
    Keith Hubert
    Alpha Guild Member
    London.
    KHDB Management Systems
    Skype = keith.hubert


    For your day-to-day Needs, you Need an Alpha Database!

  15. #15
    Member Windrider6's Avatar
    Real Name
    Bruce A. Johnson
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Hardisty, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Date formats

    I took a break from thinking about databases (partly because I got busy). Now I'm back, with a clearer head, but only to say goodbye.

    If such a basic thing of formats for entering and displaying dates is too complicated to do, then I fear for the other issues that I'll inevitably have. I figure, "Why bother?"

    The fact that this limitation on displaying and entering dates has existed for years, makes clear that the programmers care more about their coding, than they do about the plain desktop database user.

    It appears to me that Alpha Five is designed for those who want to make their own custom database applications, not for a plain desktop database user.

    I can continue to use Paradox for at least the lifetime of my new computer. After that, I may look around for another desktop database program, but I won't bother looking at Alpha again.

    Good-bye.

  16. #16
    "Certified" Alphaholic
    Real Name
    Tom Cone Jr
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    23,310

    Default Re: Date formats

    Drop back by sometime and let us know when you find the perfect database. Til then, so long and safe travels. -- tom

  17. #17
    Member Robin Hoare's Avatar
    Real Name
    Robin Hoare
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Rawene, a small rural township in the Far North of New Zealand
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: Date formats

    The common entry format for dates used in Britain, New Zealand and (I think) Australia (and probably other countries) is DD MM YY, *NEVER* MM DD YY
    I'm writing a program where dates are most important: why can't I adjust the entry format in SETTINGS? Not too much to ask, I would think! This is most important to me as I am not writing for a skilled user base.

  18. #18
    Member
    Real Name
    Robin Henagulph
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Bermuda
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Date formats

    I have struggled for years with the intransigence of A5 date fields. In Bermuda we have many American and canadian patients (sorry KB/vista faulty) as well as the 'British' Bermudian date users. In the end I had to have a seperate field with the 29th Feb 2009 that was automatically generated from the date entered in the input field that had a legend 'US Date Format' to avoid confusion and all invoices etc likewise have the full date including text.

    this is not just an A5 problem. We use customer Appointment manager (ibid)and had to give in and just use US dates. changing the xP defaults to 'UK' just made matters worse. Perhaps one day the world will unite with the canadian (military?) format -yyyy mmm dd which, to me, is unambigous.

  19. #19
    Member Martin's Avatar
    Real Name
    Martin Wolff
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    376

    Default Re: Date formats

    Just think:

    A system where there are two columns:

    The first says mdy (or ydm or dmy, ie the sequence)

    The second says y4 (or y2), mN (or mc or mc3 or mn2), or dc, or dc3 or dc2 or dn (ie the format).

    Well, I've spent about a minute thinking about this; I'm sure someone can come up with a simple method of user-defining date formats. It's not, as they say, rocket science. If it's really that difficult, tell me and I'll come up with some suggestions, but really, A5, it can't be that hard to sort this long-running problem out. Can it?

  20. #20
    Member Martin's Avatar
    Real Name
    Martin Wolff
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    376

    Default Re: Date formats

    Hi Keith,

    I have a client with an application which he's 99% happy with. He wants a small modification. Does it really make commercial sense to upgrade him and his staff to a new version for a small mod? It really makes me think that A5 would be a bad investment for future development if a total version upgrade is necessary for any future minor change.

    Martin.

  21. #21
    Member Robin Hoare's Avatar
    Real Name
    Robin Hoare
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Rawene, a small rural township in the Far North of New Zealand
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: Date formats

    I have Open Office, as most of you know a free alternative to Microsoft Office.
    In formatting cells in the spreadsheet, it enables me to choose from more than a dozen styles for dates....
    Now Open Office is open source, so the source code is in the public domain and can be copied.
    My prospective users are ordinary folk who will want to enter dates in their own way. They should be able to choose this.

    I hope I don't have to wait till A5 version 10 to get this problem sorted!
    Last edited by Robin Hoare; 07-10-2009 at 08:48 PM.

  22. #22
    Alpha Software Employee Selwyn Rabins's Avatar
    Real Name
    Selwyn Rabins
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    5,297

    Default Re: Date formats

    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Hoare View Post
    The common entry format for dates used in Britain, New Zealand and (I think) Australia (and probably other countries) is DD MM YY, *NEVER* MM DD YY
    I'm writing a program where dates are most important: why can't I adjust the entry format in SETTINGS? Not too much to ask, I would think! This is most important to me as I am not writing for a skilled user base.
    I don't understand your point. Alpha Five is not 'hard coded' to use MM/DD/YY format. It uses whatever format is defined in your computer's Regional Settings.

    So, if your regional settings are DD/MM/YY then that's how A5 displays dates and accepts data entry into data fields.

    Are you saying that you are not seeing this behavior?

    The attached image shows what by Browse on the alphasports invoice_header table looks like after I have changed my regional settings to English (New Zealand).

    As the image clearly shows, the data format is automatically set to dd/mm/yy.

  23. #23
    Member Robin Hoare's Avatar
    Real Name
    Robin Hoare
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Rawene, a small rural township in the Far North of New Zealand
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: Date formats

    "Are you saying that you are not seeing this behavior?"

    Yes, that is just what I am saying. As you will see from the attached composite image, I am set to New Zealand format (and have never been set to anything else!)

    If I try to insert 24/8/1934 I get the message "constant operator is not recognised"

    If Alpha 5 behaved as you say I would have no problem. Is this perhaps a Vista "feature"? Or have I omitted some setting on Alpha 5? I'm using it as it came to me.

    I think from what I read that some other people have had the same difficulty.

  24. #24
    "Certified" Alphaholic
    Real Name
    Mike Christensen
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Michigan U.P.
    Posts
    5,937

    Default Re: Date formats

    Robin,
    Not just you and not just Vista. I get the same error message when trying to enter with a mask set to a ddmmyyyy in XP (Professional and Media Center versions). In addition, when entering the field the data is presented in US format even when using a mask.

    Regional settings makes NO difference at all---US format takes precedence.

    I actually think there are two issues here---
    1. Regional Settings not being used.

    2. Mask only being applied after date is entered with a US format (even though the mask format is being displayed)--otherwise error comes up.
    Mike
    __________________________________________
    It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.
    It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
    Henry David Thoreau
    __________________________________________




  25. #25
    Alpha Software Employee Selwyn Rabins's Avatar
    Real Name
    Selwyn Rabins
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    5,297

    Default Re: Date formats

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeC View Post
    Robin,
    Not just you and not just Vista. I get the same error message when trying to enter with a mask set to a ddmmyyyy in XP (Professional and Media Center versions). In addition, when entering the field the data is presented in US format even when using a mask.

    Regional settings makes NO difference at all---US format takes precedence.

    I actually think there are two issues here---
    1. Regional Settings not being used.

    2. Mask only being applied after date is entered with a US format (even though the mask format is being displayed)--otherwise error comes up.

    I have no idea why this would be happening on your machine. Alpha Five has been designed to honor regional settings since version 1 of the product, and I have tested regional settings for many different countries multiple times and have never seen a problem.

  26. #26
    "Certified" Alphaholic Tim Kiebert's Avatar
    Real Name
    Tim Kiebert
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Geelong, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    2,785

    Default Re: Date formats

    Am not having any problems here on the latest official v9 patch, set to English(Australia)
    Tim Kiebert
    Eagle Creek Citrus
    A complex system that does not work is invariably found to have evolved from a simpler system that worked just fine.

  27. #27
    Member Robin Hoare's Avatar
    Real Name
    Robin Hoare
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Rawene, a small rural township in the Far North of New Zealand
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: Date formats

    This is mysterious. I originally bought Alpha 5 v7 and put it on an XP machine. I noticed this behaviour then. I didn't continue with the database I was writing as I had other things to do. Recently I bought Alpha 5 v9 and put it on my newer Vista machine. The same thing happens...

    It does look as if I'm not the only one to experience this, though. I can't really continue confidently with the genealogical database because all the certificates are in dd mm yyyy format and sooner or later people would make an error even if they tried to use the US form.

    I wonder if this IS a Windows fault? Is there some other test that someone can suggest?

    I have done a little Googling and querying "regional settings problems" brings up 78,700,000 references!!! I'll try the first million.

    Robin

  28. #28
    Member Mike Thomson's Avatar
    Real Name
    Mike Thomson
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    266

    Default Re: Date formats

    Hi Robin,

    As you know I have looked at this problem for you personally

    The issue is likely to be environmental (ie: Config of your operating system) and not Alpha Five , as you seem to be the only person experiencing this. My standard date format is always as you describe and this has been the case ever since I have been using Alpha.

    Try going to DOS prompt & typing DATE to see format of date returned by OS

    If you wish to send me a copy of your database I will be happy to test for you under Australasian format.

    Cheers Mike
    Mike Thomson

  29. #29
    Member Robin Hoare's Avatar
    Real Name
    Robin Hoare
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Rawene, a small rural township in the Far North of New Zealand
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: Date formats

    Thanks Mike.

    Under DOS, DATE gives the correct format, so the OS is correct it seems. There are layers of Windows over that, though, aren't there? I read somewhere that the registry is deeply involved. Does DOS consult the registry?

    I will send you a little test file separately, one cannot send .dbf here.

    It seems that Robin Henagulph and MikeC also have problems.

    Robin

  30. #30
    Member Ton Spies's Avatar
    Real Name
    Ton Spies
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
    Posts
    555

    Default Re: Date formats

    Robin,

    Please let us know what is the chosen format for the datefield in your form / browse and the width.


    I took a look at it with (Full) version 7 ( Build 4130/3033) and found out that

    If you've set the format to 'None' on your form or browse the display does not change (the format) in 'viewmode ' or 'changemode' .

    Else
    On the form / browse the 'viewmode' displays the format you've chosen and in 'change mode' the regional window settings.


    Same in version 9 (Platinum Edition) Build 2095/3264.





    The problem in both versions is the timefield but thats another discussion.
    That for me is really inimitable and not to regulate.
    Please Selwyn or non US-betatesters try that in V10! (See my remarks above #8)


    Ton

Similar Threads

  1. New Date Formats
    By John Gamble in forum Archived Wishlist
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-15-2005, 10:19 PM
  2. How to process regional date formats in WAS?
    By René Stout in forum Web Application Server v6
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-20-2005, 08:37 AM
  3. Currency formats
    By Doug Hawkins in forum Alpha Five Version 5
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 12-12-2002, 03:42 AM
  4. Need addl date formats
    By Paul Roesch in forum Alpha Five Version 4
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 03-07-2001, 05:14 AM
  5. A4v6 Date Formats
    By J D Walker in forum Alpha Four Version 6 and Prior
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-26-2001, 04:51 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •