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Thread: Date formats

  1. #61
    Member Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Date formats

    Quote Originally Posted by gmeredith17 View Post
    I may have missed something but this is the wishlist isn't it. Martin has requested a wish to be able to enter date data in the format of his choosing. Now like many things the wish may already be possible using xbasic if you have the skills but I'm guessing Martin wanted an out of the box solution, hence the wish.

    Now its just down to Alpha to decide whether they can do this and if it is worth doing it. I would suggest it is as there is nothing so annoying as someone presuming what you want which is the case at the moment. The presumption being you want to enter the data using regional settings format. That being said I do not think Alpha have done anything wrong in making regional settings the default. This is logical and for most scenarios perfectly acceptable but it would be nice and a worthy wish to have an option to override it if required.
    The fact that this thread is three years and fifty-one days old would indicate that Alpha have long ago decided what's best for us. I can take a hint, Selwyn.

  2. #62
    Member Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Date formats

    Quote Originally Posted by Selwyn Rabins View Post
    Thanks for the email.

    If I understand what you have shown correctly, your video shows a situation in which the Region Settings (set in the Windows control Panel) is mm/dd/yy.

    You have then gone into a Form and set the display format for a date to be dd/mm/yy.

    You have then assumed that since your display format is dd/mm/yy that the 'data entry format' for the date should also be 'dd/mm/yy'.

    Is that correct?

    But in fact, that's NOT how Alpha Five is designed to operate.

    The display format for a date has NOTHING to do with the data entry format for the date.

    There is only ONE way to control the data entry format for a date and that is by setting the Regional Settings from the Windows control panel.

    Frankly, it really makes no sense if your regional settings are set to a mm/dd/yy format to select ANY of the display format choices that are in the dd/mm/yy format.

    And if your regional settings specify a date format of dd/mm/yy then it really does not make any sense to select any of the display formats that are in mm/dd/yy format.

    (The exception would be if you are preparing a report for consumption in another region of the world)


    Nevertheless, there is no bug here in a5.

    To repeat my point - the data entry format for dates is controlled by the Regional Settings. There is NO OTHER way to set the data entry format for dates.

    The display format of a data is NOT the data entry format for a date and the two should not be confused.

    >>> "(The exception would be if you are preparing a report for consumption in another region of the world)" <<<

    Isn't this supposed to be the point of the WORLD wide web?

  3. #63
    Alpha Software Employee Selwyn Rabins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Date formats

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin View Post
    >>> "(The exception would be if you are preparing a report for consumption in another region of the world)" <<<

    Isn't this supposed to be the point of the WORLD wide web?
    I don't understand what your point is. How does your point relate to the date format for data entry?

  4. #64
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    Default Re: Date formats

    Selwyn,

    I can see why Alpha defaults the way it does but I do not think it is unreasonable to ask for an alternative. It can be confusing for data entry on a form when the date is displayed on the form in one format but when you edit the date it is in another format. It just isn't consistent and can definitely lead to problems when dealing with different countries. I have customers in the USA who obviously use the mm/dd/yyyy format. This is not natural for me as the standard in the UK is dd/mm/yyyy. Now the way round this would be to be able to enter the data in the form of 02 Sep 2009. There is no possible confusion when entering in this format. You can clearly see which element of the date is the month. I believe this is the option what Michael has requested. To be able to have the form display and edit the date in the same format. Not an unreasonable request but where it comes in the priorities is debatable although he has been waiting a long time. Please note that I would like the option to be able to do this but it really isn't a deal breaker for me in using Alpha. Just one of those things it would be nice to have out of the box. As it has been stated in previous posts it is already possible with some xbasic manipulation. Maybe a compromise would be for Alpha to provide a 'how to' using xbasic in the help manual for this one.

    Regards

    Geoff

  5. #65
    "Certified" Alphaholic Keith Hubert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Date formats

    Hi Geoff,

    Have you thought about using separate fields for the Day-Month and Year?

    You can still use all the values in your application.
    Regards
    Keith Hubert
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  6. #66
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    Default Re: Date formats

    Keith, your post reminds me of the sequence I follow when completing an online purchase. The expiration date for my charge card is obtained with simple drop down lists for month and year. Alpha Five supports simple lookups, too, and they can be displayed as drop downs, so collecting month, day, and year values would be easy to deploy. A tiny bit of code would be required to convert the input values into a single date.

  7. #67
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    Default Re: Date formats

    Hi Keith,

    I would probably use a variable on the form and use xbasic to validate and convert to a date format and then save in the appropriate date field. To be honest this isn't high on my list of needs but I understand why it has been requested where some seem be struggling with the need for it. I thought a 'how to' using xbasic code using the above strategy might help others that need this functionality. If I get time I will try and create a function for it but at the moment I have a 101 other jobs to complete.

    Thanks for the suggestion though.

    Cheers

    Geoff

  8. #68
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    Default Re: Date formats

    Geoff, I think you'll find that validating raw text will be difficult and time consuming. Users who can type anything often do....

  9. #69
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    Default Re: Date formats

    After Selwyn's explanation, I guess I am also having a hard time understanding the wish.

    When you set your regional settings to whatever is wanted and if you set your display accordingly, then you are done--works as is wanted.

    If, OTOH, you want to enter contrary to the regional settings (override regional), then it makes sense.....but what purpose could this serve? When an application is marketed across date format differences then so long as you leave the form's format at default, then their regional settings will show the date as they want to see it.

    ....maybe now I am also missing something as I do not see a problem anymore.
    Mike
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  10. #70
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    Default Re: Date formats

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeC View Post
    ... When you set your regional settings to whatever is wanted and if you set your display accordingly, then you are done--works as is wanted....
    My thoughts:
    Absolutely no problem at all. The application is used in multiple locations in multiple countries and I'll either (a) tell every country that they have to set their regional settings to some specific country even if it messes up everything else they do on their computer or (b) make multiple versions of my program and then make sure that each location gets the correct version. And, in case "b", updating my app won't be a problem. I'll just update all 4 versions and hope to get them all the same and all correct. It may mean I need a lot of extra time ($$) for updates (and fixes of fixes because of the confusing of working with multiple apps) and lots of airline miles to setup each location but so what - the company can pay for it.

    Although it isn't a big deal for any of my own apps, I completely agree that in some circumstances the current situation has the potential to cause some serious problems. Sure, a work-around can be created but it's still a work-around - time consuming, expensive, and subject to problems.

    I think setting the date input format within A5 would be a wonderful feature used by many. (I know I would use it even if it isn't critical to my apps.) If it were to take 4 man hours of programming to do it, I'd say it should definitely be done. On the other hand, if it were to take 2 man weeks then maybe it isn't worthwhile.

    Edit - Other thoughts:
    - I haven't tested this but maybe leaving all display settings in forms to <None> will mean that they use the regional settings. If that's true, then don't set the display format in the forms and just let the regional settings handle it. However, if leaving it as <None> means that the display is always MM/DD/YYYY - there's a problem!
    - I can well imagine one of the companies I used to work for insisting that everyone in the world should always write dates using one specific format. Someone visiting the US from the parent company in Italy would have a fit if they sat down to use a US computer and the date input format was different. This would be a strong reason for supporting the ability to set the date input format within A5. (Italy was just an example. I don't know if they use a different date format or not.)
    Last edited by CALocklin; 09-02-2009 at 04:04 PM.

  11. #71
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    Default Re: Date formats

    Cal,
    Your last statement is exactly what I referred to.
    leaving all display settings in forms to <None> will mean that they use the regional settings. If that's true, then don't set the display format in the forms and just let the regional settings handle it
    This is how my regional settings work with a few tests I did. The regional settings are used on the form when no specific format is used--makes sense to me. This gives any application that is developed the ability to use whatever regional settings a user is used to.....no need to have any client change their settings / no need to create multiple apps.

    Am I seeing this incorrectly?? If so, please set me straight!!! :)


    LATER EDIT: I do, however, think that it would be a nice feature to be able to override the regional if wanted as some applications work better (nicer?) when say a shortened date format is chosen --01/31/09 instead of the regional settting that would be used for most other cases --01/31/2009.
    Last edited by MikeC; 09-02-2009 at 06:39 PM.
    Mike
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  12. #72
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Default Re: Date formats

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeC View Post
    Cal,
    Your last statement is exactly what I referred to.
    In that case, I'm in 99% agreement. The one other issue I can see is when someone visits an office in another country and uses one of their computers. In that case, the borrowed computer would likely have a different date format and that would cause confusion. Having worked in a multi-national company I can understand the concern. We were the American office of the Italian division of a Swedish company.

    This is why I was referring to the company I used to work for. I'm sure many of them would probably prefer to have all computers at all locations use the same date "input and view" formats so there would be no confusion when visiting other locations. It was very common to have Italians visit us and vice versa. In fact, I recall often specifying dates as DD-MMM-YYYY to avoid confusion. As someone else pointed out, 10-Sep-2009 is pretty unambiguous.

    If your customer only has locations in one country, it shouldn't really be a big deal. However, for multi-nationals.....

  13. #73
    VAR Pat Bremkamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Date formats

    In the V10 web grid, there appears to be an option to set the date entry format, and more importantly, the format can be set by setting a session variable.

    If this works as stated (with some guessing on my part...I haven't tried it), then if I have a web customer in England, I can check their home country (or their chosen preference) when they log in and set that session variable, for example dd.MM.yyyy. After that, all grids will have date entry set to that format! Another customer logging in from Altoona, PA can choose MM.dd.yy!

    So, you desktop guys will just have to use grids on the desktop.

    Pat
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