Date WTF - The other extreme



  • I agree with today's WTF - Clients/Testers should be encouraged to use BOTH the software AND their brain at the same time.
    Nevertheless, especially regarding textboxes with special formattings in it, programmers should watch out thet they don't become too arrogant as well. As they did in the "Date formatting" example of the famous phpBB forum software for example:

    Date format:
    The syntax used is identical to the PHP date() function.

    I mean, I, as a programmer know what the software is talking about here. But do the users of the hundrets of forums that happen do not deal with anything computer related? Should they have to know? Propably not.



  • <Standart forum WTF complaint>



    I agree with today's WTF - Clients/Testers should be encouraged to use BOTH the software AND their brain at the same time.

    Nevertheless, especially regarding textboxes with special formattings in it, programmers should watch out thet they don't become too arrogant as well. As they did in the "Date formatting" example of the famous phpBB forum software for example:



    Date format: The syntax used is identical to the PHP date() function.



    I mean, I, as a programmer know what the software is talking about here. But do the users of the hundrets of forums that happen do not deal with anything computer related? Should they have to know? Propably not.



  • The thing is, the date() function is very complex. Explaining it all would take long, and they do provide a link to the reference.

    What they could do to improve it, I think, would be to provide the format strings for a few popular formats (MM/DD/YYYY, DD. MM. YYYY, and so on.)



  • One thing I've learned in decades of UI design is that you never force your user to know the required formatting for the data as stored.  Date drops or calendar controls are far superior to forcing the user to type in the date "just so."  Anything else is just asking for trouble.



  • I disagree. Calendar drops and DatePickers require mouse clicking and that is bad for productivity. Ideally, user must be able to choose between (a) directly typing it in locale's format (this format should be informed next to the editbox) or (b) a datePicker. In case of (a), user is choosing for productivity, in case of (b), he's choosing ease-of-use.

    There's a similar problem for city/country selection. Usually the user is presented to big, crowded list of countries. I'd rather type my country's name than search for it inside such a list. This drop-down thingie is usually there to standardize the spelling (ie, matching your "city" field in your personal informado to exactly one record in the "cities" table). IMO, this a rich place for an auto-completing AJAX component which would save both bandwidth load (by not sending whole list of countries) and user patience (typing is ALWAYS faster than clicking).



  • Plus having a datepicker adds other benifits such as if you want to select next sunday but are not sure which date that is. Just so long as you enable it for entering text into as well (any date picker that does not allow this should be considered flawed).



  • Heh, new here, right? [:D]

    Welcome to TDWTF!



  • Here we've standardized on a date entry field, showing the
    user-preferred date format afterwards (DD/MM/YYYY), and that's followed
    by a date picker. They can do whatever they want.



    For reports we also have "Quick Dates" this or last week, month, or quarter.



    Either we've got really intelligent users, or a really lousy support system, but we've never heard any complaints.



  • @PSWorx said:

    hundrets


    [b]hundrets (n) (pl)[/b]
    - a multitude of little hundrs
    ex. [i]Give me that batch of [b]~[/b], willya?[/i]


    I'm sorry.
    I'm in a mood.
    :)


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