Datetime display preference. Especially for ISO8601.

I suggest creating a preference to allow the user to select the display datetime format.

In particular I suggest the option to have an ISO8601 datetime. E.g. 2016-06-13 02:44

That is, for the `Date Added`; `Modified`; and `Accessed` fields. The `Date` field already happily displays in ISO8601 (At a precision like so: YYYY-MM-DD).

You could even provide a custom datetime field letting the user define their own formats using YYYY, MM, DD, HH, NN, SS, Z codes (etc).

I've scanned the (now closed) thread at: Zotero appearance - How do I change date format in date added.

In that thread there is mention on how to control your datetime display to select a locale datetime format.

In Zotero Standalone, open about:config (Preferences->Advanced->about:config), set intl.locale.matchOS to false, and set general.useragent.locale to en-GB ...
But that technique does not provide access to an ISO8601 format.

Both Dan and Adam have expressed scepticism about the utility of ISO8601 as a display format ...


Y-M-D is a standard computer format (and is how Zotero stores dates internally for sorting), but people aren't really used to reading it.

Graham's question wasn't about a localized version of the date, but about an ISO version of it, which to my knowledge is, as I say, mainly used for automated sorting.
But instead of arguing about why a user might find ISO8601 useful, perhaps I need only point out that there are a number of us that do find it useful, and if it is implemented as a user preference - well every user can get the format they desire.

Edit: All this was with respect to Zotero Standalone. I have not installed Zotero 5.0 Beta.
  • I'd second this comment.

    I much prefer (as do many Canadians) YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS (i.e 24 hour clock). FYI all Canadian Federal Government forms use this format - so people are quite used to this format.

    This is what I have set for my computer via the OS - why can't Zotero pickup the local preference of the OS rather than the browser - as other applications do.

    I'm also suffering the problem on standalone that the middle pane shows D.M.YY H:MM:SS AM/PM whereas "date created / modified" in the right pane shows M/D/YYYY H:MM:SS
  • Thanks for your second @antonyupward.

    Personally I'd want Zotero to have it's own field for setting the output datetime format, rather than pick it up from the OS (although the Zotero setting could pick up the format from the OS by default, on install, so long as this was later overrideable by the user).

    I set my OS to a freakish datetime format (YYYY-MM-MMM-DD-DDD, e.g. "2006-08-Aug-02-Tue") that I wouldn't encourage others to adopt, and that I don't necessarily want my other apps to adopt.
Sign In or Register to comment.