Forum Update - Announcement about May 10th, 2018 update and your password.

Timestamps, so you were saying...

evanh wrote: »
potatohead wrote: »
But, "Bob touched this last week, or just last" may well do all you need. And it's way easier.
As long as the details are also available.

I really don't like the new forum's way of displaying the datestamp of posts. It's oriented from current time only. Comparing older post relative to each other is now futile. It just says December 2017 or something for the whole lot. The sense of minutes/hours/days between posts is lost.
Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball! @opengeekorg ---> Be Excellent To One Another SKYPE = acuity_doug
Parallax colors simplified: http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?123709-Commented-Graphics_Demo.spin<br>

Comments

  • 10 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • And there is the thing.

    Adding the details increases complexity. In my earlier post, I mentioned coherence.

    Do those details need to mesh with real time, or are they just important relative to the forum?

    How important is precision, accuracy?

    Do we care about a leap second, for example? What about an extra day?

    Sequence of posts really matters. When can matter, like last year, or yesterday, or even last hour.

    Each level of precision of when gets more complex, while its need and value go down as the number of use cases only satisfies by that greater precision shrinks.

    Accuracy is the other axis. Last minute precision may well be accurate, in terms of globally recognized time, but is harder than last hour, but nowhere near as hard as last second is.

    All of those things, in addition to the time being consistent, each unit equal, and aligned with other time stamp data, are coherence.

    Does a forum need that? Does a document repository? How about engineering data repository distributed about the globe?

    Scientific data collection may. That is super hard, once the second and lower are involved.

    Even minutes and hours can be hard, if the time is required to be coherent with large bodies of history and data.

    Now, in most cases, local system time, to the second, works. Totally works for a forum. We don't need high coherence, just a sense of sequence and a rough idea of when.

    Just know those details aren't really coherent, unless a very significant investment is made, or a time service is used good to the second, for example.

    It may be that I wrote this at global time reference X, and the forum is off by error Y. That is there, and I would argue nobody cares, unless they do, then it's hard.


    Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball! @opengeekorg ---> Be Excellent To One Another SKYPE = acuity_doug
    Parallax colors simplified: http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?123709-Commented-Graphics_Demo.spin<br>
  • potatoheadpotatohead Posts: 9,196
    edited June 3 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Generally, I hate things like "about 5 months ago", or the example piece on time that I linked in the other thread, "about a year ago"

    First question becomes, "Just when did this @#×!+ happen?"

    Lol.

    About the only useful info is that whatever it is, it's old, and it came before X, around the time of Y and was after Z, in the thread. Comparing to another thread? Useless, as you say.

    On one hand, do I care? Not really, unti I do, like for a patent art discussion, something legal.

    Do I need more? Generally no, unless I do. Same as above.

    Do I want more? Yup. We all do, because we almost always see time as more coherent than it actually is, and when we learn otherwise, it's a pig. Eats at us.

    Some people see this as help. Don't over represent the info. "About a year" is real, though coarse. 5, Jan 2005 8:26:14 UTC probably isn't for coherence purposes, but may well be useful to us anyway, or just comforting. Definitely good for cross discussion time needs, for example.

    I, like you, prefer the data. And I think just understanding coherence would help with all this. "Help" can do more harm than good, and in the case of these coarse time references, the helpers made too many assumptions about what is actually useful, how and when. Bummer.

    Fact is, that precision stamp may be accurate relative to forum time, but not coherent, or far less coherent relative to non forum time.

    Close enough for all but the most rigorous use cases.

    So just stamp it! Let the people, if they exist at all, and they probably don't, worry about how coherent that stamp actually is. Most of us will just feel better, until we don't.

    We might, if say the forum were federated, putting the sequence of posts into question, for example. Probably need second coherence, or tolerance for error in that range. In my past, I've had to deal with that. Hours are easy. Minutes a lot harder. IMHO seconds aren't, unless money and resources are no concern. Even then...

    And on it goes. Time is insane. The closer and more broadly one looks. The harder it gets.

    Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball! @opengeekorg ---> Be Excellent To One Another SKYPE = acuity_doug
    Parallax colors simplified: http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?123709-Commented-Graphics_Demo.spin<br>
  • kwinnkwinn Posts: 7,872
    I agree with evanh, having the date and time to the minute would be a good thing. It doesn't have to be complicated or accurate to a fraction of a second. UTC would be nice, but even local time in a fixed time zone would be fine.
    In science there is no authority. There is only experiment.
    Life is unpredictable. Eat dessert first.
  • Yup.
    Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball! @opengeekorg ---> Be Excellent To One Another SKYPE = acuity_doug
    Parallax colors simplified: http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?123709-Commented-Graphics_Demo.spin<br>
  • potatohead,

    Thanks for the Dave Jones (EEVBlog) style rant.

    Do you feel better now? :expressionless:
  • About time? Nope. It's a mess
    Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball! @opengeekorg ---> Be Excellent To One Another SKYPE = acuity_doug
    Parallax colors simplified: http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?123709-Commented-Graphics_Demo.spin<br>
  • TorTor Posts: 1,934
    edited June 6 Vote Up0Vote Down
    FWIW, I agree. 'June 3' is not a timestamp. It's not very useful. And don't even mention the '.. ago' variant. For the same amount of screen real estate we can have a real time stamp.
  • Yeah, it's a machine rendering of one. Non accurate info removed, basically.

    Because of how difficult coherence is, basically aligning with other time, and or UTC, some are way over reacting by only delivering the most coarse info to the user.

    It's pretty terrible.

    Sort of a "you don't need to know because we know better" feel to it. I've also heard, "we don't want to lead people astray, so we don't provide for it happening" kinds of things too.

    Unless somehow any of us needed to place a forum event in time with real precision, say for legal reasons, or a missing person maybe, forum relative time is just fine. Time, date, good to a second. Who cares if it's actually right in UTC terms? (Nobody, basically)

    The other disturbing school of thought are big assumptions and misconceptions, both related to ease of use.

    The assumption boils down to less info being better, easier, simple. And the misconception is easier to use means more and better, more effective use.

    None of which is actually true the very vast majority of the time.

    Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball! @opengeekorg ---> Be Excellent To One Another SKYPE = acuity_doug
    Parallax colors simplified: http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?123709-Commented-Graphics_Demo.spin<br>
  • WBA ConsultingWBA Consulting Posts: 2,795
    edited June 5 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Changing the timestamp is a simple configuration edit. You can see the full date/time (of the server) when you hover your mouse over the current timestamp. I agree that it would be nice to have a standard date/time format vs the current setup.
  • I am not sure I can get one on a touch interface, BTW
    Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball! @opengeekorg ---> Be Excellent To One Another SKYPE = acuity_doug
    Parallax colors simplified: http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?123709-Commented-Graphics_Demo.spin<br>
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