relative dates

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relative dates are a way of converting date-times into a human friendly form like "10 minutes ago" or "4 days ago".

Indieweb Examples

Known shows relative dates on postings. (It uses JS, so the relative dates update while the page is open.)

Bridgy show relative dates on webmentions

Woodwind shows relative dates for posts generates relative dates for webmentions


From IRC:

  • aaronpk: i think my biggest complaint about relative dates is that it's often ambiguous as to when the thing actually happened. github is probably the worst at this.
    • e.g. "a day ago" was this last night? yesterday morning? <24 hours ago? between 24-48 hours ago?
    • "a month ago" is the worst tho. is that last calendar month? what if it's the 1st right now, would something yesterday be shown as a month ago?
    • is it last week? 3 weeks ago? 5 weeks ago?
  • kevinmarks: I think a smart move for relative datetimes would be to never show 1 of anything
    • so 0-119 seconds, 2-119 minutes, 2-47 hours 2-13 days 2-8 weeks, 2-23 months 2- years
    • also solves the plural problem, especially if you use 'now' for <2 seconds
    • 2-199 years 2-9 centuries 2- millennia

See Also

  • Criticism / warning: if you render relative dates server side then you make archiving worse and generate spurious deltas for etag /if modified since.