The awkward insert of shortest day names...

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2012/02/08 07:01 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2012/02/08/10265404.aspx


The other day in Sometimes MMM is MMMM, other times MMM is M! (aka Not all abbreviations are created equal), I included a table of data from Day, Month, Year, and Era Format Pictures:

d Day of the month as digits without leading zeros for single-digit days.
dd Day of the month as digits with leading zeros for single-digit days.
ddd Abbreviated day of the week as specified by a LOCALE_SABBREVDAYNAME*value, for example, "Mon" in English (United States).
dddd Day of the week as specified by a LOCALE_SDAYNAME* value.
M Month as digits without leading zeros for single-digit months.
MM Month as digits with leading zeros for single-digit months.
MMM Abbreviated month as specified by a LOCALE_SABBREVMONTHNAME* value, for example, "Nov" in English (United States).
MMMM Month as specified by a LOCALE_SMONTHNAME* value, for example, "November" for English (United States), and "Noviembre" for Spanish (Spain).

I kind of left something out of the ddd line.

The actual stuff in the topic was more like this:

ddd Abbreviated day of the week as specified by a LOCALE_SABBREVDAYNAME*value, for example, "Mon" in English (United States).

Windows Vista and later: If a short version of the day of the week is required, your application should use the LOCALE_SSHORTESTDAYNAME* constants.

However, I felt like this information was very very weirdly placed, in a topic about format pictures.

I mean, they can't ever be used that way, something I have talked about previously in We call 'em ShortestDayNames for a reason; they're as short as they're EVER gonna be! and {recycled joke here} It could have been called LOCALE_SSINGLESERVINGDAYNAME*, which give the reasoning for why the shortest day names were created and why they had no format picture abbreviation.

I don't object to the docs trying to bridge the distance here, but it feels pretty much like a "Bridge to Nowhere" since none of the information that a developer trying to use format pictures to build calendars would need to get conceptually to the shortest day names is actually there.

The reference there feels wrong -- like if they weren't going to explain the conceptual difference, then why mention it?

As it stands, an otherwise useful topic has this weird inserted bit.

I'd recommend taking it out -- the insert is weird and badly placed and awkward. We are forced to look past it since it doesn't really do anything useful for us....

My vote? Take it out completely -- it has nothing to do with format pictures; why pretend otherwise?


Simon Buchan on 8 Feb 2012 11:27 AM:

It's fairly common to read documentation backwards - imagine someone not reading this to see how to use format strings to get at the LOCAL_S* values, but someone trying to figure out how to get the values behind the format strings directly.


referenced by

2013/04/02 All abbreviated days of week are created equal. But some are less equal than others!

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