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International Standard Date and Time Notation

Date format (ISO 8601)

The international standard date notation is


where YYYY is the year in the usual Gregorian calendar, MM is the month of the year between 01 (January) and 12 (December), and DD is the day of the month between 01 and 31.

For example, the fourth day of February in the year 1995 is written in the standard notation as


Other commonly used notations are e.g. 2/4/95, 4/2/95, 95/2/4, 4.2.1995, 04-FEB-1995, 4-February-1995, and many more. Especially the first two examples are dangerous, because as both are used quite often in the U.S. and in Great Britain and both can not be distinguished, it is unclear whether 2/4/95 means 1995-04-02 or 1995-02-04. The date notation 2/4/5 has at least six reasonable interpretations (assuming that only the twentieth and twenty-first century are reasonable candidates in our life time)... [more]


International Standard Date and Time Notation
by Markus Kuhn

Last modified; File size

What does it mean?

The phrase "last modified" can mean different things on different Web sites. On pages, the last modified date is exactly that date when the file was last changed or saved. In some cases, a file is modified for reasons other than content changes. For example, the change involved may have been correcting a typographical error or inserting a new image. For the most part, the last modified date reflects the last time I worked on the page's content.

Size of the file

The 'File size' calculates the size of the file in bytes and returns a number reflecting the size of the file in bytes (format could be displayed in kilobytes (Kb, k...) or megabytes (M, Mb) - depence on webmaster choice and file size itself). Recommended size for pages, including both HTML and graphics, is up to 50Kb. Many users still have 28.8 or 14.4 modems or poor internet connection. Complex documents, typically those larger than 10 screens, should be divided into multiple, smaller files. Herein after is nice piece by T. Michael Johnson:

Speed: The Holy Grail

The larger the size of your files (both the actual html page and the images), the longer the page will take to download to a user's computer. The equation is really that simple. If a page is taking too long to download the average user simply hits "stop" and tries another site. When designing your site, decide what really needs to be there and what is "fluff". Yahoo! is a good example of a fast-loading, well-designed page. Not only is the Yahoo! logo 216 color compliant, it uses only a few of the possible 216 (less colors = smaller file) making it download quickly. The navigational elements on Yahoo! are few...but key. Nothing is wasted on this site and consequently, it is the fastest loading page on the net. Design your pages with the assumption that all of your users own 14.4 modems. A good benchmark is 15 seconds on a 28.8 modem Yahoo! does it in 7.

... Page weight divided by 2.666. A 40K page will take approximately 15 seconds to download. ... Adding the Height and Width tags to images allow the browser to allocate the space for the graphic immediately rather than having to wait for it to download to discover its size. This allows all of the other elements (like content!) to load first, giving the user something to read as the image drops in. Using the ALT tag will display a description of the graphic immediately, allowing the user to decide whether to wait for the download or to move on. The Alt tag is also useful for text-only browsers or users to surf with images turned off.

Jpeg's or Gif's? - Gif's take advantage of the 216 web safe color palette, while jpeg's (Joint Photographic Experts Group) support thousands and millions of colors. Gif's are better when using illustrations and drawings such as buttons or backgrounds (images with large areas of continuous similar color) while jpeg's are better for photographs. Use gif's when an image needs to be animated, interlaced or have a transparency applied to it (see below), i.e. you would most likely save your company logo as a gif, while saving a photo of your sales team as a jpeg.


© 2000, T. Michael Johnson

Machine-readable version: O. Dag
Last modified on: 2019-12-29

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