Auto-Timezone For Displayed Date/Time

13 Nov

We have expanded the coverage of correctly displaying time and dates based a user’s time zone. The upgrade is now site-wide and includes stories and PMs with 100% coverage expected in a few days.


  • Correctly displaying the time/date based on user’s timezone.
  • Displayed time/date is adaptive/relative to the current time. If a story was published 10 minutes ago, it will show “10m ago” instead of a fixed month and day format.

[Clarification: When a date/time is in the current year, i.e. Nov 11, 2013, the year is not displayed as it is implied. ]


Posted by on 11/13/2013 in Uncategorized


26 responses to “Auto-Timezone For Displayed Date/Time

  1. Aharah

    11/13/2013 at 4:02 am

    While I like that it adjusts to my time/date I don’t like the lack of date. Also, the new date setting is difficult to use at a glance. It is cumbersome. Furthermore, just having the hours away from the time I check is great though, at the same time, an adjustment. If I had my choice, I would prefer 2h- 10/13/13 or something similar. Simple to see at a glance and includes both bits of information. I have been adjusting the time I check for YEARS based on when the server flips over to the new day to check categories I like so this is a big change for me. It will take a lot of getting used to but I see this as a good improvement. It means I can finally check midday and at night though I imagine it might still be difficult as before.

  2. Catkyn

    11/13/2013 at 4:31 am

    I will likely, eventually, get used to the new date/time set-up. Really. HOWEVER. Please, please, please leave the ‘Year’ part up! I use the ‘year’ part of the date posted/updated to gauge how fast a story is updated, and whether I should expect updates regularly or not. If it hasn’t been updated in a few years, I can expect to not have any new updates for a while longer (if any). Or, if the story was just recently updated, and has quite a few chapters to it with only a few months between posted and updated dates, I can look forward to regular updates. Removing the year is just cruel, personally. Please put it back?

    • Xing

      11/13/2013 at 4:40 am

      Year is not displayed if it’s in the current year. For example, Nov 11, 2013 is shown just as Nov 11 since we all know what the current year is. Nov 11, 2012 is shown as Nov 11, 2012 with the year info.

      • sonictailsbros

        11/13/2013 at 11:05 pm

        Why would you change the date set up? I hate it and so does everyone else. Please for the love of god, change it back! What is the point of this anyway?

  3. darthcrap

    11/13/2013 at 5:07 am

    Looking at the source, the following areas do not have the data-xutime fix applied:
    * Community ‘since’ dates (both listings and community pages)
    * All authors story dates on author pages, until a sort filter has been used (However, this already occurred as a side effect of the story_set function, and doesn’t use the new date format)
    Is this due to caching, or have these been missed?

    (Note: This may be a double post, as I am unsure if the first post was successful. Sorry if it is).

  4. Sonicfanx1

    11/13/2013 at 5:08 am

    No matter how convinent this is, I will forever prefer the DD/MM/YYYY kind of dates, even if they are in MM/DD/YYYY format. I’d prefer it if I could change between DD/MM/YYYY, MM/DD/YYYY and this one.

    • Dot

      11/13/2013 at 7:51 am

      Strangely enough, it seems like the DD/MM/YYYY is still in place if you go back to stories publish before 2013. If a story was updated in 2013, the year won’t show but if the same story was publish in 2012, the year will show.

      • Scott Dennison

        11/13/2013 at 8:41 am

        Amendment to my previous post, which had important parts of it stripped out without warning.


        According to the javascript, the following rules apply:

        If less than 60 seconds, display “secs ago”
        else if less than 1 hour ago, display “(minutes)m ago”
        else if less than 1 day ago, display “(hours)h ago”
        else if the year is the same as the current year, display “(short month name) (date)”
        else display “(short month name) (date) (year)”

  5. Geoff Gunderson

    11/13/2013 at 7:29 am

    I liked the old way better, when it showed the date that the story was uploaded. (example: 11/12/13) It would be better off like that, even if you did add the time it was uploaded in hours.

    • Deity of Insanity

      11/13/2013 at 12:40 pm

      Read above posts, it’s explained that the year won’t be displayed for the current year but month and day will. All three for any in years before.

  6. Karama (@Karama9)

    11/13/2013 at 9:07 am

    My timezone seems to be reading incorrectly – my stats did not show ‘today’ until late in the morning. Because I’m in an odd timezone (-3.5, Newfoundland), it’s not uncommon for automatic time zone detecting software to get it wrong. How do I manually adjust it?

  7. The One Named Moonlight

    11/13/2013 at 9:12 am

    yep, the date was much better than the time. It was much more easier to see the update date than the timing, which most of us don’t really care for, actually. I mean, just as long as the story was updated at the current day, that was all that mattered.

  8. Jen

    11/13/2013 at 9:30 am

    I don’t like this new system, sorry. I don’t need to know how many hours ago a story was posted and I much prefer the old way: story uploaded 05/22/13, updated 11/12/13. The dates were much clearer this way and it was easier to perceive this information at a glance.

  9. Alex

    11/13/2013 at 10:30 am

    Jeez, I’m sorry to say it, but I really don’t like it. I much prefered the dates, it had a kind of traditional feel to it, if you get what I mean. And besides, taught me to read American date format, which has helped no end.

    Sorry. I’m sure there are those out there that it has benefited, but for me (and I have only been on a year) it’s lost some of its original style.

  10. Linwe

    11/13/2013 at 12:37 pm

    Rather hate the new “hours/minutes” ago updated format. Would much rather see the timestamp combined with the actual date rather than just how long ago ‘today’ since it was updated. I find it very disconcerting to see an hours or minutes since updated without a date. While I’ll probably get used to it after a while, I don’t think this was the greatest idea for change.

    Perhaps making it an *option* for one or the other would’ve made for an easier transition for users.

  11. Spyridon

    11/13/2013 at 5:49 pm

    Hello, Xing.

    I’m having a bit of a problem on my iPhone. When reading on there, I prefer to read with the dark background but it seems every time I open a new story or heck, even the next chapter, the pages revert themselves back to black letters on a white background.

    I have changed to the most recent version of iOS on the iPhone but I never had problems with this before. Also, it seems I keep getting logged out of my FFN account.

    The third problem is that every time, the new page uploads itself to the bottom where the filters are. This causes me to have to scroll back up to the beginning of the chapter so I can search through the stories or read the latest chapter.

    I haven’t heard of anyone complaining about these problems so maybe it’s the setting on my phone or something. It’s just annoying to have to do this every time I decide to read on my iPhone when I can’t access my laptop.

    Thanks for any help.

  12. Eternal-DreamWriter

    11/13/2013 at 8:30 pm

    I’m sorry if Im being annoying but, the chapters for my stories changed! The position for each paragraph is different!

  13. Itachi-Uchiha-lover

    11/13/2013 at 8:38 pm

    The year part of the date is a very big necessity for many readers. It is how we can tell whether or not the story will probably be updated/completed. Please leave the years, but other than that I like the change. Years are really needed though.

  14. joker

    11/13/2013 at 8:43 pm

    I’m still having problems with the site on Firefox. I mostly use the PMs to talk to a friend and it freezes up the whole browser. I don’t even have anything else open, no other tabs and it freezes the browser for a good 5-10 seconds. I don’t experience this problem on Chrome, however I don’t like using Chrome. I believe I sent in an email about this but got no response. I just wanted to know if something is being done to fix this or if I’m the only one experiencing this problem.

    • Xing

      11/13/2013 at 10:08 pm

      PM will get a slight upgrade in a few minutes which will address your problem.

  15. Moon

    11/13/2013 at 9:44 pm

    Personally, I really don’t care if a story was posted ’15m ago’. While I like being able to read the actual month written out, like ‘Nov 14’ … even if it was posted in 2013, I would honestly still rather have the year there. It makes it more clear. I prefer having the month written out because I see the date as dd/mm/yyyy and reading it with the month first gets tiresome.
    So really, I would much prefer it if it either a) went back to the way it was, or b) was all simply written out as ‘published Nov 13, 2013; updated Nov 14, 2013’.
    Just another opinion for you. 🙂

  16. vinsmouse

    11/13/2013 at 10:41 pm

    I don’t like the new date format for stories at all. It is annoying to read and more time consuming than a simple 11/13/13. Please revert to the old style of only numbers rather than this new style you’re using now. Thank you.

  17. bloodsong

    11/14/2013 at 5:51 pm

    thank you for reverting published/updated dates to mm-dd-yy format. it is much clearer and easier to read. (and i expect the servers enjoy not having to do so many ‘now how long ago was this published?’ calculations.)

  18. Lagomorph

    11/14/2013 at 9:15 pm

    Echoing Moon, Itachi-Uchiha-lover, and the others against the change to “‘Month’ ‘Day’, ‘Year'” format instead of the original “MM/DD/YYYY” format, and the lack of the year if a fic was published in the current year. Also, the “published/updated ‘insert however long ago'” is better suited to forums and boards.

    Why the change?

  19. sonictailsbros

    11/14/2013 at 11:18 pm

    For the love of fucking god! CHANGE THE MONTH, DAY AND YEAR BACK TO THE WAY IT WAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can’t you see everyone hates this? God you and the community of Deviantart are the same! You don’t care what are people want, but what YOU WANT! Talk about a monarchy.

  20. Jen

    11/15/2013 at 9:59 am

    I only started to follow these discussions a few weeks ago, so maybe it wasn’t always like this, but it seems like no matter how much people don’t like a change, once they’ve been made, they stay.

    I haven’t seen any replies to people’s concerns and requests either. (Case in point: the no-copy issue.) So, is this always the case? Or has it ever happened that if people didn’t like a new “feature”, it was actually changed back?

    Just curious, because I’d like to know if it’s even worth saying something about these things, or are we just complaining to each other without achieving any actual results?


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