Debian commonly uses the date+time format specified in RFC 2822 http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2822.txt for text date+time values in computer-parseable data.

However, there are formats with arguably better properties of both universality and parseability, namely those of ISO 8601 and derivatives like W3CDTF http://www.w3.org/TR/NOTE-datetime and RFC 3339 http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3339.txt specifications.

This page discusses the proposal to change Debian's preferred date+time format to an ISO 8601 profile.


I don't think there's any reason to use the obsolete RFC 2822 time format in new standards. -- ?TeemuIkonen

In increasing order of precision and verbosity, the commands to get ISO 8601 date+time values (-- BenFinney):

$ date +'%F'
2008-06-13
$ date +'%FT%T'
2008-06-13T12:06:36
$ date +'%FT%T%:z'
2008-06-13T12:06:43+10:00