Wikivoyage talk:When to use dates

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Using dates in guides to clarify when something has been reviewed/noted/stated.[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Couldn't find anything about this but I'm sure it's been asked... Not all areas are covered and necessarily up to date. When traveling to a country that has a history of civil unrest it would be particularly useful to know when the author that is giving the information got it time wise. "Was it last month or last year that the government started really cracking down on bribes?" Is there a preferred/acceptable way to be able to put in dates that things have been confirmed in the articles or is just looking at the article history the only way? Thoughts on this in general too! :) (WT-en) Jordan 17:29, 1 August 2007 (EDT)

Time-sensitive information can and should be tagged with disclaimers like "As of June 2007". (WT-en) Jpatokal 22:17, 1 August 2007 (EDT)
But not "This hotel was reviewed in June 2007." (WT-en) Gorilla Jones 22:38, 1 August 2007 (EDT)
Why not, by the way? --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 07:15, 2 August 2007 (EDT)
I believe that the original reason why not was that date stamps would fill up our lists with ugly non-travel-related information. But I have been thinking, couldn't we include date stamps in the listings templates? We could format the templates so that the date stamp only shows up when you are editing, not when you are just reading the guide. I wouldn't want to make date stamps mandatory, but I think that they would be useful—there is a reason why this keeps coming up. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 12:20, 2 August 2007 (EDT)
A collection of reviews of hotels and restaurants, written separately by individual reviewers, could have date stamps. This isn't that. The date stamps would still clutter the guides and make the signal-to-noise ratio worse. And if we're putting dates on restaurant and hotel reviews, why shouldn't we be doing it for museums and parks? Why shouldn't we be doing it for public transportation and basically every bit of the article for the exact same reason? (And suddenly we're Wikipedia with thousands of those stupid 'fact' tags, except ours are 'date' tags.) Once they're in there, nobody updates them. When I overhauled the Hanoi guide earlier this year, there were several "This information current as of 2005" lines. What better way to show readers that we're not an up-to-date travel guide?
Say I visit a city using Wikivoyage's guide. I go to Major Museum X and have a nice time as the guide said I would. Why would I think to log on to Wikivoyage and change the date of the listing to indicate that it's still current, when nothing else needs to be updated? Of course I wouldn't. So, after four years, we have a listing for Major Museum X, which has a date that's several years old, and we have New Minor Museum Z, which has a date that's less than a year old because it's not very interesting and nobody bothered to add it until now. As a reader, I am led to believe by the date stamps that I should have more confidence in the listing for New Minor Museum Z than Major Museum X. And in that way I've been misled by my Wikivoyage guide. (WT-en) Gorilla Jones 13:46, 2 August 2007 (EDT)
I think we should save it to some kind of "policy FAQ: why we are not changing this or that". --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 16:26, 2 August 2007 (EDT)


Dates in edits[edit]

Swept in from the pub

There are always some additions that are dated. Comments like "Entry to the museum is $4.50 (March 2010)", or "Construction is blocking the main road into town (April 2009)". My tendency has been to remove the dates from these comments. Is there a policy anywhere, or a contrary view? --(WT-en) inas 19:28, 20 April 2010 (EDT)

I think the dates are generally helpful since it's often difficult to tell how old the info is, and in some places prices change frequently - for example, a traveler to Iceland would want to know if the prices they see in an article are pre- or post- financial crisis. Similarly, in cases of construction it's generally a safe bet that if construction closed the road in October 2008 that it's probably open now, whereas without the date there wouldn't be any way to infer road condition without actually visiting. I don't think we need them everywhere, but particularly for out-of-the-way destinations I'd be in favor of keeping them around. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 19:39, 20 April 2010 (EDT)
I think in places where prices change frequently, it's better to just note that and give the price as an average. In that situation, the year would not be too bad to keep. In the example of museum entry, though, I wouldn't keep the date (especially if there is link to the museum website). The construction comments should be listed with a time frame, such as the one on Himeji Castle. That is very helpful, but if the completion date were not there, it wouldn't be very useful at all. (WT-en) ChubbyWimbus 20:36, 20 April 2010 (EDT)

One of the previous discussions on this: Project:Travellers'_pub/August_2007#Using_dates_in_guides_to_clarify_when_something_has_been_reviewed.2Fnoted.2Fstated. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 02:52, 21 April 2010 (EDT)

If a piece of information is somehow temporary, I think we should give some indication of the time. But it would be really messy to put in dates for all kind of information. Also, if some information has not been updated for a couple of years does not necessarilly mean that it is outdated or that no wikivoyageer has reviewed that information and found it ok, so time stamps would make WT look less up to date than it really is, --(WT-en) ClausHansen 03:42, 21 April 2010 (EDT)
I think that is the issue I see with them, although you express it better. If I see a tag that says "Entry to Museum $4.50 (April 2009)", and I know that the price is still the same today, do I have to update the date tag? I think we should reserve the date tagging to truly transient things, and not for things that change organically over time. --(WT-en) inas 19:02, 21 April 2010 (EDT)
I feel like having the dates kind of defeats the purpose of the wiki and is counterproductive except in the cases where a time frame is given, as stated above. It's better to simply change the price if you see that it is outdated rather than updating every page monthly to verify that it's accurate and update the month/year. (WT-en) ChubbyWimbus 22:15, 21 April 2010 (EDT)
What about summarizing the consensus on the above in a relevant policy article? --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 14:39, 22 April 2010 (EDT)
I'm completely against this commercial argument. A price with no date is nearly useless, because the reader doesn't know how much it may have changed, and no comparison is possible between such prices. The timestamp is very useful to the contributor too. I leave in Mongolia and contributors for this country are not so many. Mongolia's 3rd biggest town doesn't even have a page! The MNT/USD changes, sometimes drops suddenly, the USD/EUR rate changed much this year. Some travellers write the prices in USD, others in local currency. There has been an economic crisis. The inflation is more than 10% a year. I try to maintain my town's information up to date, and, if I see a price more than 1 year old, I may ask if it's still valid. But don't rely on me to analyse the history to find the prices date one by one. If you make it difficult, I'll just stop writing and updating prices at all. After all, I have the prices I need in my diary and I speak Mongolian to read Mongolian websites or to ask. What we could think about is a more discrete, but easily accessible way to timestamp, such as a bubble title appearing when the mouse goes over the price, thanks to a template. What do you think of this? We could also think of an easy way for a traveller to validate any piece of information as being "still valid" without going to the edit page etc. I'm thinking of something like the "add a translation" system of Wiktionary.org, or even easier than it: just a box to check meaning: "I can confirm that it was recently like this.", and checking would update the timestamp without changing the datum. --(WT-en) Fiable.biz 13:14, 23 October 2010 (EDT)
I continue to agree with those arguing that it should be OK to include a date when giving prices or time-sensitive information such as road closures. If no one has updated a listing in four years it's helpful to both readers and editors to know that a price may be out of date, and I'm not convinced by the argument that this "defeats the purpose of the wiki". To give a specific example, I'm 100% sure that some of the prices in the article for my current home town of Culver City are probably out-of-date, but I couldn't tell you which ones without doing research for each and every business listed on that page; if some of those prices had old dates, however, ("$70 a night (as of August 2004)") then I'd be more likely to try to find updated prices for those that were out-of-date. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 15:00, 23 October 2010 (EDT)
I also continue to agree that it is always better to include timestamps in prices, and i'm backing up Fiable.biz's opinion that prices without a timestamp are next to useless. If i see an outdated price anywhere i am tempted to try to update it, but like Ryan i am not willing to go trough every single buisiness on a page to see if it is or not. (WT-en) Swissbelg 08:28, 24 October 2010 (EDT)
I think we need to find a mid-point between letting the travellers know how out of date prices may be and cluttering the guides with dates everywhere. I add dates only when I am writing stuff that's based on research (and not my own experience) and the given price is out of date by two or more years. I don't add dates to info based on my own experiences at all, since I work my travel notes into Wikivoyage within two months at most after I've lived them. I just trust (or want to believe?) someone else—a local or a traveller to the area—will come along and fix them until the prices become so out of date that they are useless. I don't really see a reason for adding dates every and each listing in destinations with stable economies—it's really not possible for the prices to double up overnight. I think (but only think) travellers already take (or at least should take) any price in our guides with a grain of salt, since they are already (or ought to be) used to guidebooks that are up to five years out of date, and any price (again, at least in stable economies) should be enough to give a rough idea, no matter how out of date they may be. Yes, Wikivoyage aims to be an up-to-date guide, and that's a noble goal, but I don't think it is 100% achievable, at least not with the current volume of userbase. – (WT-en) Vidimian 09:57, 24 October 2010 (EDT)

New article[edit]

Tried to summarise the above discussion and current practice into this article. --(WT-en) inas 20:56, 20 May 2010 (EDT)

Dates on cultural events[edit]

The "Dates on cultural events" section reads: "For festivals and other cultural events that occur on the same date every year, list the date. If they occur on different dates each year, try to list the date information as generically as possible, e.g. The first Sunday in October." I disagree with this advice; I think we should list known dates where available, as I've done throughout the Walt Disney World articles (ex: Walt Disney World/Epcot#Annual events, Rochester (New York)#Festivals). (WT-en) LtPowers 08:24, 21 May 2010 (EDT)

Are you saying you think we should list what date the first Sunday of October is, into the future? I agree if there is no way to list it generically, then sure, lets list the actual dates we know. The Melbourne Cup runs the first Tuesday in November - every year. Why put in an actual date in when this is accurate, and won't get outdated? --(WT-en) inas 23:30, 21 May 2010 (EDT)
Sorry, by "as generically as possible", I was thinking "mid-March" or "early October". I have no problem with "the first Tuesday in November". (WT-en) LtPowers 08:55, 22 May 2010 (EDT)
Cool. I've removed the word generic, and tried to clarify the text with specific cases. --(WT-en) inas 19:33, 23 May 2010 (EDT)

update to reflect the "last updated" template in listings[edit]

We should probably update this policy with reference to the "last updated" field now part of our listings (which didn't exist when the policy was first made) Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:23, 26 October 2017 (UTC)

When to use dates with prices[edit]

The policy now says:

If the underlying currency is stable, as a general rule we don't append a date to a price.

I propose to delete this. This would be consistent with our decision to put dates on listings. Even where a currency is stable, prices can be expected to change very 10 years. This can happen even without inflation in an economy: if a destination with limited accommodation becomes well-known and popular, hoteliers and restaurateurs will raise their prices. For me, knowing whether a price is from 2017 or 2007 tells me a lot about how accurate it is. Comments? Ground Zero (talk) 15:13, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

A date on a price and exchange rate (and specifically the price and exchange) is a different animal from the "lastedit" stamp on the entire listing.
If something's ten years out of date? It's the whole listing, not just the price, which would be questionable. For instance, Cartwright (Labrador)#Sleep looks like this:
"Options are limited; the village's lone bed-and-breakfast house removed its online listings (two rooms) in 2015 and the Cartwright Hotel was destroyed by fire in 2013. Experience Labrador offers seasonal accommodations (a trailer, tenting experiences and tent rental sites) and reports the Northside Motel to still be operational:
  • Northside Motel, 8 Low Road, +1 709 938-7122. Tiny six-room motel with Wi-Fi, TV. As of 2004, Northside Enterprises was also operating a Northside Pub downstairs and Mug Up restaurant next door (Mon-Sat 11AM-1PM, 4-7PM; Fri 'til 9PM; Sun 4-7PM). While the property's own website has not been updated in over a dozen years, annual provincial inspections indicate food service of some form remains available at this establishment. $95-105."
That doesn't inspire a whole lot of confidence. The motel's website directs the voyager to an Eagle River Credit Union branch which hasn't existed for years, for instance.
Not the same animal as claiming "a room at the Northside Motel was $95-105 in 2004", which suggests the price may have changed but the rest is still up-to-date. A "lastedit=2004" stamp indicates, justifiably, that the entire listing could be out of date - something which may have nothing to do with whether Terra Nova's currency collapsed after the price of Hibernia's offshore oil cratered in 2014. The price, expressed in stable currency, is no more or less likely to be outdated than hours of operation or other details. K7L (talk) 16:50, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
I think we're talking about date stamps on prices that are not part of listings. When prices and hours are part of listings, the lastedit line covers it. When prices or hours aren't part of listings, adding the day in parentheses plays the same role as the lastedit line, so why wouldn't we allow it? It just provides more information to the traveller, which I think is a good thing. Ground Zero (talk) 17:43, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
The policy was created before we had the {{listing}} template and the "lastedit" field. If anything, the creation of "lastedit=" makes it less necessary to add dates to prices. Just my 2¢ worth (1966 dollars). K7L (talk) 18:20, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
I agree that there is no need to add dates to prices when they are in a listing with a lastedit date. The addition of lastedit date to listings tells me that the policy discouraging dates for prices/hours not in a listing is out of step with our general approach. I will propose a clarification of the policy below. (Additions in italics).
Prices and hours for attractions change regularly. If the underlying currency is stable, as a general rule we don't append a date to a price. If prices and hours are provided outside of a listing template, the date of the information should be provided in parentheses, e.g. "Open M-Sa 09:00-17:00, $10 admission (Nov 2017)." When a price changes, we update the guide without retaining any previous pricing information. Listing prices as ranges or approximations (€100-€125, about €100...) is generally safer than listing them with false precision (€99.95) as they inflate over time. Exceptions may apply in circumstances such as rapid currency devaluation where prices are volatile. For example, in cases of hyperinflation (or the replacement of an old, devalued currency with a new one) it may be relevant to note whether a price is prior to or subsequent to the movement.

Ground Zero (talk) 18:53, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

This policy seems dumb. Prices are not stable. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:06, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
I believe the intent was to prevent a proliferation of dates appended to every price range mentioned. Powers (talk) 22:11, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
Ranges are not more stable than price-points. Generally speaking thanks to the stupid "and ninety-nine cents" prices, price increases happen in spurts. The cheapest one and a half liter bottle of water has been nineteen cents as long as I can remember in Germany, to give just one example. Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:36, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
That's not quite what w:false precision signifies. A price listed as €110-120 is implicitly accurate within about €10 or so. A price listed as €123.45 is expected to be accurate within €0.01, otherwise why list the extra digits instead of rounding to the nearest €1? If something is approximate, we say so. K7L (talk) 14:11, 7 November 2017 (UTC)

Exceptions[edit]

In general, we place prices in {{listing}}s. As a listing already has a "lastedit" field, dates on individual prices are redundant, except in a few rare cases where the underlying currencies are volatile, not freely exchangeable or are rapidly losing their value due to hyperinflation.

Are there any other exceptions? A price outside a listing is rare, but do we need to allow for:

  • The municipal bus which only accepts exact change, publishes one fixed fare city-wide and increases that fare by some small (nickel or dime) increment annually?
  • The metered official taxi which charges a uniform, regulated price which is set periodically by regulators - for instance €2.50 plus €1/km based on time and distance?

Dates in reports of historic events, such as "the natives sold Manhattan Island for $24 in 1626", could also be an exception.

Otherwise? I can't see a need for exceptions for statements which are merely generalities or approximations, such as "rooms in the local inns start around £75 a night". K7L (talk) 16:43, 7 November 2017 (UTC)

While we would prefer that everyone use listing templates, not everyone does. There will be cases where museum admissions, intercity bus fares, metro/subway fares, beer prices, hotel rates, postage prices, mobile phone rates, and so on, will not be in listing templates. Instead of trying to create a list of exceptions, maybe it would be easiest to write something general, like:
Prices and opening hours change regularly, and are best included in a listings templates with a "lastedit" date indicating when you collected the information. If, however, prices and hours are provided outside of a listings template, the date of the information should be provided in parentheses, e.g. "Open M-Sa 09:00-17:00, $10 admission (Nov 2017)."
Ground Zero (talk) 16:53, 7 November 2017 (UTC)
No, this looks to be the price of admission to an individual venue and it should be converted to a listing. If you're finding this sort of information with the {{listing}} template missing, that is most likely old information left over from WT (before they deployed the now-also-obsolete mw:extension:listings tags) which was never converted properly. These should be manually converted to listings if the information is still valid, or should be rewritten or removed if the underlying data is outdated.
If there's something general to add, it would be to insert: "Occasionally, a legally-fixed price or rate is applied to every item of a specific category (for instance every municipal transit line, every local call from a coin telephone, every taxi meter in a city or every domestic postage stamp). This information may appear outside the individual listings. If these change annually, it's reasonable to indicate the date or year - especially if not having the exact change means being unable to board the local streetcar."
For the rest? Individual vendors setting their own prices (museums, intercity transport companies, hotels, bars, restaurants) would have individual {{listing}}s. If the templated listings are missing, create them. Once the listing has been verified by contacting the property directly, use the "lastedit" stamp. There's nothing there that's a special case which requires a policy change. K7L (talk) 17:23, 7 November 2017 (UTC)
I don't like putting dates on prices which don't change frequently. It disrupts the flow of text and is unnecessary in most cases. (All of our information is subject to change at any time; there's no reason prices should be treated differently in that respect from any other information.) Powers (talk) 18:35, 7 November 2017 (UTC)
K7L, as much as I wish we could require our various and diverse editors to use templates, we can't. The reality is that many continue to use ordinary text. This information is no less or more time-sensitive than templated information. And there are many occasions when templates ate appropriate, e.g. in explaining public transit in a city.
LtPowers, I think this argument was settled when the decision was made to put lastedit dates on templates. Why would non-templated information he different? Ground Zero (talk) 18:46, 7 November 2017 (UTC)
The price for most public transit tickets changes around annually. Many routes have been roughly the same for decades. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:06, 7 November 2017 (UTC)
The lastedit dates appear at the end of a listing in small text. That's very different from having dates inserted into running text. Powers (talk) 20:12, 7 November 2017 (UTC)
How so? A single ticket is €2.30 (2017) is not much more intrusive - and given that no different color font or size is used actually less intrusive - than the lastedit template. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:16, 7 November 2017 (UTC)
We disagree, then. I'm not a huge fan of the last-edit but it's a lot easier to ignore because it's small, grey, and appears at the end of listings right before a newline, so I can easily skip it and move on to the next bullet. Powers (talk) 15:33, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
And then there's the question of whether that should be "A single ticket is €2.30 (as of 2017)". K7L (talk) 16:04, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
What additional meaning does adding the extra two words provide? That's a rhetorical question. I know they add nothing. The date in brackets is widely used in Wikivoyage so it will be understood. "As of" just takes up space. If we're looking to fill space, "As of the time of writing by your faithful correspondent, 2017", takes up even more space than "as of", and also adds no meaning. Ground Zero (talk) 17:01, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
Where in Wikivoyage is a year in parentheses "widely used"? Powers (talk) 19:05, 9 November 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I do quite a bit of copyediting, and I see it in a lot of articles. The policy says we should remove this useful information, which is not a sensible policy. If editors are think it makes sense to add useful information, and are doing so, the policy should be updated. I'm in Turkey, where the exchange rate is 3.8 TL = US$1. A year ago it was 3.1, a year before that 2.8 and a year before that 2.0 TL = US$1. Prices have changed a lot in TL terms over just the past few years, let alone over since 2008. I agree that we want a guide that is easy to read, but providing useful information should take priority over the 'look'. Ground Zero (talk) 04:44, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

It is really easy to find examples of dates that have been added in parentheses. Some examples in articles I have edited recently where this info had been added by other editors:
Ground Zero (talk) 05:35, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
Public transit prices tend to change annually in much of Europe yet are rarely inside listings. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:36, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
Okay, let's take Goreme. "doubles run upward of 50 TL (2015)." I don't think it's obvious that's a date, and the convention is not widespread enough to make it so for a casual reader of our site. Powers (talk) 17:14, 12 November 2017 (UTC)
You think some people would interpret that as a price? How? Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:15, 12 November 2017 (UTC)
I'm seeing dates with non-listing prices on 1/4-1/3 of articles. That's pretty common. Prices without dates could be ten years old (or current). I find them so useless that we might be better off removing them. Ground Zero (talk) 04:28, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
I don't know where that convention came from, but it's explicitly against our existing policy. Ikan, I never said it would be interpreted as a price. I'm saying without some signifier that it's a date, it could be confusing under certain circumstances (such as if the price it's associated with is also a four-digit number). Powers (talk) 15:15, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

K7L's edit here addresses not adding dates to prices in like that use lastedit. I think we can remove "If the underlying currency is stable, as a general rule we don't append a date to a price" now. Ground Zero (talk) 04:50, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

Powers, I could see how a 4-digit number could be misinterpreted as a price, but not in the example you gave. Is this discussion mostly because of the words "as of"? I think "as of" is fine. I also agree that if it's as of a date older than 4 years or so (certainly older than 6 years), the price should simply be deleted as too old to be accurate. Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:56, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
If you think that "as of" makes it clearer, then by all means, add "as of". I won't object. Ground Zero (talk) 17:02, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
Unfortunately, some have used "as of" to mean "since" as per the discussion in the pub and quite a handful of articles. Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:07, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
I'm aware of and participated in that discussion, but do you have a better suggestion? Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:32, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
I don't think that in this context, there would be confusion about a price being anything but a fixed point in time. Anyone who's ever used a guide book understands that prices change, so "since" wouldn't make sense. Ground Zero (talk) 18:17, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

Arbitrary break[edit]

This discussion seems to be going in a lot of different directions. It's hard to cover all of the ground.

What I'm trying to avoid is to have our guides littered with parentheticals that at best are distracting and at worst reveal our guides to be severely out of date. Our readers should be able to assume that prices are up-to-date, at least within an order of magnitude or so. Only if prices change frequently should it be necessary to give a date.

Take Rochester (New York)#By bus 2. There are four prices mentioned in that section, and they haven't changed in a few years (when the base fare decreased from $1.50 to $1 in 2015, I think it was). Even if I assume that only one date is necessary to cover all four fares, I don't want to have to keep updating the date so that it looks current. There's no need; it's assumed to be current.

It's undeniable that there are cases where it's important to have a date stamp. But I don't think we should be applying it by default to any and all prices.

-- Powers (talk) 02:31, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

What it amounts to is that in articles that are regularly updated, a date wouldn't be necessary, but in articles that are not, it would, and then when it's too old, the pricing information should be removed if it can't be updated. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:39, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
Few of our articles are updated as frequently as Rochester, unfortunately. If they were, dates would be unnecessary. Assuming that prices are current would be a very bad assumption to make, as the example I cited above (Antalya, 2011) shows. I'm working my way through Lithuania articles now to remove references to the Lit currency, which was replaced two years ago by the euro. Sadly, our articles are often outdated. Pretending that they are not by removing dates does a great disservice to readers. Relevant information should never be considered a distraction - it should be our primary goal. Ground Zero (talk) 04:14, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
I have to agree with this. The traveller comes first. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:29, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
Dated pricing info is no different from any other dated info. What makes prices uniquely in need of date tags? If the price changes so often that we can't keep up with it, then we shouldn't include prices at all. Powers (talk) 17:57, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
It does seem to me that the discussion keeps getting well beyond the scope of this policy and of the change I've proposed. I don't think this is the place to revisit the decision that we made a while back to create the lastedit tag on listings templates. If you want to challenge that decision, you should take it up with the broader community. Similarly, if we want to discuss a rule about deleting info older than four or six years, that would require input from a broader group than we have here.
I have not suggested that only prices should be date stamped. Hours of operation change frequently too, and could be date stamped where the editors feels it is worth doing. Prices just seem to he most commonly date stamped.
The change I've proposed would just bring this policy in line with the decision made to include the lastedit line. Ground Zero (talk) 18:24, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
Not everything needs to be a policy discussion. It's common sense that prices 15 years old should be deleted, right? And probably 10 years old, and in most places 7-8 years old. After that, make a judgment call. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:47, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
The advantage of policy is that we discuss it as a group once, rather that a dozen times in different articles. But I know that I don't want to start that discussion, so it'll be a judgement call until someone does. Other than Powers' more general objection to including dates anywhere, including in listing templates, I don't see any objection to my proposal to remove this inconsistency. Am I correct? Ground Zero (talk) 10:58, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
Where did I say I opposed "including dates anywhere"? I'm saying that we should only include them where necessary. (And listing templates seem fine. I wouldn't have included them myself but I'm willing to let them be as they're fairly inobstrusive.) Powers (talk) 01:13, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Quite right, you didn't say that. Sorry. As the discussion has developed, I'm not proposing to mandate the use of dates, only to remove the general prohibition against it, i.e. removing "If the underlying currency is stable, as a general rule we don't append a date to a price", since it contradicts the lastedit decision, and a fairly common practice, which I think indicates that editors think it's useful. Ground Zero (talk) 04:36, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

I don't see a contradiction as they're two different things; the "lastedit" field indicates the last time all of the information in a listing or warningbox was updated, while dates on prices are specific to just the price in some unstable currency. K7L (talk) 19:56, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
Agreed. Powers (talk) 20:38, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
We should definitely append dates to situations locally portrayed as temporary. Possibly even two: Say a service has been discontinued "temporarily" in 2004. We want to know both when the "temporary" situation came to be and when our last information as to the situation on the ground came in. "As of information from 1865, the temporary insurrection in parts of the Southeastern United States which started in 1861 has ended. Hopefully the late unpleasantness will soon be forgotten." or some such... Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:38, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── In editing Khartoum [https://en.wikivoyage.org/w/index.php?title=Khartoum&diff=prev&oldid=3330200 here] I came across a price for fuel that had a date indicated for 2008. Because of that date, I could conclude that it was out of date, as was the car rental price information in the rest of the paragraph. There are other prices in the article that look to be of the same vintage, but there's no practical way of knowing. (Going through the edit history would be extremely time-consuming.)

The policy says we should not include that useful information, so we have no way of knowing that the info should be updated, and the readers have no way of knowing whether the info is remotely relevant to today.

Does anyone have any suggestion for how to deal with this if we don't include dates in text? Ground Zero (talk) 06:52, 18 November 2017 (UTC)

As you pointed out, current policy says "If the underlying currency is stable". That clearly doesn't apply to Sudan. Powers (talk) 18:45, 19 November 2017 (UTC)
Fuel prices in most countries change over a nine-year period because of the variability of world oil prices, changes in taxation, and underlying inflation. How would readers and editors know whether the reported fuel price in a stable-currency country is recent, or nine years old and in need of updating? Ground Zero (talk) 18:51, 19 November 2017 (UTC)
In Antananarivo I found a note explaining that in 2005, the Prime Minister's Palace was closed. That alerted me to the need for this to be updated - it is open again. I guess it's a good thing that the writer had ignored the policy, and that other editors had also ignored the policy for the last 12 years. Ground Zero (talk) 19:04, 19 November 2017 (UTC)
Which policy says don't use dates on temporary attraction closures? Powers (talk) 01:59, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Fair point, but do you think it makes sense to show prices from 2008 and not let readers know that they are that old and not let editors know that they should be updated? Ground Zero (talk) 03:36, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Would this make sense? :
"Occasionally, a destination article's body text mentions a specific commodity in an otherwise-stable economy as volatile in price (such as fuel) or fixed at one uniform market-wide rate which is increased annually (like exact-change local transit fares, postage stamps or metered taxis). If you know that prices you're posting today will be wrong a year or two from now, you may need to make a judgement call on whether to indicate a dated price or simply omit the exact numbers."
K7L (talk) 18:47, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
That would seem reasonable. Prices can be volatile, not just currencies, so I can see where the current wording is insufficient. Powers (talk) 22:33, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── And what about where someone writes in the intro paragraph to the Eat section something like, "If you eat on a budget, you can get a slice if takeaway pizza on the street for $1", which made sense in 2008, but the slice is now $1.50? Without a date stamp, there is no indication that it is out of date and should be updated.

Instead of creating more complex rules, why not just trust editors' discretion on this? Since this rule is being ignored, and editors are using their judgement already, that would be a more sensible policy. Making an ignored policy more complicated probably won't achieve anything. Ground Zero (talk) 05:25, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

It appears, however, that there is some dissension even on the current places where the policy allows dates and expanding it to cover more stuff would not achieve consensus. I agree that a policy that contradicts established practice is not good overall, but what are we going to do about that? There seems to be neither a consensus to fundamentally adjust policy nor to change practice... Hobbitschuster (talk) 14:21, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
I keep hoping that someone will answer my question above about how we will know if dates in paragraphs are out of date and need to be updated if the policy remains as it is. No-one has answered it, so I guess our policy will continue to create this problem. I recognize, though, that to the extent that editors ignore the policy, it isn't a problem. Ground Zero (talk) 11:04, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
Well, I'll go on record as saying that current policy - "If the underlying currency is stable, as a general rule we don't append a date to a price" - is ridiculous because it ignores inflation, and should be deleted. I wouldn't require a date to be appended to every price, but I surely don't support having a general rule against including one. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:42, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
I also find it somewhat disingenuous to talk of "stable" currencies. No one ever is, especially not in the long run. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:56, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
I agree 100%. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:10, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
Would you agree that there's a difference between a country where prices generally change by less than 5% a year and a country where inflation or deflation is rampant? How would you describe that difference? Powers (talk) 22:12, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
In a country with 5% average inflation, some prices will go down, some will stay the same, and some will rise by more than 5%. If all prices in a country rose equally by 5%, well, that would be a first in history. The government raises taxes on fuel, transportation costs go up, but elsewhere in the economy, food prices might be falling because of good harvests. In case, 5% inflation a year over ten years means that a price from 2008 is just wrong. If people were to follow this policy, we'd have no practical way of knowing. Ground Zero (talk) 22:21, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
That doesn't answer my question. I could have picked a different number than 5%. I realize there are places where prices change rapidly, but it's simply not true everywhere and I refuse to write a travel guide with (2018) slathered after every single price. Powers (talk) 22:26, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
Inflation has been low in the U.S., but not in New York City. And I am not at all suggesting mandating the universal use of dates. I think my words above speak clearly for themselves, don't they? Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:30, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
We're all volunteers here. No one can force you to add dates if you don't think they are needed. This is just about removing the prohibition against doing so where the contributor thinks it's appropriate.
To answer your other question, the issue isn't the rate of inflation, it is the time between updating. In a country with zero average inflation, price will still change, and in some cases by a lot over a decade. It's just that the prices rises are offset by price cuts elsewhere. Ground Zero (talk) 22:41, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
Well, yes, that's why I didn't talk about low inflation specifically, but rather how much prices tend to change. The current wording should not be prohibiting anyone from adding date tags to any information that would benefit from it, but removing the advice could result in widespread application of dates to prices and I don't think that's a net benefit to the site's readability and aesthetics. Powers (talk) 20:03, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The line "If the underlying currency is stable, as a general rule we don't append a date to a price" does strongly discourage editors from adding date tags to any information that would benefit from it. It's a general rule. It is modified by some complicated exceptions that I think make it more difficult for editors to figure out what the policy is. Furthermore, the exceptions do not account for prices changing over a period of a decade or more as many parts of many of our articles are simply not being updated more often than that. And without the date, we have no practical way of knowing whether something has been updated recently or not. The result is a guide that has widespread outdated and misleading information. I'll take a bit of clutter of relevant information over aesthetics any day. Ground Zero (talk) 13:26, 8 December 2017 (UTC)

I'm still hoping that someone has an idea for how we can tell whether undated prices should be updated or removed because they have been around for 5, 8, 10 years. The current policy encourages this obsolescence. Ground Zero (talk) 14:56, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

Dates for stuff that seems temporary[edit]

So sometimes something happens and is either announced at the time to be temporary or is something that can reasonably be expected by its nature to be temporary. For example construction of the non-Cologne Cathedral type is usually over after a few year. Few transport services with some sort of "common carrier" capacity to them are ever officially withdrawn "forever" and so on. Should we say something like "The bridge was shut down due to structural deficiency in 1995 and a replacement was scheduled to be completed in 2019 as of 2017." Or some such. Of course for the likes of Berlin#By plane we will have to out the date into the future every once in a while, but in most cases we can check the situation on the ground and then act accordingly. Sometimes even via web research.

Aren't there even nifty templates over at Wikipedia that help us track some of this stuff? Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:42, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

I've seen such remarks frequently in Wikivoyage articles and approve of them, providing they are updated when the projected completion date elapses. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:33, 4 December 2017 (UTC)