Default values / Mask ?

I am using a project of mine since… with some helping default value(s) / masks. Notably, I set date mask (YYYY-MM-DD) in column(s) where the Date string exists in the Header string (ISO 8601).

The more I use it (as a user, not a developer) the more I have mixed feelings about it.

In the paper, this is an excellent idea and I love my implementation (the auto part). This allows me to avoid letters in my dates fields, but this add troubles (and beeps); read below. :frowning:

Annoying stuff
a. If you made an error in the Year or Month fields, you can only change one digit at a time (or must clear all the string and retype the whole date),
b. I have memory troubles, so sometimes I want to write MM-DD and add the year (YYYY) after: impossible, the program reject it).
c. If I import (of any way: load from file or process a Paste “as is”, I am able to have anything in a Date field. In that case, I can only delete / cut the whole “offending” data (I cannot remove a part of it like cut a second date, then remove the remainding offending data).

There certainly is more bad things, but I cannot recall them right now.

The (Xojo) and/or my actual implementation (mask only) does not avoid erroneous dates just like:
2018-00-12
2018-12-00
2018-02-29
2018-04-31
and so on.

The pro for this feature is the automatic ‘-’ addition, the help in having a better shaped date column… (dates colums), only digits (most of the time)

Edit: I only have to change the Column string (Date --> Dat) to “disconnect the feature", either temporary or definitely if I have massive changes to do in the date(s) column(s).

Yes, it is a design implementation question; and it may be my fault, I may have to be more zen than (my) usual… I cry too often when I use this software against this yoke. But… I love this feature :frowning: The motto here is … “When you cannot make your mind on a subject, ask people what is their feeling about it”.

What I ask you with this Conversation is: what is your feeling ?
Use default help or let the user do its stuff ?

My take on this is that getting users to enter dates is just too hard. I give them a date picker every time, that way they can only chose a valid date. They can & will still get it wrong, but the date will be valid.

Wayne: you are 100% right.

The above concern is different. Imagine an historical list of events (about USA) since 1492 'till 2018… In that kind of cases, you cannot (I may be wrong) click in a Calendar to get date(s)… 1865-04-14 is … a bad date for the then POTUS.
Maybe excepted if the Calendar is always open…