The ISO 8601 standard for
representing dates and times defines a (large) number of string formats for
serializing dates. One of the more common formats in use (certainly here at
Logos) uses the “extended format”, specifies the full date and time (but only
in whole, not fractional, seconds) and always uses UTC. A string in this
format looks like “2009-04-14T16:19:58Z”.
The standard date and time format strings for .NET don’t include a pattern that uses this
precise format. The round-trip date/time pattern (specified by “o”) includes
fractional seconds (e.g., “2009-04-14T16:19:58.0785018Z”), whereas the
universal sortable date/time pattern (specified by “u”) has a space instead of
a ‘T’ between the date and the time (e.g., “2009-04-14 16:19:58Z”).
We wrote the following utility methods to parse and render DateTimes in our