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What is important to remember when you use SimpleDateFormat...

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Tip: What is important to remember when you use SimpleDateFormat...

When parsing a date string using the abbreviated year pattern ("y" or "yy"), SimpleDateFormat must interpret the abbreviated year relative to some century. It does this by adjusting dates to be within 80 years before and 20 years after the time the SimpleDateFormat instance is created.
For example, using a pattern of "MM/dd/yy" and a SimpleDateFormat instance created on Jan 1, 1997, the string "01/11/12" would be interpreted as Jan 11, 2012 while the string "05/04/64" would be interpreted as May 4, 1964.
During parsing, only strings consisting of exactly two digits, as defined by Character.isDigit(char), will be parsed into the default century. Any other numeric string, such as a one digit string, a three or more digit string, or a two digit string that isn't all digits (for example, "-1"), is interpreted literally. So "01/02/3" or "01/02/003" are parsed, using the same pattern, as Jan 2, 3 AD. Likewise, "01/02/-3" is parsed as Jan 2, 4 BC.

If the year pattern has more than two 'y' characters, the year is interpreted literally, regardless of the number of digits.
So using the pattern "MM/dd/yyyy", "01/11/12" parses to Jan 11, 12 A.D.

For time zones that have no names, use strings GMT+hours:minutes or GMT-hours:minutes.

The calendar defines what is the first day of the week, the first week of the year, whether hours are zero based or not (0 vs 12 or24), and the time zone. There is one common decimal format to handle all the numbers; the digit count is handled programmatically according to the pattern.

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