In technical documentation, where you have two variables, StartDate and EndDate, how do you say that the EndDate must come after StartDate? Do you use the lower-higher or sooner-later comparison? Or is there a more intuitive and understandable way?

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    Uh, "the EndDate must be after the StartDate". – Hot Licks Jan 25 '16 at 13:41

References to dates are prevalent in computing. Besides building date validations in code, the working of a date field must be correctly referenced in system messages. It is always better to use descriptive statements (earlier/later) rather than quantifying it (lower/higher).

Use later to indicate that event is happening subsequent to a reference date (date subsequent to which it is possible/not possible to do something)


The EndDate of the promotion must be later than the StartDate.

You cannot enter an EndDate later than 31 December, 2020.

In case, you wish to indicate an event happening prior to a reference date, use earlier

The StartDate of the scheduler must be earlier than the EndDate.

The Coupon Code must not be active any earlier than Dec 24,2016.

Reference: A technical documentation guideline developed by my Project!

See related EL&U question dealing with software version numbers.

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