It's very common to use DATE and DATETIME fields in MySQL. CFormatter's date methods don't accept these. This is inconvenient, because several components use this formatter. For example when you want to create a CGridView like:
it will throw an error, because the underlying CFormatter always expects a UNIX timestamp.
It should implement the same logic as in CDateFormatter::format() where the type of the supplied value is tested before:
$value=ctype_digit($value) ? (int)$value : strtotime($value);
Migrated from http://code.google.com/p/yii/issues/detail?id=2878
fixes #291 CFormatter dates can now be strtotime values
makes #1172 obsolete