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ISO 8601 Date/Time format in future Debian versions




It is extremely frustrating to have different time/date formats scattered throughout one's operating system.

Even when one modifies one's Region & Language for an international standard (e.g., by setting en_US.UTF-8 as default but editing the LC_TIME section to copy en_DK.UTF-8), one encounters many inconsistencies. Gnome's top panel puts the day before the month (Tue May 28) instead of a more logical arrangement of May 28 Tue. Despite using en_DK.UTF-8 LC_TIME, Debian Gnome displays "May 28 2019" when one clicks the top-panel-time to reveal the calendar. Other places in the OS the date is displayed as 4 May 2019 (or 04-05-2019). Still further, dates are sometimes shown as 04/05/19 instead of the en_DK.UTF-8 prescribed format of 2019-05-04.

The email client Thunderbird 60 is a good example of how messed up this is. A couple weeks ago I arrived home from an extended trip and looked at emails with this date: 04/05/19. Did this email arrive on April 5 or 4 May? This confusion wouldn't exist if it used the en_DK.UTF-8 LC_TIME (i.e., 2019-05-04). Thunderbird developers complain in comment 20 of the following bug report (https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1426907) that they need an API and UI for customizing the date/time (like Microsoft Windows provides). I don't know if this is true, but something needs to be done. Is there something Debian can do to address this issue? Or where might you suggest I direct my efforts for discussing a fix for this problem, with GNOME?

Can Debian developers please share their thoughts on this issue? Perhaps a Debian developer could open a bug ticket with GNOME and give technical information or suggestions on how a fix might be implemented? Users should be able to set an ISO 8601 date/time standard across their operating system and apps irregardless of what language is being used and what region they are in.