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Re: ISO 8601 Date/Time format in future Debian versions




On Wed 29 May 2019 at 01:00:27 (+0200), Garret Robinson wrote:
> It is extremely frustrating to have different time/date formats scattered throughout one's operating system.

If you say so. I find different formats appropriate in different
circumstances. For example, my screen clock is analogue, but capped by
Fri 31 in a panel just six characters wide. I think I can still
remember the month and year we are in without a reminder!

OTOH the timestamps I use in filenames and other such places are
YYYY-mm-dd-HH-MM-SS so that they collate in the right order.

But for the dates in emails, I want a more friendly format like
the one I quote with (see above) and the RFC2822 ones placed in the
header. And I want the TZ too, though some people have broken (for me)
systems that don't reveal their TZ.

OTOH the mailbox indices use a compact YYmmdd format just to
leave more characters in the line for author, subject, flags etc.

> 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.

Without knowing where these occur, I can't comment, except to say that
I've never heard anyone utter "it's May the thirtyfirst Friday." So
I don't see the logic.

> 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?

I don't know where you see these slashed dates in your emails. Mine
all have RFC2822 style dates, and the only oddities are some of the
optional TZ names given at the end, particularly those with -00:00 (UTC)
which appears contradictory¹.

> 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.

I didn't think that was how the BTS worked. A DD can't read your mind
to find out what wishlist bugs you want to file against which packages.
I think you need to be more specific about exactly what's wrong.

¹ AIUI §3.3 states that -0000 means that one can't rely on the TZ
  information, whereas (UTC) suggests that the TZ given means +0000.

Cheers,
David.