f-spot date field is ambigious (and wrong for much of the world)

Bug #398438 reported by Duncan Lithgow on 2009-07-12
10
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
F-Spot
Won't Fix
Low
f-spot (Ubuntu)
Low
Ubuntu Desktop Bugs

Bug Description

Binary package hint: f-spot

* Ubuntu 9.04
* f-spot 0.5.0.3,
* European (da_dk) locale

The f-spot date field is ambigious (ie. it can have more than one meaning).

In the sidebar it is written as nn/nn/nnnn which could mean dd/mm/yyyy (as expected in Europe, S.E. Asia, Australasia, S. America, Russian Federation etc.) or it could mean mm/dd/yyyy (as users in USA expect and f-spot provides). This is a real problem for half the world.

Even in the 'Adjust Time' tool of f-spot there is ambiguity. The date is shown both in mm/dd/yyyy format and yyyy-mm-dd (the added calendar helps clarify). All these differences are just bad for the user experience, and in this case erode trust in the application and can mess up peoples EXIF data.

(A worldwide standard would solve this, but this is another story you can read about here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calendar_date#Date_format )

Duncan Lithgow (duncan-lithgow) wrote :

I suggest that the solution in all cases (not locale specific) is to switch to an easily readable form which cannot be misinterpreted. This means

* Each field must be unique

Therefore days, months and years must be represented differently such as 15 Dec 2003 or 15th Dec 03 or 15 Dec '03. I propose the big endian forms, starting with the year:

In this format the most significant data item is written before lesser data items i.e. year before month before day. This form is standard in Asian countries, Hungary and Sweden. It is consistent with the big endianness of the western decimal numbering system, which progresses from the highest to the lowest order magnitude. That is, using this format alphabet orderings and chronological orderings are identical. For example:

* 2003 Nov. 16

This helps people understand the ISO 8601 international standard 2003-11-16. It is also extended through the universal big-endian format clock time: 2003 Nov. 16, 18h 14m 12s, or 2003/11/16/18:14:12 or 2003-11-16T18:14:12.
(Some text adapted from wikipedia)

tags: added: exif locale
Pedro Villavicencio (pedro) wrote :

Thanks for your report, that's something to send directly upstream at http://bugzilla.gnome.org , for forwarding instructions please read http://wiki.ubuntu.com/Bugs/Upstream/GNOME, Thanks in advance.

Changed in f-spot (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Ubuntu Desktop Bugs (desktop-bugs)
importance: Undecided → Low
Duncan Lithgow (duncan-lithgow) wrote :

Sent upstream, but can't work out (again) how to link it in Launchpad. http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=589421

Changed in f-spot (Ubuntu):
status: New → Triaged
Changed in f-spot:
importance: Undecided → Unknown
status: New → Unknown
Changed in f-spot:
importance: Unknown → Low
status: Unknown → New
Changed in f-spot:
status: New → Won't Fix
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