Date setting in the preferences should be not be shown in ISO format

Bug #729056 reported by David Planella on 2011-03-04
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
unity-control-center (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: indicator-datetime

Right now, on starting the time & date settings dialog to change the date, the date itself is shown in ISO 8601 format.

This is confusing for users not used to that format. As an example a user in Spain will not be able to tell between the day and the month by just looking at the date shown there in most cases.

The date should be shown in a way that is more locale-friendly or that is locale-independant but it is not subject to confusion.

Related branches

David Planella (dpm) wrote :

Forgot to add the attachment, here it is

Michael Terry (mterry) wrote :

mpt, what's your opinion on this? I assumed the format from the spec mockups was ISO. Did you have something else in mind?

Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

Yes, I meant ISO 8601, but David has a good point. I'll need to tweak that part.

Changed in indicator-datetime (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt)
Changed in indicator-datetime (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
status: New → Triaged
Changed in indicator-datetime:
status: New → Triaged
importance: Undecided → Low
Changed in indicator-datetime (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Confirmed
Changed in indicator-datetime:
status: Triaged → Confirmed
Ted Gould (ted) on 2011-08-17
Changed in indicator-datetime:
status: Confirmed → Fix Committed
milestone: none → 0.2.93
Ted Gould (ted) on 2011-08-18
Changed in indicator-datetime:
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package indicator-datetime - 0.2.93-0ubuntu1

indicator-datetime (0.2.93-0ubuntu1) oneiric; urgency=low

  * New upstream release.
    ∘ Use cleaner GDateTime API
    ∘ Use locale preferred date format (LP: #729056)
    ∘ Use real ellipsis (LP: #621339)
 -- Ted Gould <email address hidden> Thu, 18 Aug 2011 15:36:21 -0500

Changed in indicator-datetime (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Fix Released
desrt (desrt) wrote :

This broke the preferences panel. The code to parse the text back into a unix timestamp can only deal with yyyy-mm-dd formatted strings so this either means that the user cannot change the date (by typing) or that the date is changed to something unexpected (for example, in the case that %x produces a 2-digit year, you may find yourself in the year 0013).

Changed in indicator-datetime:
milestone: 0.2.93 → none
status: Fix Released → New
Michael Terry (mterry) wrote :

I originally experimented with fixing this bug, but never commented back here. My fault.

This should not have been fixed. We can reliably format a date into a locale-specific display string. But as far as I recall, there is no way to either:
A) Programatically format a locale-specific display string back into a date
B) Or programatically query what the locale-specific display string breaks into (i.e. is "%x" really "%y-%m-%d"?)

So if we show the data in the locale-specific way, there's no way to parse it back again, when the user edits the text box. This merge has made it so that when the user tries to manually edit the date box, it will screw up the date.

I've filed bug 1149696 about this.

Michael Terry (mterry) wrote :

I'll mark this Fix Released again, I opened a new bug for the problem.

Changed in indicator-datetime:
status: New → Fix Released
Michael Terry (mterry) wrote :

OK, so the regression that fixing this bug introduced is now fixed again. I'll re-open this bug for an eventual "real fix". It will involve actually parsing back the locale-sensitive date string. It's possible, but involves some work.

Alternatively, maybe we can make the spinbox a label, and only let the user edit it via a calendar widget or some such. Regardless. This bug can stay open until we decide how we want to improve it.

Changed in indicator-datetime:
status: Fix Released → Confirmed
Changed in indicator-datetime (Ubuntu):
status: Fix Released → Confirmed
Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

For now I've just added a one-sentence spec for the datepicker and timepicker: "The “Time:” and “Date:” fields should be locale-sensitive timepicker and datepicker controls, where Left/Right/punctuation keys navigate between segments, number keys replace the current segment, and Up/Down keys increment/decrement the current segment."

When anyone is ready to implement such delicate creatures, let me know, and I'll be glad to describe it in more detail. (Or find a Mac or Windows PC on which you can try their equivalent controls.)

affects: indicator-datetime (Ubuntu) → ubuntu
Changed in ubuntu:
assignee: Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) → nobody
affects: ubuntu → indicator-datetime (Ubuntu)
Charles Kerr (charlesk) wrote :

Reassigning to unity-control-center, which is where the code for that panel now resides.

affects: indicator-datetime → unity-control-center
affects: indicator-datetime (Ubuntu) → unity-control-center (Ubuntu)
no longer affects: unity-control-center
Changed in unity-control-center (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Triaged
importance: Low → Medium
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