[maemo-users] [maemo-users] Re: Some Thoughts Regarding IT OS 2007 and the N800

From: mathew meta at pobox.com
Date: Fri Feb 2 22:06:04 EET 2007
Hi. Just got an N800, so far my biggest disappointment about the OS is
the inability to set ISO format for dates and times.

I use ISO format everywhere. My wristwatch, my Linux desktop (Ubuntu,
GNOME), my Linux command line (ls -la gives me ISO dates), my Mac, my
calculator, everywhere. This is not negotiable, any more than it's
reasonable to tell me that because I live in the USA I have to use
feet and inches.

I've built myself an en_US at ISO locale definition file. It specifies US
currency, ISO 8601 date and time, A4 paper, metric measurements, 12
hour time format disabled, and standard C collation. I'd be happy to
contribute it, obviously it'd be easy to convert for UK use. It could
then be incorporated into Maemo as "US English (ISO)" and "UK English

On Linux, I put it in  /usr/share/i18n/locales as en_US at ISO and then run
# localedef -i /usr/share/i18n/locales/en_US at ISO en_US at ISO
and export LC_ALL=en_US at ISO in /etc/profile. Presumably I can do
something like that on the N800, once I work out how to get a shell.

I have to say that POSIX or not, the locale mechanism is just utterly
broken. It makes very little sense for currency, paper sizes, date and
time formats, and telephone number formats to be nailed together into
a single atomic selection. In the UK, there are lots of people who
hate the metric system, and there are probably as many people like me
who are young enough that we never learned anything else.

It doesn't make sense for all those preferences to be OS-wide either.
For example, in desktop publishing it's useful to have rulers in DPI,
but that doesn't mean I want everything else in Imperial measurements.


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