Date acceptance patterns and date/time fields

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John Kaufmann John Kaufmann
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Date acceptance patterns and date/time fields

For many years my filing has used a kind of 'modified-ISO' 12-digit date/time pattern: YYYY-MMDD-HHmm. Advantages are that it is compact, easily read, sorts and is a valid filename string in all OS.

        Writer has very flexible field formats, giving the option to format Date fields as YYYY-MMDD, Time fields as HHmm, and either Date or Time fields as YYYY-MMDD-HHmm -- so it has everything I want, with complete flexibility to format as needed.

        Calc appears to be not flexible, but seems to use strict ISO formatting for Date (YYYY-MM-DD) and Time (HH:mm:ss) fields. /Within cells/, of course, there is flexibility to format Date and Time as desired.

        Draw also appears to be not flexible, but uses /different/ formatting for Date (MM/DD/YYYY) and Time (HH:mm:ss AM|PM). This seems to be the worst of all possible choices, because the formats are neither strict ISO nor as I would like.

With that context, I have these questions:

(Q1) If I go to Tools - Options - Language Settings - Languages - Language Of - Date acceptance patterns,
the field is populated with:
                Y-M-D;M-D;M/D/Y;M/D
which are apparently associated with Language Settings - Languages - Language Of - Locale setting. Is that correct?

(Q2) IAC, the "Date acceptance patterns" do not explain the Date or Time field behavior of either Calc or Draw (although the "M/D/Y" option in that string may relate to Draw's "(M)M/(D)D/YY" format).
Should the "Date acceptance patterns" affect the Calc or Draw field formats? If not, what is the source of the Date and Time formats in those modules?

Moreover, if I try to add to the "acceptance patterns" (to add "YYYY-MMDD", and possibly other formats), the field immediately turns red and will not accept additions. [BTW: If I try to enter the new format in lowercase, LO crashes immediately, but that's a separate problem for which I will check the bugs and file if needed.] So I can't try any additional formats to see the effect (if any) on Calc or Draw. This raises two questions with regard to "Date acceptance patterns":

        (Q3) How should this field behave when one attempts to add formats (as the Help says one may)?
        (Q4) Is there some comparable setting for Time formats?

John

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Johnny Rosenberg Johnny Rosenberg
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Re: Date acceptance patterns and date/time fields

Den fre 31 juli 2020 kl 20:57 skrev John Kaufmann <[hidden email]>:

> For many years my filing has used a kind of 'modified-ISO' 12-digit
> date/time pattern: YYYY-MMDD-HHmm. Advantages are that it is compact,
> easily read, sorts and is a valid filename string in all OS.
>
>         Writer has very flexible field formats, giving the option to
> format Date fields as YYYY-MMDD, Time fields as HHmm, and either Date or
> Time fields as YYYY-MMDD-HHmm -- so it has everything I want, with complete
> flexibility to format as needed.
>
>         Calc appears to be not flexible, but seems to use strict ISO
> formatting for Date (YYYY-MM-DD) and Time (HH:mm:ss) fields. /Within
> cells/, of course, there is flexibility to format Date and Time as desired.
>
>         Draw also appears to be not flexible, but uses /different/
> formatting for Date (MM/DD/YYYY) and Time (HH:mm:ss AM|PM). This seems to
> be the worst of all possible choices, because the formats are neither
> strict ISO nor as I would like.
>

Which language settings do you have? I'm Swedish and in draw I can choose
between the following date formats when inserting a date field:
YYYY-DD-MM (default)
DD MMMM YYYY
YY-DD-MM
DD MMM YYYY
NN "den" D MMM YY
NNNND MMMM YYYY

When inserting a time field I have the following options:
HH:mm:ss (default)
HH:mm
HH:mm:ss,00
HH:mm AM/PM
HH:mm:ss AM/PM
HH:mm:ss,00 AM/PM

It's not total freedom, but at least the ISO formats are there.

I agree though that it's strange that fields don't work the same over the
whole suite. Seems like someone unnecessarily re-invented the wheel, and
did that more than once…



Kind regards

Johnny Rosenberg


> With that context, I have these questions:
>
> (Q1) If I go to Tools - Options - Language Settings - Languages - Language
> Of - Date acceptance patterns,
> the field is populated with:
>                 Y-M-D;M-D;M/D/Y;M/D
> which are apparently associated with Language Settings - Languages -
> Language Of - Locale setting. Is that correct?
>
> (Q2) IAC, the "Date acceptance patterns" do not explain the Date or Time
> field behavior of either Calc or Draw (although the "M/D/Y" option in that
> string may relate to Draw's "(M)M/(D)D/YY" format).
> Should the "Date acceptance patterns" affect the Calc or Draw field
> formats? If not, what is the source of the Date and Time formats in those
> modules?
>
> Moreover, if I try to add to the "acceptance patterns" (to add
> "YYYY-MMDD", and possibly other formats), the field immediately turns red
> and will not accept additions. [BTW: If I try to enter the new format in
> lowercase, LO crashes immediately, but that's a separate problem for which
> I will check the bugs and file if needed.] So I can't try any additional
> formats to see the effect (if any) on Calc or Draw. This raises two
> questions with regard to "Date acceptance patterns":
>
>         (Q3) How should this field behave when one attempts to add formats
> (as the Help says one may)?
>         (Q4) Is there some comparable setting for Time formats?
>
> John
>
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Dave Howorth Dave Howorth
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Re: Date acceptance patterns and date/time fields

On Fri, 31 Jul 2020 23:28:54 +0200
Johnny Rosenberg <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Den fre 31 juli 2020 kl 20:57 skrev John Kaufmann <[hidden email]>:
>
> > For many years my filing has used a kind of 'modified-ISO' 12-digit
> > date/time pattern: YYYY-MMDD-HHmm. Advantages are that it is
> > compact, easily read, sorts and is a valid filename string in all
> > OS.
> >
> >         Writer has very flexible field formats, giving the option to
> > format Date fields as YYYY-MMDD, Time fields as HHmm, and either
> > Date or Time fields as YYYY-MMDD-HHmm -- so it has everything I
> > want, with complete flexibility to format as needed.
> >
> >         Calc appears to be not flexible, but seems to use strict ISO
> > formatting for Date (YYYY-MM-DD) and Time (HH:mm:ss) fields. /Within
> > cells/, of course, there is flexibility to format Date and Time as
> > desired.
> >
> >         Draw also appears to be not flexible, but uses /different/
> > formatting for Date (MM/DD/YYYY) and Time (HH:mm:ss AM|PM). This
> > seems to be the worst of all possible choices, because the formats
> > are neither strict ISO nor as I would like.
> >  
>
> Which language settings do you have? I'm Swedish and in draw I can
> choose between the following date formats when inserting a date field:
> YYYY-DD-MM (default)
> DD MMMM YYYY
> YY-DD-MM
> DD MMM YYYY
> NN "den" D MMM YY
> NNNND MMMM YYYY
>
> When inserting a time field I have the following options:
> HH:mm:ss (default)
> HH:mm
> HH:mm:ss,00
> HH:mm AM/PM
> HH:mm:ss AM/PM
> HH:mm:ss,00 AM/PM
>
> It's not total freedom, but at least the ISO formats are there.
>
> I agree though that it's strange that fields don't work the same over
> the whole suite. Seems like someone unnecessarily re-invented the
> wheel, and did that more than once…

I agree with those sentiments. I'm in the UK and Draw doesn't offer me
any choices I'm interested in, so I simply won't use it - it's not fit
for purpose IMHO. Why can't I use the same formats as you?

I've heard, but not experienced, that a Danish locale may be quite
useful, if the urge to use the program is stronger than common sense.

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John Kaufmann John Kaufmann
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Re: Date acceptance patterns and date/time fields

In reply to this post by Johnny Rosenberg
On 2020-07-31 17:28, Johnny Rosenberg wrote:

> Den fre 31 juli 2020 kl 20:57 skrev John Kaufmann:
> ...
>> ...
>>          Draw also appears to be not flexible, but uses /different/
>> formatting for Date (MM/DD/YYYY) and Time (HH:mm:ss AM|PM). This seems to
>> be the worst of all possible choices, because the formats are neither
>> strict ISO nor as I would like.
>
> Which language settings do you have? I'm Swedish and in draw I can choose
> between the following date formats when inserting a date field:
> YYYY-DD-MM (default)
> DD MMMM YYYY
> YY-DD-MM
> DD MMM YYYY
> NN "den" D MMM YY
> NNNND MMMM YYYY
>
> When inserting a time field I have the following options:
> HH:mm:ss (default)
> HH:mm
> HH:mm:ss,00
> HH:mm AM/PM
> HH:mm:ss AM/PM
> HH:mm:ss,00 AM/PM

Those are all in Draw?! [BTW: I'll bet that ambiguous format "YY-DD-MM" is a nightmare begging to be mistaken.] In my version (US, 6.4.4.2, W10) Draw offers no alternative Date or Time formats. It's strange that localization would make that functional difference.  Having said that ...

Though my localization is en-US, I choose "Locale setting: English (Canada)" just to get the additional "Date acceptance patterns" (including ISO) -- which is a reminder that I never understood the OO/LO obsession with choosing date and time formats for the user. The choice restrictions limit users, require stupid and tedious workarounds, and are an unnecessary burden on developers, who have much better things to do than define date and time formats for localizations and languages. This thread seems another example of the wrongheadedness of that approach.  Having said that ...

I still don't know the answer to my earlier basic question of whether the "Date acceptance patterns" are related to the date format restrictions in some modules like Calc and Draw.

Thanks for letting me know the this issue is far from settled in LO.

Kind regards,
John

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John Kaufmann John Kaufmann
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Re: Date acceptance patterns and date/time fields

In reply to this post by Dave Howorth
On 2020-07-31 18:26, Dave Howorth wrote:
>> ...
>> I agree though that it's strange that fields don't work the same over
>> the whole suite. Seems like someone unnecessarily re-invented the
>> wheel, and did that more than once…
>
> I agree with those sentiments. I'm in the UK and Draw doesn't offer me
> any choices I'm interested in, so I simply won't use it - it's not fit
> for purpose IMHO. Why can't I use the same formats as you?

Or, indeed, why must a user choose among 'allowed' formats for the language? Why not let the user define the formats... period?

Kind regards,
John

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