Re: FW: Date Controls

Date: Fri Aug 18 2000 - 12:22:31 EDT

I fear that, perhaps, we have strayed a bit in our discussion.

A date or date/time control has fewer general issues than creating the
display string.

Generally, a drop-down list type control will have to worry about order
(year-month-day, day-month-year, month-day-year) and sizing of the
controls to the content.

If you are creating a calendar display application, then you'll have a
number more issues:

1. The arrangement of the calendar (left-to-right, right-to-left, columnar
or row based).
2. The first day of the (calendar) week. Generally the US starts the left
column as "Sunday", whereas Europeans (generally) use "Monday".
3. If you use the month abbreviation at the top of the page, note that the
number of characters (*not* bytes) varies and can be more than three
characters (as in the USA).
4. If you use the day abbreviation at the top of each column (or to start
rows in calendars that are "sideways"), note that the length of the
abbreviation can vary and is not always three characters (again, not
5. If you want to try and use just the first "letter" of the day name,
note that this may not work in all locales.
6. If you want to show holidays, note that these vary by country and that
country is not necessarily the same thing as the current language/locale
of the user. Holidays are also a problem because some follow arcane rules
as to when they occur.

As long as you're not creating a program for astronomers and/or
historians, you probably don't have to deal with the various problems of
calendar changeover. Some programmers foolishly limit their calendar
processing to the "machine epoch" (generally since Jan 1, 1970 for UNIX
users and Jan 1, 1980 for PC BIOS), not thinking that their controls will
be used to capture birthdates. However, birthdates really wont' go back
more than 100 to 110 years ;-).

Hope this helps.


Addison P. Phillips Principal Consultant
Inter-Locale LLC
Los Gatos, CA, USA

+1 408.210.3569 (mobile) +1 408.904.4762 (fax)
Globalization Engineering & Consulting Services

On Fri, 18 Aug 2000, Antoine Leca wrote:

> > From: Faheem Ahmed Khan []
> >
> > We are planning for a date control which would show up dates/time in any
> > chracter. Now, how do we find out how many characters does a date in each
> > language take up?
> What do you mean by "a date (or time) in each language"?
> For example, in Catalan but not in Valencian, the current date+time is
> something like
> "divendres, dia divuit d'agost dos mil, dotze minuts de dos quarts de
> dotze de migdia". ;-)
> In French, we could distinguish between the formal, lawyer form:
> "L'an deux mille,
> le dix-huit août,
> à onze heures vingt-sept";
> or a more used form like
> "Vendredi dix-huit août deux mille à onze heures vingt-sept".
> Etc.
> > I'm sure there must be some standard to this.
> I am affraid there is a difference between standard and cultural behaviours.
> You are asking the former but the matter is about the latter. I do not
> expect Standard to dictate behaviours; they can try to record it, at best.
> Now Keld gives you a good way to try: just use some Standard API, and
> let the user deal with that him/herself.
> Regards,
> Antoine

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