Copy of: Re: OT (Kind of): Determining whether Locales are left-to-right or

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Sat Dec 09 2000 - 13:16:25 EST

"Tex Texin" <> wrote:

> A familiar example, is Windows regional control. You can choose
> a region which sets many properties. The user can then
> go and override a specific number, date, time, etc. format.
> Changing the date format shouldn't require the user to pick
> another locale or implicitly change locale.

This is exactly what we had to do in the MS-DOS world. In order to set
my date format to the ISO 8601 standard yyyy-mm-dd, I had to pick a
country setting that happened to include that format and also the other
settings I wanted (period for decimal separator and comma for thousands
separator). I think I ended up using the South Korea setting. (I am
in California, which is not part of South Korea.)

Those of us who remember the straitjacket of "locales" in MS-DOS are
relieved to have the additional flexibility that the Windows Control
Panel allows. At the same time, there are times when its settings
should be blithely ignored (e.g. not every currency amount I ever work
with is in U.S. dollars).

Regarding the original "directionality of locales" question, the short
answer I have been waiting for somebody to give is this: Directionality
is (at least) a function of *script*, not language or country or even
both, and unless a Unix locale such as ar_EG explicitly specifies the
Arabic script, you will probably need to create your own table.

-Doug Ewell
 Fullerton, California

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