From: Carl W. Brown (email@example.com)
Date: Wed May 12 2004 - 00:04:53 CDT
> The issue of "French as spoken in Switzerland" versus "French as spoken
> in Canada" is totally unrelated to the issue of Swiss conventions versus
> Canadian conventions for sorting, date and time format, decimal
> separator, and so forth.
> As for time zones, I agree completely with Mark that they should be
> handled separately from all other locale settings, and not dependent on
> them in any way. Not only do people travel, and need to change their
> time zone setting while leaving everything else alone, but states and
> countries do sometimes change from one time zone to another. The Olson
> data shows how common that is.
My understanding of the value of locales is that they provide a standard mapping for a set of parameters be it language, country conventions or time handling.
It is unfortunate that often locale information that is country based is not separated from sub language and country conventions such as currency and numeric formatting.
The value of a locale is that it provides us with a way to map the locale into a common set of parameters.
But to do that properly we need more flexibility. For example if I am going to send a letter it is helpful to know how the country of the recipient formats the address. But it is not that simple. The recipient's country should be in the language of the sender so that the letter can be sent to the proper country to get to the recipient. This is where Unicode comes in. With Unicode this becomes possible.
I consider time zone a locale specification however is should be independent of language, script, and country. However country is useful if you want to set a default time zone selection list since in most cases you will use a time zone in the country you specify in the locale. In most cases the sub language will also be the same. However, a French speaking Canadian in Switzerland will probably want to use a French Canadian spell checker even while in Switzerland but use the Swiss currency.
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