Re: CLDR Usage of Gregorian Calendar Era Terms: BC and AD -- Can we please have "CE" and "BCE" ?

From: Jukka K. Korpela (
Date: Fri Dec 21 2007 - 01:46:15 CST

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    Erkki I. Kolehmainen wrote:

    > The open question remains: how to identify the alternatives? -
    > Secular, non-secular?

    The difference is not between secular and non-secular but between a
    notation that identifies the Christian calendar with a reference to
    Christ and one that identifies it as the calendar. One might call it a
    difference between explicit and implicit (in expressing which calendar
    is used).

    I understand that this can be a big issue to some people, but it is
    really an isolated dispute among all the settings, so I cannot see why
    this cannot be left to be selected by the user separately, when desired.
    (I don't think there are many people who really care about it, and it's
    relevant in few applications only, like extracts from historical data

    In setting up user preferences, it is natural to select the display
    language (in the ordinary, common sense of naming just, say, "English"),
    then perhaps the country if it seems to matter, and maybe some
    _separate_ choices, like "Use BCE/CE instead of BC/AD". These choices
    can then be encoded as needed, if and when they need to be stored and

    If such choices by users should be expressed by locale names, then these
    names should be genuinely multi-dimensional, allowing a set of
    independent choices to be encoded. But I find it much more natural to
    use a locale name to identify one set of settings, then different
    settings (and names and codes for them) to override some of the settings
    in the locale, if desired.

    To take another example, sometimes heavily debated but with different
    tones, many people prefer or actually use the colon ":" as separator
    between hours and minutes in time denotations, even when the rules of
    the language require the full stop ".". In Finland, the colon is the
    official separator in text, but the full stop is very common too. Should
    such a choice be given a name of its own, and should it be encoded into
    a locale name, so that a name would express that the user prefers
    Finnish as written in Finland with BCE/CE notation and with the colon
    notation and...? Where would this end? If some people strongly feel that
    the name of a country is wrong in a locale (a quite possible scenario),
    should this also be encoded as a difference between named locales? Or
    _named_ at all?

    Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")

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