Date in digital-clock?

John Layt jlayt at
Thu Feb 6 13:30:11 UTC 2014

On Thursday 06 Feb 2014 01:39:33 Martin Klapetek wrote:
> Hey,
> what's the plan of getting the date back to the digital clock applet? Do we
> want that? Do we not? Should it go again under the clock (making it really
> tiny I guess)? Ideas?
> Cheers

As a survivor of the Clock Wars back in the naughties, I've seen things that 
you people wouldn't believe...  :-)

Seriously though, this issue raised more heat and light than almost any other 
I've seen, it's up there with the battery % in terms of controversy.  People 
got *very* irate over the very limited config options we gave them in 4.0 
(have a look in this list archives and in bugzilla for the long flamewars), 
but it proved incredibly difficult to come up with a solution that balanced 
usability, configurability, and elegance.  I lost count of the number of 
patches I and others proposed, but nothing ever really worked too well  Partly 
that was due to the limits of localizing date formats, partly due to the 
restrictions of the layout code.  QML will probably make getting the layout 
right easier, but localizing is still an issue and will be until we can hook 
into ICUs advanced formatters (Qt 5.4?).

There's a fairly vocal group of uses who want to be able to customise the 
clock date format separate to their local date format in System Settings, i.e. 
having a shorter or longer version of the date in the clock than the standard 
short date format they use everywhere else.  These people usually wanted an 
edit box to type in a date format like we have in System Settings, but this 
was rejected as being ugly and having poor usability.  I have at times 
proposed a nicer way of doing this [1] and the Nepomuk Query Builder someone 
built last year for Dolphin is close to what I was after.

Basically, I guess I'm saying you have too separate challenges ahead of you, 
getting the layout right, and coping with users demands to customise their 
date format any way they like.  Good luck!

FWIW, I usually don't have the date showing, but if I did I'd only have "Mon 1 
Jan" (like Mac does), or for other timezones just the name like we used to.  
If the panel height is high enough then we can fit the date underneath, 
otherwise for a narrow panel it will need to go by the side.  The problem we 
found with that in the past is the average panel height fell between the 
optimal size for either of those options to look good.  One alternative to 
spelling out the date is to have a small calendar page icon like [2] that 
could show the short month name, day, and short day name stacked in a way that 
you only have to localize each component separately, rather than having to 
worry about getting the sequence and separators localized correctly. 




P.S. Apologies to the Fandom for conflating my sci-fi universes :-)

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