Date in digital-clock?

Thomas Pfeiffer colomar at
Thu Feb 6 13:56:42 UTC 2014

On Thursday 06 February 2014 14:30:11 John Layt wrote:
> 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!

This is exactly where Plasma's flexibility can save the day: Why not offering 
two different Plasmoids: The default one aiming for simplicity and elegance, 
plus one which the configuration fans can use instead?
That's the cool thing: We don't have to satisfy everyone with one Plasmoid 
(it's impossible anyway) since we can have different ones!

If the configuration freaks then say "It's too complicated to replace the 
default Plasmoid", we can tell them "You want flexibility, you got flexibility, 
now quit whining!". Plus we should make replacing Plasmoids with different 
variants easier, but that's a story for another thread ;)

> 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.
> [1]
> [2]
> -calendar-icon-december-25th

I like the idea of the calendar page, but we'd have to see how good it looks 
in practice.

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