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Re: Japanese expression of date (Re: use of locale in "ls")

From: Bruno Haible
Subject: Re: Japanese expression of date (Re: use of locale in "ls")
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2001 19:03:42 +0100 (CET)

Tomohiro Kubota writes:

> > Of course the most pleasant solution is to display date in correct
> > Japanese expression "%mGATSU %dNICHI" or "%YNEN %mGATSU %dNICHI"
> > (NEN, GATSU and NICHI should be of course written in Ideogram).

Paul Eggert writes:

> Unfortunately none of the current GNU 'ls' time stamp formats
> implement this format.  Here's an example, which uses 'DD' to denote
> NICHI, 'MM' to denote GATSU, and 'YY' to denote NEN.
>    Here is GNU 'ls' with the ja locale:
>      $ ls -l --time-style='posix-iso' .plan .profile
>      -r--r--r--    1 eggert   eggert        386 1981-07-14  .plan
>      -r--r--r--    1 eggert   eggert       4012 11-20 11:03 .profile
>      $ ls -l --time-style='locale' .plan .profile
>      -r--r--r--    1 eggert   eggert        386  7MM 14  1981 .plan
>      -r--r--r--    1 eggert   eggert       4012 11MM 20 11:03 .profile

Tomohiro's most pleasant solution can be implemented in the
--time-style='locale' case by changing the ja.po files, namely

       msgid "%b %e  %Y"
       msgstr "%YNEN %mGATSU %dNICHI"

       msgid "%b %e %H:%M"
       msgstr "%mGATSU %dNICHI %H:%M"

But it cannot be implemented in 'posix-iso'. 'posix-iso' cannot output

> However, the posix-iso format does have two advantages over the
> others: it alone uses the proper time stamp order for Japan,

Maybe because the translators group responsible for ja.po didn't pay
attention to it. Maybe for other reasons.

> and it consumes the fewest display columns (which is
> becoming more important as file names get longer :-).

Let this be the worry of the Japanese users and translators group,
don't force on them a display that contains only numbers and no

What I would suggest therefore is

  1) Improve the translator comment for these two strings. Currently
     it just says

     "strftime formats for non-recent and recent files, respectively,
     in -l output."

     Write down all concerns about order, number of columns and so on
     in this comment.

  2) Let the translators groups decide what is best for their locale,
     according to the description in the translator comment.

  3) Make --time-stamp=locale the default again.


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