Issue 106992 - Date format error (English - Canada)
Summary: Date format error (English - Canada)
Alias: None
Product: Internationalization
Classification: Code
Component: localedata (show other issues)
Version: OOO310m19
Hardware: All All
: P3 Trivial with 4 votes (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: stefan.baltzer
QA Contact: issues@l10n
Depends on:
Reported: 2009-11-18 06:34 UTC by hoserjoe
Modified: 2017-05-20 11:42 UTC (History)
4 users (show)

See Also:
Issue Type: DEFECT
Latest Confirmation in: ---
Developer Difficulty: ---


Note You need to log in before you can comment on or make changes to this issue.
Description hoserjoe 2009-11-18 06:34:40 UTC
The calendar date format for Canada defaults to M/D/Y, but the legal,
government-mandated format in Canada is Y/M/D (including all the Y/M/D
variants).  This wouldn't be a problem if the user could simply change the
default date format, but OO continues to over-rule the user on this setting. 
I'd prefer being able to turn off intelligent formatting of inputs, with manual
setting of defaults, but I'll settle for the correct Canadian date format in the

PS: I couldn't complete the "Submit ussue" unless I clicked a "Subcomponent", so
I just picked one at random since I don't understand the option.
Comment 1 thorsten.martens 2009-11-18 06:55:34 UTC
TM->SBA: please have a look, thanks in advance.
Comment 2 michael.ruess 2009-11-18 14:50:52 UTC
Where did you get the date from? 
When I insert a date field e.g. in Writer (a text in "English (CAN)"), the
default date format is "D/M/Y" which also does not seem to be correct...
What did you do to get "M/D/Y"?
Comment 3 eric.savary 2009-11-20 15:39:46 UTC
Confirming MRU's findings:
- default for English (Canada) in OOo is d/m/y (not what the submitter reported)
- the submitter claims that "government-mandated format in Canada is Y/M/D"
without giving any reference.

@hoserjoe: feel free to reopen when you can:
- explain/detail what you do to get m/d/y as default in English Canadian.
- give us reference to the official default.
Comment 4 eric.savary 2009-11-20 15:40:11 UTC
Comment 5 hoserjoe 2009-11-20 20:34:12 UTC
I wish you'd leave issues open until we can answer your questions! It's just a
bit insulting to have the issue arbitrarily closed in the middle of discussion.
As requested, here is the Canada Treasury Board standard for calendar dates:

There is no separate standard for "English" or "French" Canada.  There is only
one standard for Canada, and it is YMD (and variants). I hope that OO can fix
this annoying error, especially as implemented in Calc.  Thanks.
Comment 6 eric.savary 2009-11-21 17:33:40 UTC
After looking more in depth in to this issue:
- the official Canada date format (YYY-MM-DD) is available when setting English
Canada as paragraph language. Available but not the default.
- The default in OOo is DD/MM/YY.

Conclusion: here only the possibility to set a correct default date format is
missing (issue 30216), the correct date format is available in the formats list
when using the English Canada locale.

*** This issue has been marked as a duplicate of 30216 ***
Comment 7 eric.savary 2009-11-21 17:33:57 UTC
Comment 8 hoserjoe 2009-11-22 08:16:58 UTC
Can you please stop thoughtlessly closing this issue?  The problem remains
unsolved, so it should remain open until such time as a remedy arrives.  Thanks.
Comment 9 eric.savary 2009-11-22 12:22:46 UTC
Can you please stop thoughtlessly reopening this issue and start reading the

Once again:
- Yes the date default for the language you are using is not correct
- The correct format shows in the list though
-> the problem is that the user cannot define a format *as default* and this has
been already addressed with issue 30216.

So this issue is a duplicate. And yes making it a duplicate doesn't solve your
problem which will be solved the day issue 30216 will be implemented.

If you have any good *argument* against my analyze, please reopen and explain.

*** This issue has been marked as a duplicate of 30216 ***
Comment 10 eric.savary 2009-11-22 12:23:02 UTC
Comment 11 hoserjoe 2009-11-22 20:34:05 UTC
This is a simpler problem to solve (it's just one default setting).  The other
(issue 30216) requires rewriting the application to allow user choices.  It's
likely more productive to keep this issue open because it will result in a
quicker fix.  Therefore, please let's keep this one open and maybe we'll get a
fix before another 5 years goes by.  The other issue (issue 30216) may NEVER be
fixed. These two issues are not the same.
Comment 12 eric.savary 2009-11-23 10:04:39 UTC
@ER: please have a look.
For English Canada, the default format we output is dd/mm/yy.
The submitter mentions yyyy-mm-dd.

So main differences are:
- different element separator ( - vs. /)
- short vs. longer format.
- direction (year first or last)

What is the reference?

As I already mentioned, the desired format is available in the list but not the
default. Thus I was thinking about the general issue 30216.
Comment 13 ooo 2009-11-23 12:43:39 UTC
According to the reference given in #desc6 TBITS 36 of the Treasury
Board of Canada
and (see
also )
the default date format should be YYYY-MM-DD. mentions as
reference "National Standard of Canada, CAN/CSA-Z234.4-89: All-Numeric
Dates and Times. (Reaffirmed 2000-05-25)".

Reassigning to spare time account.

- The ISO 8601 YYYY-MM-DD format is available in all locales.
- At least in Windows up to Windows 2003 the default date format for
  en-CA is still DD/MM/YYYY.
Comment 14 hoserjoe 2009-11-24 20:46:32 UTC
FWIW, in the Windows OS it's easy to reset the default to the correct setting. 
In Windows, the change stays as set, and it works in every context.  But it's
not so easy in OO. It must be set for each document, for example. Calc doesn't
even present an "Insert/Date" option, which is a serious omission.  The ideal
would be as requested in Issue 30216, but this interim quick-fix might be a
small improvement.  Even better would be if OO could simply read the the user's
date & format from the parent Windows setting.

In all these date matters, the separator (/ or . or -) is irrelevant. It's a
simple formatting option.  What matters is that the ISO date-number sequence
removes all ambiguity from the date presented.  That is, there is no doubt what
"2009-11-10" means, but "09/11/10" can be read 3 different ways.  Therefore the
default setting in OO is most important to us, the everyday OO users.
Comment 15 rehardy 2010-02-09 00:49:16 UTC
Not using an ambiguous date format is VERY VERY important. Please considered
raising the priority of this bug and getting it fixed it ASAP. This is probably
a source of frustration for a lot of Canadian users. It took me a long time to
find this.

It shouldn't be hard to copy the correct short date format from the
"French(Canada)" locale.

Canadians by statue should use CSA Z234.5:1989 date format for short dates which
is equivalent to ISO 8601, where short dates are store/entered as YYYY-MM-DD ex
2010-02-26. Using ISO standards ensure there is no confusion between months and
days, nor year 2000 type issues.

Unfortunately there is a bug in OOO310m19 Build 9420 (English - Canada) locale
data (I'm using the Windows build on Windows 7 Pro at the moment) which
incorrectly uses a confusing US like date format. Making changes to the defaults
or the Windows locale settings has no effect on this bug.

This bug is visible in calc when you start a new spreadsheet, enter a date using
ISO 8601 ex 2008-02-26 and then look at the formula/data entry window after you
hit enter. If you have set "Options->Language Settings->Language of Local
setting" to "English (Canada)" it will incorrectly display 26/02/2008. If you
change that same setting to "French (Canada)" and leave everything else in the
Lanuages set at Default or "English (Canada)" the date format is correctly
displayed as "2008-02-26".

This issue can lead to data entry errors and should be fixed ASAP.

A temporary work around is to set "Options->Language Settings->Language of Local
setting" to "French(Canada)" but it is unclear what other undesirable side
effects this will have. 
Comment 16 hoserjoe 2010-02-09 01:41:38 UTC
The downside of relying on the "French(Canada)" workaround is that currency
values will start displaying like "4,95$".  It works, but it's hard on the
brain.  BTW, I hope that everyone commenting on this issue VOTES for the issue.
 So far, only 2 people (one of them is me) have voted for the issue.  This may
explain why the issue remains a low priority with OO.
Comment 17 rehardy 2010-02-09 01:48:21 UTC
In my install of OO, in Calc when using the French(Canada) workaround you can
select "Options->Language Settings->Language of Default Current" = "CAD $
English(Canada)" while set on "French(Canada)" for Locale Setting.
I don't see the currency issue when configured that way.
Comment 18 erack 2010-02-22 00:37:37 UTC
Default date and date-time formats for Canadian English, French and Shuswap are

In cws locales33:

changeset ea22ecdd80c0
M i18npool/source/localedata/data/en_CA.xml
M i18npool/source/localedata/data/fr_CA.xml
M i18npool/source/localedata/data/shs_CA.xml

You can observe the progress and possible integration date of CWS locales33 at
Comment 19 hoserjoe 2010-02-22 07:55:10 UTC
@erack Mon Feb 22: "Default date and date-time formats for Canadian English,
French and Shuswap are now YYYY-MM-DD"

I think this is good news . . . but (holding my breath) . . . what's "Shuswap"?
Comment 20 erack 2010-02-23 08:46:08 UTC
@hoserjoe: probably the smallest minority's language supported ever ;-)
Comment 21 ooo 2010-03-06 00:13:10 UTC
Reassigning to QA for verification.
Comment 22 rehardy 2010-03-10 17:53:10 UTC
I've tested both OOo-dev 3.3.0 m73 and 3.3.0 m74 Build 9487 on Win 7 Pro. One of
which, as best as I can tell, should have included the fix for this issue.
Both versions show still display the problem which was present in 3.2.0.

I was not able to download the language packs for English UK for OOo-dev as they
don't seem to be available yet.

I installed OOo 3.3.0 m74 in parallel with OOo 3.2.0. Launching a new calc,
under Languages I had a GUI setting of English USA and all three of Locale
Setting, Currency and Default Language for Documents Western were set to English

Typing an ISO 8601 compliant date ex. 2010-9-8 into a new document results in a
completely ambiguous "08/09/10" being displayed in the cell and an ambiguous
"08/09/2010" being display in the entry field. Manually changing date format to
ISO 8601 fixes cell display to 2010-09-08 but not the entry field which remains
"08/09/2010". As before changing the locale language to French Canada results in
the correct ISO 8601 date format being displayed in both the cell and the entry
field, but causes other issues.
Comment 23 rehardy 2010-03-14 19:46:30 UTC
This still isn't fixed. I just tested OOo-dev 3.3.0 m75 build 9488. 
Calc is still broken when using a Canadian English locale.
Please re-open and fix this to prevent data entry errors.
Comment 24 hoserjoe 2010-03-14 20:32:24 UTC
I agree with rehardy, but he/she/it explains the concerns better than I do.  Thanks!
Comment 25 eric.savary 2010-03-14 22:07:18 UTC
@rehardy/hoserjoe: please learn to use to know when you can see a fix in a
Yes the issue is (probably) fixed but in a CWS which is still in QA examination.
Not nominated and not integrated. So, no, you cannot see the fix yet.

Furthermore "VERIFIED" means "Yes it is fixed", so please don't use this to say
"no, it's not fixed" and let the owner (sba) of the fixed issue verify it himself.

Thank you!

@SBA: re-setting to FIXED.
Comment 26 eric.savary 2010-03-14 22:08:13 UTC
Comment 27 hoserjoe 2010-03-14 22:47:28 UTC
I guess you're asking us simple users to verify that an issue exists, or that
it's fixed.  We only know that it doesn't appear to be fixed, and the rest of
the stick-handling of the issue is way over our heads.  So, to me, it looks like
it's still not fixed and that it should be verified as "not fixed".  But if you
can assure me that it's fixed even though it's not fixed, I guess I'll have to
trust someone on this.  But it's asking a bit much of a simple user.

Perhaps you can answer me this: How will we know that has really and truly been
Comment 28 rehardy 2010-03-14 23:43:14 UTC
@es Thanks for the clarification. I'm new to this and while the process seems
unduely complicated, OOo is huge and I can see some logic to it.

@hoserjoe Regular users will know this is fixed when we see it fixed in a DEV300
master build (or a subsequently released stable version.)

From what I understand we will only see that after it gets approved by QA,
nominated and finally integrated. That information isn't shown in the bug
system, but is in EIS2. It seems the fix will show up in one of the DEV300
master builds some time (a few days?) after the Integration Date has passed
and/or an entry appears in the Milestone Integrated field shows up in the EIS2
Those fields/dates are visible on the EIS2 tool using URL provided by erack or
manually by selecting Master DEV300 and TaskID i106992.
Comment 29 stefan.baltzer 2010-03-15 13:58:44 UTC
Verified in CWS locales33. In new Writer and Calc documents I get default date
format YYYY-MM-DD when locale is set to English (Canada).
Comment 30 rehardy 2010-04-14 17:51:38 UTC
Thanks for fixing this. This now works for me too as of Dev DEV300 build m76.
Comment 31 hoserjoe 2010-04-14 22:16:06 UTC
Thanks to everyone who was involved in fixing this annoying "smart" bug :-)
Calendar dates are probably the most annoying of all smart features and a great
deal could still be done to make them a pleasure to use.  For example, having a
hot key to insert today's date (Ctrl-D).  Or even pick/insert from a pop-up
calendar.  Dates are REALLY important in business, so it would be nice if OO
would focus on them a little more. But this little fix will be helpful.
Comment 32 nick.gunz 2011-04-23 05:07:53 UTC
I think I may have discovered a problem arising from this bug fix (although I fully agree that YYYY-MM-DD should be the default date format for Canadian English).

I have documented this bug as Bug 117900.  I hope that this helps.

Thank you so much for all your efforts.