KDE Plasma 5 Regional Settings Format Makes Me Happy Again

posted 24 Jun 2017
Since my move from Windows to Linux, KDE has been my preferred desktop environment. I remember switching between Gnome and KDE for a while until I determined that KDE was for me (what I really wanted was Amiga Workbench). KDE’s strength has always been its flexibility and ease of customization. I value options which is why I value KDE.
The transition from KDE 3.x to KDE 4.x was somewhat painful for me as for a while, many of the options that I became used to disappeared but later returned. Through the change, I never lost my ability to adjust how I wanted information displayed to me.

With KDE 5.x I was no longer able to properly customize the date format as you could in KDE 4.x and previously with KDE 3.x. I was rather frustrated. I played around with some of the configuration files but thought this was the pits. Why remove what gives KDE it’s strength? Why take away entering the date format exactly how I want it for a series of drop downs that I have to search through to find what it is that I want?

I don’t like the typical US format of MM/DD/YYYY I think it is all backwards and rather silly. Also, the whole AM / PM thing is dreadful as well. The 24 hour clock is far superior and eliminates confusion.
Although not an option here, I do like ISO format YYYY-MM-DD as that makes perfect sense. I use it very often when naming files to make for easy sorting using the file system but without the dashes: YYYYMMDD.
The typical European format is less terrible with DD/MM/YYYY but I do get the 24 hour clock. The reason I find the date format undesirable is that it is too close to the backward US method of which I am more used to so at a glance, I get confused.
I have been using the European method for quite some time due to my inability to tolerate the typical US format, but now, by accident, I see that there is this “Default (C)” format available. If I select Detailed Setting and under “Time:” I select the “Default (C)” format. The time is expressed exactly how I like it. DD MMM YYYY along with the 24 hour clock.
The best readable format that I appreciate the most is the DD MMM YYYY format. It is the clearest short format and very readable.
My desktop date is readable again! This is very important to me in Kontact, the Personal information Management suite in KDE where I spend a lot of my time each day.
The desktop world is perfect, once again, for me.

Final Thoughts

 I first became aware and addicted to the DD MMM YYYY format in 1992 when I bought my first Amiga, the A600. I thought it was such a great format and worked so well with my somewhat OCD personality. Since that time, I always write my dates in that format. I like seeing it displayed that way everywhere.

I should note that I am using openSUSE Tumbleweed with KDE Plasma 5.10 and openSUSE Leap 5.8. I haven’t run KDE Plasma 5 on any other distribution to know if the “Default (C)” option is available elsewhere.

Though, I would prefer manually entering the formats in KDE Plasma, like was once available but I understand their focus on making things “simple.” I don’t think going through a giant menu of options is the simplest method but at least I have my option to have it the way I want it.

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