Panther’s Mail: New date format for quotations

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
November 5th, 2003 • 5:02 am

In previous versions of Mail, the introductory line used by Mail when quoting an existing message used to be problematic in my case, because the sentence was in English, but the date format, while following the standard English format, would use the language selected in my Date & Time control pane, i.e. French. In other words, I would get lines such as this one:

On Lundi, nove 3, 2003, at 17:30 Canada/Atlantic, xxxx wrote:

Apple appears to have taken this problem into account, and they have solved it in the best possible fashion, i.e. by using a date format that is language-independent. Now the introductory line reads:

On 03-11-05, at 11:41, xxx wrote:

It’s obviously much better.

5 Responses to “Panther’s Mail: New date format for quotations”

  1. vaag says:

    In pre-Panther’s Mail it was fairly easy to change this reply string, by editing its REPLY_MESSAGE_PREFIX or REPLY_MESSAGE_24HOUR_PREFIX-string (in: /System/Library/Frameworks/Message.framework/Versions/B/Resources/Language.lproj/Message.strings ).
    The English string for REPLY_MESSAGE_24HOUR_PREFIX was “nOn %A, %b %e, %Y, at %H:%M: %Z, %%@ wrote:nn”
    For the meaning of the format keys (A,b,e,Y etc), see man strftime (terminal).

    Now with Panther this has changed (and did get worse). The string is now called:
    “REPLY_ATTRIBUTION” = “nOn %@, at %@, %@ wrote:nn”;
    where the order of the arguments (%@) is fixed: first two for date and time, the third for name/email address.
    So we lost most of our freedom to make up our own string. Why can’t there be a Mail preference setting for this?

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    Interesting information. I agree that this ultimately should be a preference that can be set by the user (as long as the default makes sense for the majority and only advanced users have to tinker with the settings). Until then, I sure prefer the new situation :).

    Don’t hesitate to share your views with Apple via the Bug Reporter feature.

  3. Will says:

    Wow, I wish I’d found this out months ago.

    I found a hint on Mac OS X hints about how to do this in 10.1’s mail, but it changed in Jaguar.

    If you’re still listening vaag, how did you find this out?

  4. vaag says:

    Mac OS X Hints must be the source of my knowledge too. So when I noticed with 10.2 that I couldn’t change this anymore from within itself, I looked around in the system untill I found it. As my default localized reply string was (and still is) rather silly, I simply had to find this. Somehow it felt of vital interest to me.

  5. Will says:

    Yeah, I hate the default. I’d much rather just have “Will wrote:” than all the other stuff which shouldn’t be needed anyway really…

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