Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger): Calculator widget still doesn’t support non-U.S. keyboard layouts and number formats

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
November 9th, 2005 • 4:30 pm

The regular Mac OS X application Calculator works just fine with my Canadian CSA keyboard. The Canadian CSA keyboard is for French Canadians, and the decimal separator on the numeric keypad is the comma, since that’s the decimal separator in French.

I also use the French Canadian date and number formats in the “International” preference pane in System Preferences. In other words, Mac OS X “knows” that I am using a French Canadian keyboard and knows that my default decimal separator is the comma.

When I type a decimal number in the Mac OS X application Calculator, the decimal separator key on the numeric keypad works as expected. It inserts a comma, and Calculator processes the number with the comma as a decimal number, as expected.

When I invoke the calculator widget in Tiger, on the other hand, if I type a decimal number with the numeric keypad, Mac OS X ignores the decimal symbol completely. In other words, if I type “3,14” with the numeric keypad, the calculator widget thinks I have typed “314.”

If I hold the Shift key down while pressing the decimal separator key on the numeric keypad, Mac OS X inserts a period, and the calculator widget works fine with the period as a decimal separator!

In other words, the calculator widget completely ignores both the fact that I am using a Canadian CSA keyboard and the fact that I am using the French Canadian number format by default. It behaves as if everyone in the whole wide world uses a US English keyboard and uses the period as the decimal separator.

This problem is one of the very first bugs that I reported to Apple when I first joined the AppleSeed program for Tiger back in November 2004. In other words, Apple has known about this bug for a year now, and still has not fixed it—even though it’s a pretty obvious one. And I am quite sure that numerous Mac users have reported this bug to Apple since then.

In cases like this, I just don’t know what to think. How much more obvious does a bug need to be in order to be addressed by Apple in a timely fashion? Do they really care so little about the rest of the world beyond the US border?

One Response to “Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger): Calculator widget still doesn’t support non-U.S. keyboard layouts and number formats”

  1. ssp says:

    Amen… one of the more stupid bugs around. I guess that’s what you get for using a cheap-ass ‘technology’ like JavaScript to run the Dashboard rather than using Cocoa (or, I assume, Carbon as well) which has tried and tested ways of handling different input formats in a reasonably clever way.

    But, for me at least, the whole decimal separator situation is abysmal these days. Way worse than it was in ’95… With X.4 you can’t even change your preferred decimal separator anymore. Which sucks if you happen to type in German but tend to use stupid Unix apps or just happen to type IP addresses more frequently than doing spreadsheet work…

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