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[tlug] So-called "locale" problems in Thunderbird

I am trying to get a Ubuntu system usable, for which I need the mailreader to show dates in ISO order (2020-12-31 etc). As always I am enmired in a Kafkaesque fog of confusion (theirs, not mine) between languages, places, and date formats. I understand that I cannot expect to specify a date format, but have to do some "locale" nonsense; my general strategy, which seems to be quite standard, actually, is to pretend to be somewhere called "English-in-Denmark". This gets most things OK; it tends to mean that spreadsheets use the continental "decimal comma", but I can live with that. I have a copy of Thunderbird working on another computer, but it's about 12 versions older, so there is no correlation that I can find between the "Preference" settings on the two systems.

Here's the response to command 'locale':


How do I find out how to change these settings?

All I can find in Thunderbird is a bizarre choice between: "Application locale: English (United Kingdom)" and "Regional settings locale: English (Denmark)". This seems to means someting like using the "locale" corresponding to the "language" set in Thunderbird or using ??the system settings??? (What the f could "regional" mean, other than a repetition of the "locale" idiocy?) Anyway, I have three "languages" in the list of Thunderbird preferences, "English", "Danish", and "Japanese". Switching to Japanese does seem to give me Japanese, ie ISO dates, but both English and Danish versions use the traditional dd/mm/yyyy format.

Is there a better way? Like an operating system that uses text configuration files, which you can find in the place the documentation says they are, and allows you to select things like date format?

I'm sorry, this is awfully ranty, but this stuff seems to get worse with every year of the endarkenment.

 * * *

Meanwhile I have some arcane questions about HTTP, and wonder if there are any experts here? For a taste, loading a page from the site into a browser (Firefox, Chromium, I have tried works, but "wget"; produces ERROR 500: Internal Server Error. Is there any way this could genuinely be a server error? I mean, what magic does Firefox know about that makes the server work? I am trying to read pages to get puzzle details, using my own curl function, but despite considerable efforts can get nowhere. Grateful for any help or suggestions of places to ask.

Brian Chandler

Jigsaw puzzles from Japan

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