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On Monday 21 November 2011, Eike Rathke wrote:
On Sunday, 2011-11-20 14:30:23 +0200, Harri Pitkänen wrote:
anyone checked how this affects interoperability with Excel?

I think they use a similar approach for genitive case names (use them if
a day of month is present), but I haven't heard of partitive case.

It seems that things are a little bit complicated with Finnish Excel. 
Essentially it does not have this feature directly in the date format 
implementation but instead they have hardcoded the partitive suffix into those 
predefined date formats that need it.

I tested this by creating a file in Excel and entering a date with different 
formats. Then I saved it and opened the same file in LibreOffice 3.4.4. The 
result can be seen in this screenshot:

- The predefined format for the date containing partitive month names 
translates to format string

  [$-40B]P\. KKKK\t\a;@

(P is Finnish format character for day of month and KKKK is full month name.). 
You can see that Excel hardcodes characters "ta" at the end of the month name. 
This is visible when you open the file in LibreOffice but can also be seen 
within Excel if choose the format and then go to custom format edit view.

There is no direct support for genitive month names in Finnish Excel (thus no 
predefined formats where day of month precedes the month name), but of course 
you can create the custom format yourself. So actually the current 
implementation in Excel matches pretty much exactly LibreOffice 3.4.4 for 

It seems to me that the intelligent month name format would lead to doubled 
partitive suffixes when a document created in Excel is opened in LibreOffice. 
We could avoid that by modifying the rule a bit: in case format specifier MMMM 
(or KKKK in the Finnish example above) is immediately followed by a character 
literal, nominative form is used even if there is day of month present in the 
format. This would also avoid problems with older OpenDocument files where 
people may have used similar hardcoded suffixes.

Even then users who take advantage of the new feature in LibreOffice will see 
the month names incorrectly if they open the file in Excel. I don't see this 
as a problem since no data is lost, the formatting problem is minor and it is 
really just a missing feature in Excel which we cannot fix anyway.


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