Re the locale issue, I'm not sure that's quite the point I was trying to make.
Many companies do business with trading partners around the world. Whether we like it or not, suppliers are expected to fit their clients, not the other way around. So, say, a UK company might receive many mails containing dates formatted in both UK-standard and US-standard representations. Therefore the ability to parse both types (not one or the other) in the date zimlet would be a major benefit.
Best wishes, Silas