RFC: Timestamps/timezones proposal

Christian Stimming stimming at tuhh.de
Thu Jul 17 04:37:09 EDT 2008

Am Mittwoch, 16. Juli 2008 22:04 schrieb Charles Day:
> OK, here's an idea. I'm interested in seeing the reaction. Maybe it's
> stupid, maybe not.
> 1. Store transaction timestamps in UTC.

Transactions currently store two timestamps, see 

 Timespec date_entered;     /* date register entry was made              */
 Timespec date_posted;      /* date transaction was posted at bank       */

I assume we're discussion the date_posted here. For the reasons that have been 
discussed in the "Re: time_t" thread in length, I don't think storing this in 
UTC really solves the problem at hand. Instead, I propose a different 

  Change the date_entered field of a transaction into a GDate.

> 2. Set a timezone for each account.

I think the case of different account timezones inside the same gnc_book is an 
extreme corner case. Wait a second - that's the European point of view. Is 
this different in North America? From a European point of view, I think the 
UI necessary to handle one timezone per account is an insane overkill that no 
one will understand at all. Instead, if at all, a book should store one 
timezone and that's it.

> 3. In account registers, the transaction date is displayed according to
> that account's timezone.

If date_posted were a GDate, the transaction date is simply that date.

> 4. In account registers, entering/altering a transaction date is always
> done in terms of that account's timezone.


> 5. Add report options allowing the user to pick a reporting time and
> timezone

I don't think this could be presented in a UI that isn't grossly 
misunderstandable to the vast majority of users (though again, that's the 
point of view of contries which don't have more than one timezone). Instead I 
would simply choose the local timezone for each report, as it is currently.

> 6. Allow users to specify the time of day for transactions. (Perhaps
> optional.)

No, even though this is being asked for in that very old bug, I don't think 
this will improve the situation, let alone the UI.

> For example, as I move 
> around the globe, altering my computer's timezone wouldn't affect how
> transactions are displayed

This, as everyone confirmed so far, is still clearly a bug and needs to be 
fixed in any case.



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