RFC: Timestamps/timezones proposal

Graham Leggett minfrin at sharp.fm
Fri Jul 18 06:46:36 EDT 2008

Charles Day wrote:

>> ok, though what happens when the user decides to change the timezone for
>> account A? (eg. I ask the bank to transfer my account from their Saint
>> John's branch to their Vancouver branch, 5 timezones apart?) What happens to
>> the timestamps and dates displayed then?
> The timestamps don't change. Only the value displayed.

This breaks double entry accounting.

If account A and account B had different timezones, it means the 
balancing splits within a transaction can fall on different days.

If this happened over the start or end of a period of time, your 
accounts would no longer balance - only half the split falls into the 

In order to be able to trust the data coming out of gnucash, gnucash 
must be completely 100% and absolutely unambiguous about the data. If 
the user specified a day, a month and a year, there must be absolutely 
no way possible at all that circumstances can conspire to have that day 
month and year changed to a different day month and year without the 
user's knowledge. The single and only way a date should change is if the 
user explicitly went in and changed that date, and at no other time.

The only safe way to do this is to store a date as a date, and not a 

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