RFC: Timestamps/timezones proposal
cedayiv at gmail.com
Fri Jul 18 14:34:03 EDT 2008
On Fri, Jul 18, 2008 at 11:29 AM, Derek Atkins <warlord at mit.edu> wrote:
> Graham Leggett <minfrin at sharp.fm> writes:
> > Charles Day wrote:
> >> Tell me how this proposal would cause "random" date changes. Only
> >> the *display* of the timestamp changes, and only according to
> >> settings that you pick yourself.
> > Try this:
> > Enter a transaction dated 1 March 2008 in an account with timezone
> > UTC+02, with its split in a second account with a timezone of UTC.
> Okay, so the transaction would have an internal timestamp of
> "2008-03-01 12:00:00 UTC". In UTC+02 this gets displayed as
> 2008-03-01. It will also be displayed as 2008-03-01 in the
> UTC-TZ account.
> > Later, the user notices that in the second account, the transaction
> > appears on 29 Feb 2008, goes "that's odd", and "corrects" the date to
> > say 1 March 2008.
> Nope, it will be 2008-03-01 in both accounts.
> > Without the user knowing, the transaction on 1 March is now actually
> > on 2 March 2008.
> Nope. See above.
> Having said all that, I'm beginning to believe that for the
> POST Date I think it should ALWAYS be in UTC and always be
> displayed as UTC, regardless of the local timezone.
That's what I'm suggesting would happen for those users who don't choose to
enable "time of day" or "multiple time zone" features (and these two
features are separate things!).
However, if a feature for entering "time of day" will not be supported, even
in a fixed time zone, then I see no point using timestamps; might as well
just use dates alone.
> Before you get yourself in a snit, let me explain what I
> When *entering* a date, we take the entered string (e.g. 2008-07-18)
> and create a UTC timestamp of 12:00:00 on that date in UTC.
> So it doesn't matter that we're in UTC+14, we see that the
> local date is July 18 so we create a July 18 noon-UTC timestamp.
> When displaying a date, we take the UTC conversion of the
> UTC timestamp and display it.
> voila -- we now have "dates" using time_t.
> Derek Atkins, SB '93 MIT EE, SM '95 MIT Media Laboratory
> Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board (SIPB)
> URL: http://web.mit.edu/warlord/ PP-ASEL-IA N1NWH
> warlord at MIT.EDU PGP key available
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