RFC2: Date/Time proposal

Charles Day cedayiv at gmail.com
Tue Jul 22 12:15:35 EDT 2008

On Mon, Jul 21, 2008 at 7:54 PM, Stuart D. Gathman <stuart at gathman.org>

> On Mon, 21 Jul 2008, Charles Day wrote:
>  If the time of day entry feature is ever implemented and used, entered
>>> timestamps would have the timezone for the time entered.
>> Under this proposal, the time zone is constant. Users do not get an option
>> to specify time zone when they enter a time of day. So the time zone
>> constant doesn't need to be saved in the data file. (However, doing so
>> would
>> do no harm.)
> Without the timezone, you can't enter all times of day unambiguously.
> Once a year, the DT 1/2 to 2 hours after 2am are aliased to the
> same period in ST.  Without at least the ST/DT flag, you can't unamiguously
> enter the time of day (unless you use something other than
> localtime - which has its own problems).  Yeah, I know, it took me months
> to
> explain this to the guard monitoring people also.
> Why this resistance to timezones?  You want simple?  Just store the date.
> Yes, localtime is messy and complicated, but the way people tell time in
> these
> jet setting times involves HH:MM:SS and TIMEZONE.  Actually, localtime is
> not
> that complicated.  You want to store/display localtime, just don't forget
> the
> timezone.  Unless the data will only ever be used from one locale.  (Yeah,
> right.  I've heard those "X will never, ever happen" stories from customers
> too.  There is a grim satisfaction in seeing their sheepish look when X
> happens. Especially, when I've already coded the hooks for X.)

Why this resistance to timezones? That's what I wondered after responses to
the first RFC's "multi-time-zone" features argued that it would confuse
users. And since no one had asked for timezone entry anyway, I left that out
of this proposal to simplify things. However, if I understand your
suggestion, you are now suggesting that a register would display a time zone
for each transaction. Wouldn't you be confused if a transaction entered with
a date of "Jan 2, 2008" appeared earlier in the register than one with a
date of "Jan 1, 2008"? Because if you enter Jan 2, 2008 06:00 UTC+18 on one
transactions, and then Jan 1, 2008 13:30 UTC-7 on another, that's what you'd
see (since Jan 1, 2008 13:30 UTC-7 actually occurs after Jan 2, 2008 06:00

> --
>              Stuart D. Gathman <stuart at bmsi.com>
> Business Management Systems Inc.  Phone: 703 591-0911 Fax: 703 591-6154
> "Confutatis maledictis, flamis acribus addictis" - background song for
> a Microsoft sponsored "Where do you want to go from here?" commercial.


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