RFC2: Date/Time proposal

Stuart D. Gathman stuart at gathman.org
Mon Jul 21 22:54:29 EDT 2008

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.)

 	      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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