Date or Date-and-time for transactions

Derek Atkins warlord at MIT.EDU
Thu Nov 29 09:21:30 EST 2012

John Ralls <jralls at> writes:

>> Agreed, a Post Date should be a "Date".  There is an open RFE from about
>> a decade ago to allow a "Post Time", but that's never really been
>> implemented and opens a large can of worms (which, honestly, has already
>> been opened).
> I don't think Post Date is really an issue here: It's a user-entered
> date, and if its internal representation is a GDate, then there is no
> timezone issue if we also get rid of the timezone-aware code. Then we
> can also get rid of all of the gyrations to set dates to the
> beginning, middle, or end of the day. I'm all for using GDates for the
> internal representation of dates with one caveat: We have to avoid
> g_date_set_time(), g_date_set_time_t(), and even g_date_set_timeval(),
> because they all use a 32-bit time_t. Not a big deal, just create the
> GDate from a GDateTime.
> Entry date-time is another matter, particularly in a multi-user,
> multi-timezone case. Since it's used mostly for sorting, maybe we
> should just leave it in Z and ignore timezone altogether. That would
> simplify a lot of code.

As you say, the dates are stored as ISO8601, or converted from local
time to UTC.  So I think even in a multi-user environment we're fine,
because datetimes will either have a local timezone or be converted to
UTC and therefore end up in the correct order.

>> IMHO the Post Date should be an actual Date, and not a Timespec.  But
>> changing the data format is -- challenging.  ;)
> Actually, the stored date format is an ISO8601 date-time string, so we
> can do whatever we want for an internal representation.

The issue is semantics.  How do we know whether a data file is using the
old interpretation or the new interpretation of a timestamp for the Post

> Regards,
> John Ralls


       Derek Atkins, SB '93 MIT EE, SM '95 MIT Media Laboratory
       Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board  (SIPB)
       URL:    PP-ASEL-IA     N1NWH
       warlord at MIT.EDU                        PGP key available

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