gnucash master: A truly ancient bug, discovered with an Xcode-5.1 compiler warning.

Bob Gustafson bobgus at
Tue May 20 11:02:32 EDT 2014

On 05/20/2014 09:41 AM, John Ralls wrote:
> On May 20, 2014, at 1:55 AM, Geert Janssens <janssens-geert at> wrote:
>> On Tuesday 20 May 2014 02:41:55 Mike Alexander wrote:
>>> --On May 19, 2014 7:07:46 PM -0400 John Ralls
>>> <jralls at>
>>> wrote:
>>>> Updated	 via
>>>> (commit) 	from
>>>> (commit)
>>>> commit eabaee8eb58c557743b8b1b476b4145b97eb9836
>>>> Author: John Ralls <jralls at>
>>>> Date:   Thu May 15 17:04:26 2014 -0700
>>>>     A truly ancient bug, discovered with an Xcode-5.1 compiler
>>>> warning.
>>> Should this go on maint?
>> While this is a bug I think it would not have had any influence in
>> practise because the loop always breaks before the end of the string is
>> reached for all known date formats.
> Yeah, obviously that condition never mattered in practice because it would never be false.
>> But I have backported the fix to maint anyway.
>> And perhaps this is a good moment to point out that the routine itself
>> is flawed and should be improved during the conversion to
>> boost::datetime.
>> The issue with this routine is that it assumes that short date formats
>> consist of only digits and a separator for all known locales. This is
>> false. There are several oriental locales for which the short date
>> format starts with a day-of-the-week field. For these locales the
>> dateSeparator routine will return the first character of today's day of
>> the week instead of the real separator. So every day of the week it
>> would discover a different separator.
>> This is strongly related to bug
>> although the
>> dateSeparator routine is only one part of the problem. The other part is
>> the code that tries to guess an incompletely entered date in the
>> register code. That part trips over the day-of-week part as well.
>> Hopefully boost::datetime can help here.
> I sure hope so. It has its own parsers and formatters that I hope will do everything we need.
> One other thing I intend to do in that change is get rid of the entry-date-changes-with-timezone problem forever by making entry-date a plain date, no time component and no timezone. ISTM posted date should continue to be a full timestamp. Are there any other date-times where it's important that they should be one or the other?
> Regards,
> John Ralls
It is useful to have time and timezone on transactions that may involve 
a change of currency. Even within one country and currency (US) it is 
possible to have transactions occurring in different timezones.

I would vote to retain the possibility of entering time and timezone, 
even if the user chooses to ignore those fields.

The multiple currency, global nature of Gnucash is one of its attractive 
features. Time is important.

Bob G

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