Subject: Dates
From: Richard Mateosian <srm -at- C2 -dot- ORG>
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 1994 02:33:58 -0800

>Any software worthy of using stores Julian dates: usually a long integer
>representing the number of days/seconds/whatever-time-units from some
>point to the date represented.

Because time is more or less infinite, while a long integer is pretty
limited, the range of represented Julian "days/seconds/whatever-time-units"
necessarily covers some finite period, usually including "the present" as of
the time the code was written. I remember writing one such routine in 1974.
The range of representable dates ended some time early in the twenty-first
century. Other notorious and widespread routines have had (and have now
passed) end dates that were closer in.

Two-digit date abbreviations cause little difficulty on output and don't
enter into date computations, but you are forced to guess the intended
century on input. I was dealing with dates of birth, so a date like 8/17/00
normally translated into 8/17/1900. You have to adjust your guess as time
passes. For many date routines nowadays, 8/17/00 should mean 8/17/2000. As I
recall, my routine allowed users to enter a 4-digit year if they wanted to.

My educated guess is that few programs will break when 2000 rolls around. ...RM

Richard Mateosian Technical Writer in Berkeley CA srm -at- c2 -dot- org

Previous by Author: Ending with a preposition
Next by Author: Roman page numbers for front matter
Previous by Thread: Express(ed)
Next by Thread: Dates

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads