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View Diary: Warnings From The Trenches (188 comments)

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  •  but that was only one solution to yyddd (1+ / 0-)
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    CA wildwoman

    some used a fixed offset of days from some arbitrary date in the past - say 01/01/1901

    of course some of them forgot that 2000 would be a leap year even though 1900 was not, but that was a separate problem.

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 03:19:43 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  That still doesn't fix the problem. IT just kicks (0+ / 0-)

      it down the road a lot further.  ALL date formats based on any Von Neuman machine will inevitably store the date in a format that has a fixed number of limited dates it is capable of representing.  The problem will always be there in some form and it only "goes away" due to the fact that the solar system won't last forever and therefore any finite timekeeping that, while still being finite at least lasts longer than the earth will last is probably good enough.  Basically the seconds-since epoch problem coming in 2034 will be solved by switching from storing the time in 32 bit numbers to storing it in 64 bit numbers (which is already starting to happen in modern OS's), which are capable of storing a number of seconds longer than the earth will last.  Still finite, but good enough for most things.  (I'm not being snarky when I say "most things" because in some astronomy calculations you do actually need to calculate things occurring in longer timescales than the lifespan of the earth.)

       (Basically, I find the seconds-since-epoch to be far superior just because the Western calendar is so ugly in how it works and when the computer calculates things in its own head it makes far more sense for it to just keep track of time as a single number.  It can be scaled to seconds if that's the accuracy you need or scaled to days if thats the accuracy you need, but in either case it's the same concept:  Don't bother dealing with the crap about some months being 30 days, some 31, and one being 28 except once every 4 years when it's 29 except it's not exactly every 4 years and sometimes it's still 28 even though they year is divisible by 4 and so on and so forth. - just ignore all that messy stuff until the moment you want to translate the time back into something human readable, or you want to take input from a silly human who insists on using that messy system - only for doing that translation do you deal with the messy human calendar.  The rest of the time you think of time as a simple scalar number.)

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