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Re: Decimal time support in 'date'

From: Assaf Gordon
Subject: Re: Decimal time support in 'date'
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 2019 02:03:10 -0700


On Thu, Dec 12, 2019 at 6:57 PM za3k--- via GNU coreutils General
Discussion <address@hidden> wrote:
> I am interested in adding support for decimal time to 'date', but before
> I dive into writing a patch, I wanted to ask whether the patch has a
> chance of being accepted--this may just be too obscure.

Thank you for the suggestion and for checking in first - that's an
excellent approach.

> In decimal time, 2019-12-12.75 would represent 2019-12-12T18:00:00.
> Decimal time in the modern era is mainly used in timekeeping (to track
> employee or contracting hours) and in scientific recording (to make
> drawing graphs easy). Astronomers use another form of decimal time on
> their own calendar and would not be supported.

This is an interesting idea, certainly worth discussing.
When such format is used by time-keepers or scientific recording, is
it being used
on the command-line or from a shell script? or is this more commonly
done in a higher-level programming language?
Can you expand on the other format used by Astronomers?


Before going further, please be aware that in order for such patch to
be accepted (or even evaluated), we'll need a copyright assignment
from you (and, potentially, from your employer or university, if you
implement it as part of work/school project).

To learn more, please see here:
To start the process, please fill the following form and send it to
address@hidden :
(for the program/package question, please fill both "coreutils" and "gnulib")

On the technical side,
I expect such a patch to modify mainly gnulib's nstrftime.c module:
If we consider adding a new letter operator (e.g. "%X" ) we should
make sure it does not conflate with any existing letters, including on
non-gnu implementations (e.g. on BSDs).

  - assaf

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