[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

date command is great but could use improvements

From: David Chmelik
Subject: date command is great but could use improvements
Date: Fri, 20 May 2022 14:56:44 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:78.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/78.9.1

How's Hacking?,

I love your UNIX-style date command, and used its format customizing XFCE desktop environment (DE) clock (adding many details) but seems date has inadequacies.         I noticed two types for weeks in year: 1 to 53, 0 to 53, numbering 54 weeks, but there can't be 54, right?         Only two options exist to number weekdays, when should be more/user-configurable.         Glad to see one can display weekday 1 to 7 (how everyone thinks about it) except said 1 is Monday (as in Europe.)  I was shocked to see one can only display Sunday starting week at 0. Everyone thinks of days 1 to 7, even programmers/sysadmins having to talk so users understand.  Majority are PC users now with Linux kernel being most popular (normally GNU also available on Replicant/Android/etc.) but people where Sunday is first weekday (The United States of America, USA, and I've never heard a programmer/sysadmin/scientist/professor who uses UNIX/GNU//Linux say 'zeroth weekday') will want PC (so date command) to number days from 1, as date numbers days month days 1 to up to 31, weeks 1 to 53, quarters/seasons 1 to 4, months & civil time 1 to 12.         I'm European-American, programming since 1993, and may recall Monday was first weekday growing up in The United Kingdom (UK,) but moved to USA at age seven and they said Sunday is /first/ weekday, so that's what I use until revisiting Europe/Britain.  If date or clock displays day 0, I'd know it's Sunday, but every day after think it's day as a user (then may miss things I must go to.) For other almost or 97+% (non-programmer) people if they want detailed system tray clock, problem's even worse.         I won't say break UNIX tradition, but how about adding more types or making configurable? (even some British Isles programmers might want Monday 0.)         Various other calendars are in usage worldwide that start week on other days, and I'm sure users start with day 1 (but some programmers might want day 0.)         The older European calendar (still in some usage) counts days of the year: 1 to 365 or 366.         Another British Isles time unit is fortnight: 14 days, which may not be used much, but I like it (of course has week 1 & 2.)         Manpage grammar/typographical errors exist; alphabetic time zone abbreviation says EDT: likely you mean Eastern Time (ET, North America) zone, which contains at least two 'local times,' Eastern Standard Time (EST) & Eastern Daylight saving Time (EDT,) which aren't zones, rather than settings people & organizations/governments might choose or not in a zone, and adherence varies.  I don't use Pacific Time's PDT because daylight saving time is unnatural/difficult (thousands to millions or more feel same) and I'm not working yet (besides volunteer Free/Libre Software (FLS) programming, helping at parents' rural place, rarely artwork.)  Users of date and derived GUI clocks might want time zone & local time.  Another manpage grammar mistake is saying 'alternate' when 'alternative' is meant: 'alternate' means to switch back & forth: alternating feet walking, and what alternators do in cars... 'alternative' is a choice.  FSF/GNU originated in USA which has some worse grammar... after people such as comic book & film/TV fans started saying 'alternate universes' others started using 'alternate' incorrectly lately... amateur dictionaries (forgot if USA's main, Merriam-Webster) did make such bad grammar official... so no big deal for some/most US Americans, but you'll confuse ones who haven't heard mistake and/or disagree (many intellectuals, English majors & instructors, older people) and international English speakers everywhere (as rest were/are in UK Commonwealth with somewhat closer dialects.)
        I'll talk to *BSD/IllumOS UNIX people about similar issues.
        Ntpd isn't coreutils, but I wish I could set system clock to PST and get updates from UTC-8 servers, but display reminder others use PDT, and might be nice if date allowed such clarification (as many scientists dislike unnatural time, especially some/many programmers who tend to stay up late, and astronomers.)  Setting system clock to UTC won't do (unless visiting UTC.)

Happy Hacking,
David (darwin/DarwinElf: EFnet IRC & IRCnet, libera & OFTC, etc., XMPP (updated first) & (including CS) (more uptime)

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]