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Re: Question about parse-time-string and date-to-time


From: Eric Abrahamsen
Subject: Re: Question about parse-time-string and date-to-time
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2017 16:12:04 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.0.50 (gnu/linux)

John Mastro <address@hidden> writes:

> Eric Abrahamsen <address@hidden> wrote:
>> A conundrum:
>>
>> parse-time-string accepts a string representing a date, and parses it
>> into a list of time elements, with nil for the unknowns.
>>
>> date-to-time calls parse-time-string and passes the result straight to
>> encode-time, to produce a time value.
>>
>> encode-time accepts series of time elements, and raises an error if any
>> of them are nil.
>>
>> I might be missing something, but I don't see how date-to-time could
>> ever work. Wouldn't it always have to replace the nils with zeros before
>> passing the result to encode time?
>
> It looks like, if the first call to `encode-time' signals an error, it
> re-tries using the result of calling `timezone-make-date-arpa-standard'
> on the original DATE argument:
>
>     (defun date-to-time (date)
>       (condition-case err
>           (apply 'encode-time (parse-time-string date))
>         (error
>          ;; ...
>          (apply 'encode-time
>                 (parse-time-string
>                  (timezone-make-date-arpa-standard date)))
>          ;; ...
>          )))
>
> I was not familiar with `timezone-make-date-arpa-standard', and am not
> familiar with "arpanet standard date" as a concept. It seems to
> guarantee that some valid date string will be returned, but not
> necessarily the one I would have guessed when time information is
> missing:
>
>     (timezone-make-date-arpa-standard "2017-03-29 3:05:00")
>     ;=> "28 Mar 2017 20:05:00 -0700"
>     (timezone-make-date-arpa-standard "2017-03-29")
>     ;=> "31 Dec 1999 16:00:00 -0800"
>     (timezone-make-date-arpa-standard "3/29/2016")
>     ;=> "31 Dec 1999 16:00:00 -0800"
>
> And sure enough:
>
>     (equal (date-to-time "2017-03-29")
>            (date-to-time "31 Dec 1999 16:00:00 -0800"))
>     ;=> t
>
> So it seems like it returns an arbitrary date if time elements are
> missing?

That's what I've found. If parse-time-string returns any nil values,
then you get 31 Dec, 1999. I'd rather get an error!




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