Subject: Re: Lisp Date arithmetic library From: Erik Naggum <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2002 15:04:41 GMT Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <email@example.com> * Julian Stecklina | I recall DIN 44300 which told us poor Germans to name this thing turning | mnemonics into machine code "Assemblierer" instead of the established | "Assembler". Well, I have also experienced personal tragedies, but try to keep those away from completely irrelevant topics and not to let my impression of society or any particular subgroup thereof be formed by my personal experiences. If you have some grievances with a particular DIN standard, you have to be pretty fucked up to take that out on standards in general. Maybe most people get fucked up after traumatizing experiences, what do I know, but try to get a grip on your emotional response and try not fuck up other people, too. * Erik Naggum > YECCH! Yeah, I hate that, too. However, 2002-06-26 is correct. | 2002-6-26 and 26.6.2002 are as easily recognized by a computer programme as | by human eye. Are you blind or something? 2002-06-26 contains a leading zero so the number of characters in the format is constant, the position of the start of each element is predictable, etc. Some people seem to be really upset with the use of leading zeros numbers. Why is this? Another personal tragedy inter- fering with your normal reasoning? You have tell the computer which format you use in order for it to get it right. The various forms of "parse-by-hunch" that are used for dates get some dates written by some sloppy humans or computers on their behalf wrong. The fact is, that some people use a month-day order and some people use a day-month order. This would be perfectly OK if the month-day people could at least have the mental wherewithal to do year-month-day and the day-month people could use day-month-year, and they both wrote their years with four digits, but the month-day people are screwed up and use month-day-year, with only two-digit years, so for the next 30 years, many dates will be ambiguous. Sort of like because you say "ten to five" for 16:50, you would write it 50:16 or maybe -10:17 and maybe -10:17:23 to be precise. How come people do not do this? (Well, they are so nutty that they think 12 is 0, too, so just how much can you trust such people, anyway? They even produce household appliances that, when they are used in Europe with 24-hour clocks, they show 24:10 instead 00:10. Since many journalists spend most of their time after midnight staring into microwave ovens, they also report TV programs to begin at 24:30.) The only reason to have fun with this topic is that it is so tragic that if we took it seriously, we would have to reinvent time as we know it. Oh, wait, some Swiss clock-maker did just that, and thought, brilliantly, we could use 1000 units per day instead of 86400, while other people were busy trying to divide the second into billions if not trillions of tiny little pieces so each interesting thing could have its own little time unit, so clearly, nothing much happens in the life of people who have space for 1000 events per day. Still, it was pretty clever. But 86.4 seconds per beat is like, sloooow, man, it's like you stab someone and it won't bleed until the next beat, man. Not to mention the ultra-high precision that you would need in order to synchronize these things. With an off-beat beat like that, you would need high-precision clocks that could synchronize at any beat instead of having to wait for every fifth beat to line up with a precise second. And they cleverly made their 000 beat some stupid non-Greenwich meridian just to piss people off. They got the idea of a world-wide uniform beat right, though. It is time for such a thing, except it needs to be at a million beats per day, conveniently grouped in hundreds, so sloppy people can still use only two digits to refer to their synchronized events and precision people can use all six digits. This has worked so well to distinguish sloppy from precision people in the past, we should not just randomly let go of such a simple way to gauge people. Besides, 100 large units per day would line up pretty nicely with the good old "quarter hour". This could work! Yeah! (I need to contact Matt Groening and have him make a new Futurama episode. Ever noticed how a thousand years from now, they _still_ use AM/PM? *sigh* There goes my desire to be cryogenically preserved.) | It is said that IBM is the only company violating their own standards. :) You just scored much lower. -- Guide to non-spammers: If you want to send me a business proposal, please be specific and do not put "business proposal" in the Subject header. If it is urgent, do not use the word "urgent". If you need an immediate answer, give me a reason, do not shout "for your immediate attention". Thank you.