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Re: RFC: a human-eye date format everyone can love

From: Greg Stein <gstein_at_lyra.org>
Date: 2002-06-24 22:41:39 CEST

On Mon, Jun 24, 2002 at 12:39:28PM -0700, Justin Erenkrantz wrote:
>...
> Pardon me, but why do we care about producing ISO-8601 dates in
> the human-readable sections?

Because we need to choose a format. And the ISO 8601 format is actually
defined as the European standard (dunno about US). Maybe as a US guy, you
might want alphanumeric day/month in there, but that isn't going to work
well in a universal context.

In short, we need a format that works "everywhere" and ISO 8601 is the best.
The particular format Karl has proposed *is* compatible with ISO 8601 up to
the parenthesized portion.

> If you want the ISO-8601 dates, why
> don't you just write a client yourself? You shouldn't be parsing
> the 'svn log' output - that's what client libraries are for.

/bin/bash has a very hard time accessing those libraries. A *lot* of
scripting is going to be by invoking the command-line client. As much as I
would agree with you on "use the libraries", I just don't think they'll be
used as often as I'd like.

Yes, we'll have bindings for Perl and Python and others. But will everybody
have those bindings installed? I'd posit a much lower percentage than those
who have the cmdline client. Thus, script writers will tend towards wrapping
the client.

>...
> I know I'm a giant stick in the mud. IMHO, this date format is
> *way* too long. And, this is essentially what CVS is printing
> with an additional TZ (and the human-friendly dates). I'm not sure
> I understand why a human cares about the TZ - the repos time should
> be translated to the timezone that the client computer is in.
> Ostensibly, that's the time that the user knows best.

The TZ must be appended. Without it, the user doesn't know if the displayed
time is local time, or UTC.

> What TZ would we report when Karl commits in Chicago and Greg commits
> in San Fransisco? For the human on 'svn log' output, they should be
> the same, right?

They get stored into the repos in UTC. When Sander runs 'svn log', he gets
all the times displayed in +0100 (or whatever his TZ is). That is, they are
adjusted to his local time.

> Or, are you suggesting that 'svn log' tells me that
> Karl commits at 5AM and a later commit from Greg comes in at 4AM?
> Or, do I get stuck with the timezone of the server? I think the best
> solution is the timezone of the client - which means that the
> timezone information in the human-readable format is
> redundant. -- justin

Nope. See above. It is needed to say, "I've translated this to your time."

Cheers,
-g

-- 
Greg Stein, http://www.lyra.org/
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Received on Mon Jun 24 22:41:00 2002

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