time.h critique

D. J. Bernstein djb at cr.yp.to
Sat Oct 3 05:14:24 UTC 1998

Markus Kuhn writes:
> We can add conversions between TIME_UTC and JD or
> MJD as example notes to the standard, but I would not want to create an
> inflation of time scales in the basic library API. This sounds more like
> a function for calendar and astronomy toolkits and not for something a
> basic time access interface should be concerned with.

In case you haven't noticed, the calendar plays a prominent role in
struct tm and in the output of asctime().

If you want to convert civil times to time_t, for example, you can start
by converting the calendar dates to MJD. libtai is structured this way.

> May be, one day we get a nice
> distributedly administrated database for universal Internet access to
> up-to-date timezone information (in fact I have some long-term plans
> along this line),

Why should we take your plans seriously? You claim that you can't even
figure out how to distribute a few bits of centrally managed information
per year to keep leap-second tables up to date.

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