Clive D.W. Feather clive at
Sun Aug 1 21:05:03 UTC 2004

Guy Harris said:
>>> The original asctime() specified exactly what the out buffer would
>>> contain.
>> Did it? How? That is, what did old manual pages actually say?
> If the FreeBSD man page repository is to be believed:
> query=ctime&manpath=Unix+Seventh+Edition&format=html
> then it said:
> 	   Ctime converts a time pointed to by clock such as returned  by   
> time(2)
>        into  ASCII  and returns a pointer to a 26-character string in  
> the fol-
>        lowing form.  All the fields have constant width.
>            Sun Sep 16 01:03:52 1973\n\0

Right. I've also been pointed at other documents saying basically the same.

It looks like the people who turned that specification into C89 got it
slightly wrong. But I doubt it's going to get changed now.

It looks like the best we'll get is to have HISTORICAL and STANDARDIZED
versions, selected at compile time.

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