Time Libraries Rough Draft
Benjamin.Rudiak-Gould at cl.cam.ac.uk
Fri Feb 11 04:28:33 EST 2005
Seth Kurtzberg wrote:
> Timekeeping is crucial for certain applications, which happen to be
> the ones I work on. [...] If you ignore the realities of time (that
> is, that the universe isn't much interested in our simplifications)
> you get your satellite in the wrong place, and you lose $100 million.
> [...] If it's worth doing, don't return the wrong answer. [...] The
> universe doesn't stop for that period when POSIX pretends that it
> does. [...] Given the choice of reality or POSIX, it seems to me that
> reality is a more sensible choice.
I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and
think things over.
You want the library to do the Right Thing. Great, we all do. But it's
IMPOSSIBLE. If it were difficult, we would have just done it, and none
of this long discussion would have happened.
What, precisely, do you want from a standard time library that Ashley
Yakeley's proposal could provide and doesn't? Do you want it to
interface with a GPS receiver, or connect to an Internet time server to
get the current time? It doesn't make sense to include such things in an
initial proposal. Once we have some basic datatypes for UTC and TAI
times, then we can easily write other libraries with the appropriate
functions of type IO AbsoluteTime.
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