Keith Wansbrough Keith.Wansbrough at cl.cam.ac.uk
Mon Jan 24 05:27:12 EST 2005

> Rather than talk about specific Haskell code, I'd like to discuss the 
> measurement of time in general, how these concepts might be expressed in 
> Haskell, and what people might want from a time library. Rather than 
> propose anything, I want to try to ask some of the right questions.

Wow, thanks for the impressive essay!

I think we should also consider some of the things people might want
to do with these times.  In particular, people often want to compute
with time differences: next week, next month, next year, etc.  These
are calendar operations, and defining precisely what they mean in edge
cases is often tricky.  Even discounting leap seconds and the like,
"next month" is sometimes 28 days into the future, sometimes 29,
sometimes 30, and sometimes 31 - and sometimes makes little sense:
when is "31 January 2005 plus one month"?  Similarly for "next year".
And the decisions will be different for different applications - "plus
one year" when computing a birthday or anniversary will be different
from "plus one year" when computing interest on a loan.

Any "time difference" type must deal carefully with these issues, and
must document its behaviour on the edge cases.

--KW 8-)

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