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Re: date -d20060229 gives: "invalid date"

From: Steve Cousins
Subject: Re: date -d20060229 gives: "invalid date"
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2006 14:42:37 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.4) Gecko/20030624 Netscape/7.1 (ax)

Paul Eggert wrote:
Steve Cousins <address@hidden> writes:

Don't I love new "features" like this?!  What is the purpose of this?

Don't you just love date string parsing?  It's a subtle area, full of

Hi Paul,

Yeah. I thought I had it worked out years ago. Or at least the small part that I've needed. You're just trying to add some variety to my life I see.

How is it more useful to report an error rather than doing a
meaningful conversion?

Because there's no such thing as a "meaningful conversion" that makes
everyone happy if you have an invalid date.  Invalid dates are
inherently ambiguous.  Is "Feb 29, 2006" actually Feb 28 or Mar 1?  Is
02:30 on April 2, 2006 actually 03:30 or 01:30?  You can come up with
good arguments either way.  We warn users about the ambiguities by
saying "no, you must write something like '2004-02-29 +2 years' if you
want to add two years to a date".  This avoids the ambiguity for "Feb
29, 2006".

Why can't everything be done _my_ way? ;^)

Is this a bug or a feature?

When it comes to parsing long digit strings, everything is a bug.  (:-)

Use the hyphens; they are your friends.

Except for when all of your scripts (for the last six years) use YYYYMMDD format. :~o I'll just use the old and faithful 5.2.1.


 Steve Cousins, Ocean Modeling Group    Email: address@hidden
 Marine Sciences, 452 Aubert Hall       http://rocky.umeoce.maine.edu
 Univ. of Maine, Orono, ME 04469        Phone: (207) 581-4302

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