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bug#20199: Enhancement request for date's "-d" option: different epochs

From: Pádraig Brady
Subject: bug#20199: Enhancement request for date's "-d" option: different epochs
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2015 13:16:57 +0000
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:31.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/31.4.0

On 25/03/15 13:10, Pádraig Brady wrote:
> On 25/03/15 12:26, Ulrich Windl wrote:
>> Hi!
>> I'm not subscribed to this list, and I hope this is the right place to 
>> report an enhancement request as there seems to be no bugzilla for that.
>> Anyway: When downloading the current leap seconds list for out NTP server I 
>> realized that the dates there seem to be specified in seconds from 
>> 1900-01-01_00:00:00 on one hand, and on the other I realized that date's 
>> option "-d" only allows UNIX epochs using the "@" notation.
>> Therefore I suggest to allow different starting epochs, possible using a 
>> syntax like "date -d '1900-01-01+2287785599'" to print the date and time of 
>> 2287785599 seconds past January 1st 1900. ("Like" means I suggest the 
>> semantics, but are not really proposing a concrete syntax; possibly there 
>> are smarter guy around than me)
>> Also being able to decode hexadecimal NTP timestamps would be a nice 
>> feature: NTp timestamps look like this:
>> d8bd24ef.a8e2bb68 meaning "Wed, Mar 25 2015 13:13:35.659...", so it's 32 bit 
>> for the seconds and another 32 bit for the fractional seconds (see page 9 of 
>> the PostScript or PDF version of RFC 1305: "NTP timestamps are represented 
>> as a 64-bit
>> unsigned fixed-point number, in seconds relative to 0h on 1 January 1900. 
>> The integer part is in the
>> first 32 bits and the fraction part in the last 32 bits.")
>> Maybe a "tagged" syntax like "-d NTP:d8bd24ef.a8e2bb6" could be used...
>> (For consistency other tags like "UNIX:" for the UNIX epoch and "MS-WIN:" 
>> for Microsoft Windows could be used. Again smart guys probably know more 
>> important epochs than I do)
> Note offsets can be negative, so you could set the offset like:
>   $ sec=1234567890
>   $ date -d @$(($sec + $(date -d 1/1/1900 +%s)))
>   Tue Feb 14 23:56:51 GMT 1939

Actually we can use date's relative date support for this:

  $ date -d '1900-01-01 +1234567890 seconds'
  Tue Feb 14 23:56:51 GMT 1939


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