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Re: The Emacs Calculator and calendar

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: The Emacs Calculator and calendar
Date: Tue, 09 Oct 2012 11:47:37 -0400

You are arguing against a proposal that would apply complex objective
criteria, yet to be defined, to judge the "correct" calendar for each
time and place, going back into prehistory.

I agree with you that that would be a mistake.  But since nobody
proposed it, why argue against it?

I'm talking about doing simple things that would be useful to some
real users.  We would extend it as far as it can usefully go, without
trying to describe the calendar shifts of every point on earth.

I will respond to some of your points to show the difference between
these two ideas.

    Two jurisdictions around then could plausibly be called "Hungarian",
    but neither one controlled what is now Budapest.

I don't think it matters whether any of them controlled Buda.  If,
however, they used different calendars, that might mean it is hard to
give a useful meaning to a Hungarian calendar domain in that period.

    Yes, no doubt most Hungarians of the time would have preferred some
    Christian calendar.  But they weren't running the show,

For this purpose, which is to help people understand books that deal
with Hungarian history, who ruled Hungary (or Buda) at the time is not
the determining question for what a "Hungarian" calendar domain would
usefully say.  A Hungarian history book probably won't give dates from
the Ottoman occupation based on the hegira (I can ask some Hungarians
if you like), and neither would an English book about Hungarian

                                                            and for all I
    know were not even a majority in the area in question.

I think they were, for a considerable part of Hungary, but that's not
a crucial question for this purpose: defining a "Hungarian" calendar
domain that might be useful for people today who are thinking about
dates in the Hungarian past.

Perhaps all modern books about Hungarian history use the Gregorian
calendar even back to the 800s.  If so, there is no need for a
"Hungarian" domain and I would not make one.

I would create only the domains that are actually useful for users.
There is no reason to insist on "complete or nothing".

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation
51 Franklin St
Boston MA 02110
www.fsf.org  www.gnu.org
Skype: No way! That's nonfree (freedom-denying) software.
  Use Ekiga or an ordinary phone call

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