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Re: [O] Error message could be improved - Specified time is not represen

From: Julian Bean
Subject: Re: [O] Error message could be improved - Specified time is not representable
Date: Tue, 24 May 2011 09:31:58 +0100

On 24 May 2011, at 09:16, Giovanni Ridolfi wrote:

> Julian Bean <address@hidden> writes:
>> [...] I tracked this down to an erroneous SCHEDULED date of 1st
>> January 1904 buried inside a task. [...]
>> Evidently, for some reason, calling (encode-time 0 0 0 1 1 1904) on
>> 23.3 causes the error above, 
> " This is probably related to the same problem as discussed in this
>  thread:
>  http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.emacs.orgmode/39206
>  on the limitations of unix time (whether on Unix or not...)."

Thanks, I missed that. You're right, that describes another manifestation of 
the same issue.

>> whereas on 23.1 it's silently ignored?
> Since it is an Emacs problem I think you should ask Emacs's 
> developers:
> address@hidden 
> or file a bug report: 
> M-x report-emacs-bug or write to
> address@hidden

I disagree. It's not a clear emacs bug - the docstring for encode-time says 
very clearly "Years before 1970 are not guaranteed to work.  On some systems, 
year values as low as 1901 do work.". encode-time is working as documented and 
I certainly don't understand emacs' date-time internals well enough to suggest 
a better way.

The *org-mode* bug is, simply, the error message (hence my message title). If 
this exception does occur, it would be nice if org-mode would catch it, and 
provide better information to the user about which timestamp he needs to fix.


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