[R] ISOdate() and strptime()

Simon Fear Simon.Fear at synequanon.com
Mon Nov 17 13:47:09 CET 2003

I think I do understand how difficult dates are. All I'm saying is
that by adopting a "standard" that is OS dependent (and hence, 
almost by definition, OS varying) you make R behave differently 
on different OSs - and that is NOT "making R portable across
multiple OSs".

This is a theoretical whinge. I'm not going to program it !

Please don't let me make too much of this anyway. For one thing,
although it is not guaranteed, it seems that many OSs DO in
fact behave identically. Also, it is only incomplete or erroneous 
dates that might be handled differently - and in most applications, 
one needs to pre-process incomplete date-times in R, rather than 
leave them to any default interpretation (even if that default was 
strictly fixed).

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jason Turner [mailto:jasont at indigoindustrial.co.nz]
> Sent: 15 November 2003 06:17
> To: Simon Fear
> Cc: r-help at stat.math.ethz.ch
> Subject: Re: [R] ISOdate() and strptime()
> Security Warning: 
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> ________________________________________________________________ 
> Thomas Lumley wrote:
> > On Fri, 14 Nov 2003, Simon Fear wrote:
> > 
> >>Is the behaviour of ISOtime() and strptime() determined by ISO
> >>or POSIX standard? Seems not to fit R's "no nannying" policy
> >>at all. 
> >>
> > 
> > 
> > It's determined by your operating system, so you're 
> complaining to the
> > wrong people.
> > 
> And since R is written to be portable across multiple OSs, 
> you might get 
> an idea how tricky this becomes.  Hence the "iron fist" 
> approach to date 
> handling.  Believe me, I've programmed date handling - it's always a 
> terrible, nasty, messy business when international locales 
> and different 
> operating systems clash.  I'm stunned it's as good as it is, subtle 
> traps and all.
> Cheers
> Jason
Simon Fear 
Senior Statistician 
Syne qua non Ltd 
Tel: +44 (0) 1379 644449 
Fax: +44 (0) 1379 644445 
email: Simon.Fear at synequanon.com 
web: http://www.synequanon.com 
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