[Python-Dev] time functions

Guido van Rossum guido@python.org
Tue, 16 Jan 2001 08:55:01 -0500

Let's not redesign the time module API too much.  I'm all for adding
the default argument values that Thomas proposes.  Then, instead of
changing the API, we should look into a higher-level Python module.
That's how those things typically go.

Digital Creations has its own time extension type somewhere in Zope, a
bit similar to mxDateTime.  I looked into making this a standard
Python extension but quickly gave up.  The problems with these things
seems to be that it's hard to come up with a design that makes
everyone happy: some people want small objects (because they have a
lot of them around, e.g. a timestamp on almost every other object);
others want timezone support; yet others want microsecond resolution;
leap-second support; pre-Christian era support; support for
nonstandard calendars; interval arithmetic; support for dates without
times or times without dates...

Python could use a better time type, but we'll have to look into which
requirements make sense for a generalized type, and which don't.  I
fear that a committee could easily pee away years designing an
interface to satisfy absolutely every wish.

--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)