mktime overflow in March 2008?

Robert Latest boblatest at
Thu Aug 7 20:40:10 CEST 2008

Here's what happens on my Windows machine (Win XP / Cygwin) at work.
I've googled a bit about this problem but only found references to
instances where people referred to dates before the Epoch.

Of course at home on my Linux box everything works.

I know that everything has its limits somewhere, but I've never
heard of March 2008 being a problem.

Tomorrow I'm going to write a test loop that shows me the exact last
second that mktime is going to be able to handle. Sort of like the way
Calvin's father explains the weight limit specification of bridges.

I wonder if the datetime module is any better, considering that under
the hood it probably uses the same C library functions.

I like to stick with the "seconds since..." approach because I need to
store millions of dates/times efficiently in a sqlite database.

$ python
Python 2.5.1 (r251:54863, May 18 2007, 16:56:43) 
[GCC 3.4.4 (cygming special, gdc 0.12, using dmd 0.125)] on cygwin
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import time
>>> t = time.strptime("Mar 30, 2007 2:43:32 am", "%b %d, %Y %I:%M:%S
>>> %p")
>>> time.mktime(t)
>>> t = time.strptime("Mar 30, 2008 2:43:32 am", "%b %d, %Y %I:%M:%S
>>> %p")
>>> time.mktime(t)
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
OverflowError: mktime argument out of range


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