Using mktime to convert date to seconds since epoch - omitting elements from the tuple?

Chris Angelico rosuav at
Wed Jan 2 18:34:32 CET 2013

On Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 4:27 AM, Roy Smith <roy at> wrote:
> In article <mailman.1574.1357138278.29569.python-list at>,
> Chris Angelico  <rosuav at> wrote:
>>> I assume you mean timestamps. A date doesn't need to worry about UTC
>>> the way a timestamp does.
> I'm not sure how a date and a timestamp differ in any significant
> way.  A date is just a very low-precision time.
> I suppose what's really essential is a way to quickly see the current
> UTC time.  That way, when you're looking at some event in a log file,
> it's easy to figure out, "that was 20 minutes ago", as opposed to,
> "that was 5 hours and 20 minutes ago".  I run my desktop in New York
> time (so I know when I'm supposed to eat lunch), but I also have a
> second clock widget displaying UTC time just below it.  Right now,
> it's 17:22.

The difference between "20 minutes ago" and "5 hours and 20 minutes
ago" doesn't really come up when your resolution is 86400 seconds, as
is the case with a date :)

I have the same sort of thing. My desktop's clock is on local time
(4:33AM), but my server tells me, when I type 'who', that "The current
UTC (GMT) time is: Wed 17:33:35" (it doesn't bother with the date,
only the day of week, as the main purpose of that time display is to
help people synchronize on weekly events).


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