Kontact, Qt and RFC3339 (Re: Basic rationale of the KEP #2 design)

Bernhard Reiter bernhard at intevation.de
Thu Mar 3 09:57:50 CET 2011

Am Mittwoch, 2. März 2011 16:50:15 schrieb Georg C. F. Greve:
> People still voicing reluctance have been:
>         - Joon Radley (Toltec Connector)
>         - Bernhard Reiter (Kontact)
>         - Florian v. Samson

> This leaves the question of RFC3339 and its superset ISO8601 you raised.
> As both are referenced by many other standards and RFC3339 in particular is
> the RFC for date and time on the internet, it would appear likely that they
> are in fact widely available on networked operating systems, and in fact
> the only people speaking out against them at the moment are those who are
> not personally working on any client.

Just for the record:
I do work on the client personally (did so for many years and will continue to 
do so) and I spoke out against it, so your above count is wrong.

Back to the interesting technical side:
As you can see from my exchange with Till, RFC3339 is hard enough that
the just finished current major GNU distribution Debian ships a version
of Qt that violates on of the few examples in the rfc itself while reading.
Also Qt does not seem to have a rfc3339 writing function even in its current
version 4.6.2. So writing will be special cased. I fear this is typical
for system functions. 
RFC3339 is well specified, so it would be possible in principle to write good 
readers and writer, but for our use case needing timezones the forcing of 
time-numoffset together with our tz id, is not elegant. Especially as RFC3339
states that it is not dealing seriously with timezones.
ISO 8601 seems to badly specified, though. It is okay to choose a format
that is compatible with it to easy quicker implementations and to abided
the buzzword.
(On my background: I have designed and implemented a number of data formats in 
my 25 years of software development. )

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