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Subject: [boost] [gsoc 2013] chrono::date
From: Anurag Kalia (anurag.kalia_at_[hidden])
Date: 2013-04-24 19:05:41

What is the origin of the name 'chrono'? I have assumed till now, it has something to do with chronology, but I am not sure.Why is date a part of 'chrono' at all? As I understand, chrono::date library is supposed to be based on the counts of sunrises. I am in favour of it because it elegantly circumvents the complications of leap seconds which are unnecessary with date-related arithmetic. But if we want it to be compatible with the rest of chrono library, complications arise:If we use a definition in line with principles of chrono (i.e. not using sunrises for a moment), a date really becomes a time-interval defined by the 00:00:00 of that date + a duration of 1 day, if we follow the rules of chrono library. But the length of a day can be changed today due to insertion/deletion of leap seconds to the conventional 24-hour day, if needed. Moreover, this change is arbitrary, since leap seconds are used to keep the time in sync with earth's rotations, which changes without a fixed pattern.The length of month and year similarly are complicated, not only by the length of days in it (see above) but also by the variable number of days. For example January has 31 days, April has 30 days and February has 28 or 29 days depending upon common year or leap year respectively. Due to the latter, length of year also varies between 365 and 366 days.In essence, there is no fixed duration of day, month or year; unlike the rest of chrono library which fundamentally is based on 'duration' class.Now if we revert to our original definition, our library basically becomes a count of sunrises since epoch. Aren't we forming an independent library from chrono then?What does one mean when one says the chrono::date library interoperates with rest of chrono library? This question is an offshoot of previous question. I am confused as to how far can both parts interoperate given the above-mentioned complications.
Subtraction of dates yields us theoretically a duration of a number of days. But since actual time duration of a day is ill-defined (see above), we have to return the answer in resolution of seconds, if we use 'duration' at all. I am unable to think of more possibilities of cross-pollination between the two parts.
Am I correct in my reasoning? I am genuinely stuck at this clubbing up of unrelated (to me) classes. Even more so because Boost already supplies such a vast number of header files with least number of interdependencies. A smaller self-contained date library seems (to me) more in line with its principles.
Thanks,Anurag Kalia.

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