Nicholas Clark wrote:
On Tue, Jul 05, 2005 at 06:47:41PM -0600, zowie wrote:
There is also a certain joy that comes from noticing that a tool was
designed by pedants:
it's great that cal(1) handles the Gregorian reformation correctly
(or at least, in one
of several arguably correct ways) even though most of us don't deal
with dates in 1752.
$ LC_ALL=es_ES cal 9 1752
septiembre de 1752
do lu ma mi ju vi sá
1 2 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Spain adopted the Gregorian Calendar in 1582. Surely setting my locale to
Spain should make the Julian/Gregorian jump show up in 1582, not 1752?
I think that this demonstrates how tricky all this mess is.
The actual situation is even worse. You can even use Gregorian dates
for all of 20th history as Russia didn't convert from Julian until 1920.
There is not much you can do to simply store historical dates on a computer:
1) keap all dates Gregoian even those before 1582 when the Gregorian
calendar was first used by Catholic Europe. This was right in the
middle of King Henry VIII's disagreement with the Catholic church so
England didn't convert until 1752 (the cal refernce above). Given that
Englands colonies converted at the same time this explains the confusion
over the Washington's birthday holiday where some states used Feb 11
(Julian Calendar) and some used Feb 22 (Gregorian calendar), as Feb 12
is Lincon's Birthday, for the national version of the holiday it was
decided to just call some Monday in Feb President's Day and do it all
the same day. Also, do you use a year 0 or not, which is an interesting
2) keep all dates as the people at that place and time in history would
have recorded them, but that is hard as you loose comparability and lots
of recorded historic date are Reign dated or things like N years sence
the founding of Rome, etc.
3) use Astronomical Dates which are kept as the number of days sense
noon Jan-1-4713 BC.
4) keep soe dates Julian Calandar and some Gregorian, but which switch
over do you use.