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MathGroup Archive 2007

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Date data type in Version 6

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg75824] Date data type in Version 6
  • From: "Drago Ganic" <dganic at vodatel.net>
  • Date: Fri, 11 May 2007 05:31:47 -0400 (EDT)

Hi,
I am very happy that we now have date arithmetic build in Mathematica
Version 6.

But, could somebody (if possible from WRI) explain to us why we still do not
have a proper date data type (with head named Date or Time or DateTime or
 Temporal etc.).

I hoped to get something like the number types (Integer, Rational, Real,
 Complex) and string (String) datatypes in V6. Instead, now a date can in V6
 be represented not in one, but in three different forms:  a number, a list
 and a string and we have a lot of explicit conversion functions and a
 special plot function.

 What is so wrong with a proper data type for something that is currenly
 recognized in almost any upper level programming language as a type equal 
to
 number and strings. We even have a type (a seperate head) for intervals
 (Interval) and Plus is overloaded for them too as well as for the head List
 etc. On the other hand, for dates we use a separate operator DatePlus,
 DateDifference etc.

 I don't get it ... It worked goot for vectors and matrixes (no Vector or
 Matrix heads) but I am not sure it will work so well for dates.

 Please give us some advice why types with automatic formating,
 interpretation and operator overloading are bad design in Mathematica.

 Greeting from Croatia,
Drago




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