Date System using negative Numbers

User avatar
Bridey
Posts: 390
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:24 pm
Platform: Mac

Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:14 am Post

Not at a Mac to be able to test this, but is it possible to use a custom date field that includes the era / extended year?

http://unicode.org/reports/tr35/tr35-da ... terns_Eras

br
brookter
Posts: 1684
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:22 pm
Platform: Mac

Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:20 am Post

I tried to make that work yesterday, Bridey, using the flag G

Code: Select all

G yyyy/MM/dd


shows the date as AD 2018/01/08 as you'd expect, but it doesn't seem to accept any change of the era to BC or BCE.

I also tried using the flag u (which seems to be exactly what is wanted -- it uses a negative number for BCE, but again, while it displays properly, I couldn't get it to accept input properly.

Code: Select all

u/MM/dd


... looks like it should work but it doesn't.

This is all above my pay grade, I'm afraid, so I gave up. Sorry...

User avatar
Bridey
Posts: 390
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:24 pm
Platform: Mac

Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:27 am Post

Thanks for that. Will try when back at a Mac. Just a puzzle for me, though it would also be useful for the OP if it did work.

User avatar
AmberV
Posts: 21547
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 4:30 am
Platform: Mac + Linux
Location: Santiago de Compostela, Galiza
Contact:

Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:53 am Post

I tried those special date formatting strings as well. Unfortunately the input mechanism is necessarily simpler than the full breadth of the output filters available. So that’s one problem—you can’t type in –342,832/08/29 and get a meaningful result. And only the most passionate and dedicated masochist would try to use the calendar widget to insert a date like that (I even had issues getting BCE dates. I got the calendar down to January 1, 1 CE, but going backward resulted in 2 CE; it may not even be possible).

Basically the inputs all have to be specifically programmed into the software. There must be precise instructions provided to turn an arrangement of numbers, punctuation marks, spaces and so forth into a date object. We went through Wikipedia and added as many different common date formats as we could from around the world—but obviously we didn’t anticipate million year negative values! 8)

So yeah, I don’t think a date metadata field is the right answer for exotic calendars like this.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

User avatar
Bridey
Posts: 390
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:24 pm
Platform: Mac

Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:40 am Post

Thanks for the answer and explanation, Ioa.

I think rdale's idea works well enough: each set of dates (positive and negative) can be sorted to give a timeline, even if there is a slight bump in the ascending–descending road.

The OP could also create a suitable key to delineate the dates and then sort by that key. Not perfect, but it would work.

User avatar
AmberV
Posts: 21547
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 4:30 am
Platform: Mac + Linux
Location: Santiago de Compostela, Galiza
Contact:

Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:06 am Post

Yeah, going back to my quip regarding geologists, that is something that could be done as well in a lore sense: having named eons and eras and then referring to years within those eras rather than having all dates relative to one single fixed point.

That probably doesn’t help with sorting though.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

User avatar
pigfender
Posts: 2547
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:25 am
Platform: Mac, Win + iOS
Location: Cognitive dissonance
Contact:

Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:11 am Post

If sorting is important, you might find you need to run dual metadata fields to get what you want. Have a second field set up that uses a purely relative calendar. Such as,
1mil BC = 0
900k BC = 100k
50 BC = 950k
1AD = 1m1
100 AD = 1m100
Etc
And then sort on *that* field.

You can then have a second metadata field that contains the date as you’d write it in your story. You’ll need to manually update both fields if you change a date, of course (which could cause errors to creep in if you forget). Also, you’ll need to give yourself plenty of headroom on the reference system... it’ll be a pain in the backside if you have to go and correct every entry because you used 1milBC as your reference point but then have to change it because something really cool needs to happen in 1mil5 BC! :P
"Some dice only have sixes." nom, 19 Oct 2013
"Piggy, I'm beginning to wonder if you are the best person to take advice from." Jaysen, 26 Sept 2014

Image
http://www.pigfender.com | http://www.novelinaday.com