[erlang-patches] Fix erlang:now/0 to be bigger_than_last_time/0

Roberto Aloi <>
Tue Apr 1 13:48:24 CEST 2014


Hi all,

Since we're planning backward-incompatible changes to the calendar module, I'd like to use this opportunity to replace Gregorian seconds with Ulfian seconds.
Even if the Gregorian calendar has been the unofficial global standard for decades, this would be a great sign of respect to Ulf Wiger, who gave so much to the Erlang community.
"ulfian" is also shorter than "gregorian" and easier to type, even without a Dvorak keyboard.
Finally, this would also be a crucial step in the process of de-Christianization of the Erlang programming language.

Kind regards,

Roberto Aloi

----- Original Message -----
> Why I agree:
> 
> - Backwards compatibility and proper deprecation is annoying, not a
>   convenience. It is far more confusing to have a function relating to
>   time named 'now' than having breaking changes in your code, no matter
>   how well-documented it is.
> - The name you chose is less descriptive than before (it no longer
>   relates to time), which forces people to look inside docs, which is
>   great. I love documentation.
> - You orphaned a bunch of names in other modules, namely:
>    - timer:now_diff/2
>    - calendar:now_to_local_time/1
>    - calendar:now_to_universal_time/1
>    - calendar:now_to_datetime/1
>   Which logically now need to be renamed:
>    - timer:bigger_than_last_time_diff/1
>    - calendar:bigger_than_last_time_to_local_time/1
>    - calendar:bigger_than_last_time_to_universal_time/1
>    - calendar:bigger_than_last_time_to_datetime/1
>   I always felt calendar had way too short names and believe this is an
>   improvement for the better in the long term.
> - Today is the best day for this change to happen, definitely.
> 
> Regards,
> Fred.
> 
> On 04/01, JD Bothma wrote:
> > This patch tries to improve the name of erlang:now/0 to make its behaviour
> > a little more obvious for the sake of least surprise. It's a breaking
> > change, but I really think it's worth it to reduce confusion.
> > 
> > This is only the first step - if you think it looks ok I can do the rest.
> > 
> >     git fetch git://github.com/jbothma/otp.git fix-erlang-now-name
> > 
> > 
> > https://github.com/jbothma/otp/compare/erlang:maint...fix-erlang-now-name
> > 
> > https://github.com/jbothma/otp/compare/erlang:maint...fix-erlang-now-name.patch
> > 
> > All the best
> > JD
> 
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