Mailing List Archive: 49091 messages
  • Home
  • Script library
  • AltME Archive
  • Mailing list
  • Articles Index
  • Site search

[REBOL] Re: How to...? Convert Date of Birth to Age

From: joel:neely:fedex at: 23-Oct-2002 15:56

Hi, Ladislav, Read it again, please! ;-) Ladislav Mecir wrote:
> > Major reason: Monotonicity. For two dates A and B, where A < B, > > we would expect the difference between A and B > > (in whatever representation) to increase as B increases. This > > behavior is exhibited by FWD-TOP, > > it isn't ;-) > > a: 8/2/2004 > b: 1/2/2004 > fwd-top a b ; == [0 0 7] > ; while > b: 9/2/2004 > fwd-top a b ; == [0 0 1] >
For two dates A and B, where A < B ... =========== In the example you proposed, A is 8-Feb-2004 and B is 1-Feb-2004, therefore you violated the precondition A < B. I'm afraid the example you offered simply shows that one can find another date that is *closer* to 8-Feb-2004 than is 1-Feb-2004. The reason I stated the condition that way is that the function I supplied computes the *absolute* difference between two dates; it tells how far apart two dates are, leaving it up to the caller to deal with before-versus-after comparisons on the dates themselves. However, I'm quite happy to state the monotonicity condition in another way: Let C be the difference between two dates A and B. If the larger of A and B is increased, or the smaller of A and B is decreased, the new difference D should be larger than C. All that amounts to is a more formal statement of the intent that if the dates "get further apart" in the ordinary sense of that phrase, then the computed difference should increase and not zig-zag back and forth.
> Here is another candidate function: > > new-age: function [birth [date!] date [date!]] [ > years months days new > ] [
> ] >
Which raises the interesting question: what is the date exactly one year and one month after 29-Jan-2000? ;-)
>> nyy: 2000
== 2000
>> nym: 1
== 1
>> nyd: 29
== 29
>> to-date reduce [nyy nym nyd]
== 29-Jan-2000
>> to-date reduce [nyy + 1 nym + 1 nyd]
== 1-Mar-2001 I believe that FWD-TOP returns triplets that are consistent with the way REBOL converts blocks to dates.
>> base: 29-jan-2000
== 29-Jan-2000
>> base-blk: reduce [base/year base/month base/day]
== [2000 1 29]
>> target: 01-mar-2001
== 1-Mar-2001
>> incr-blk: fwd-top base target
== [1 1 0]
>> target = to-date for i 1 3 1 [append [] base-blk/:i +
incr-blk/:i] == true
> Exactly! That is why we must answer the question (Which results > are correct?) for our intented application. >
We're *totally* in agreement on that point. The question, "How far apart are two given dates, with the result represented in years, months, and days?" is underspecified. However, I'm playing with the related question, "Given an underspecified problem, are there some properties that would make some solutions preferable to others?" As an aside, there's a psychological component: if someone asked, How many years, months, and days until 31-dec-2004? we might imagine that there's something significant about the number 31, and respond that 30-nov-2002 is 2 years and 1 month exactly prior to the target date, because the jump from one last-day-of-month to another last-day-of-month would seem naturally to be some number of whole months... However, the more such things enter into our designs (at least unsolicited!) the more we are creating very brittle objects that will undoubtedly surprise us at some point, or exhibit some other inconsistency with a different use. Just more evidence that programming is simple until we have to deal with the "real world"! ;-) -jn- -- ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Joel Neely joelDOTneelyATfedexDOTcom 901-263-4446