Big picture...

John D. Bell jdb at
Tue Apr 18 22:22:31 UTC 2017

My $0.02 worth -

Since you've already got a dependency on Python, write a one-liner that
is the equivalent of Unix's "date -u +%s".  Use that.  Otherwise, a tiny
C program would also do the trick (at the cost of increased complexity).

I believe "POSIX support" under windows is only the API corresponding to
sections 3 and 2 of the Unix manual (library functions and (emulations
of) system calls).  The (still new and evolving) "Bash under Ubuntu"
available under Windows 10 may give you more, but may also *not* be
portable to other Windows variants (especially the Server ones which
would be more in use in datacenters).

  - John D. Bell

On 04/18/2017 03:06 PM, Eric S. Raymond wrote:
> Hal Murray <hmurray at>:
>>>> If we are using a build time, we can run an external script
>>>> to generate the date in a convenient format.
>>>> date -u +%s looks good to me.
>>> Maybe.  Almost.  How are we going to do this under Windows?  Are we giving
>>> up on a Windows port?  Because POSIX API conformance tells us we can get at
>>> POSIX time froom C, but we have no guarantee that date(1) will exist. 
>> Is that going to be the biggest problem with Windows?
>> I know next to nothing about Windows.  Does their POSIX support include only 
>> c code or will it also include shell stuff?  How many programs outside of sh 
>> itself do we depend on?  Will autorevision work?  Does POSIX include a date 
>> command?  ...
> Hell of a can of worms, innit?
> Which is in part my point...

More information about the devel mailing list