Common Calendar Timestamp System

Brooks Harris

Abstract: Practical engineering of civil timekeeping demands timestamps with sufficient metadata to represent local time. We present a system called Common Calendar that produces binary and character timestamp formats providing technically accurate and human readable UTC based local time incorporating Leap Seconds and local time zone parameters. Common Calendar is organized into eight specifications to provide clear guidance on the interpretation of IERS Leap Seconds and IANA Time Zone Database information, algorithms for UTC calculation, binary and character timestamp formats, methods for populating and reading the two formats, and a high?level API for convenient manipulation and calculation of calendaring operations. The binary format is a compound counter composed of [day?number][Leap Seconds][time?of?day] with additional local time metadata to enable efficient machine interchange. The character format takes the familiar human readable form with additional metadata extensions mirroring the information in the binary format. For example: D2020?01?21T00:00:00U?08:00Zlos_angelesV2016cL37Sc4wMuX Common Calendar is designed to satisfy most people's expectations by representing the local time as known to the emitting system. Of course normalization to UTC is an inherent quality. The formats are designed to facilitate calculation of time points within the current day without need for access to external metadata. The time zone is included for applications requiring representation of the entire local timescale. Common Calendar provides a robust timestamp system for general purposes and may be implemented with sufficient accuracy to satisfy financial regulations and be suitable for use as legal time. The author hopes the proposal may find support for standardization and looks forward to the community's suggestions for refinement. The proposed specification and prototype c/c++ reference implementation is available at: Common Calendar Specification Fixed?epoch Deterministic UTC Based Local Timescales
Published in: Proceedings of the 51st Annual Precise Time and Time Interval Systems and Applications Meeting
January 21 - 24, 2020
Hyatt Regency Mission Bay
San Diego, California
Pages: 260 - 266
Cite this article: Harris, Brooks, "Common Calendar Timestamp System," Proceedings of the 51st Annual Precise Time and Time Interval Systems and Applications Meeting, San Diego, California, January 2020, pp. 260-266.
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