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Six Million Dollar Date


In the opening to the TV show, Six Million Dollar Man, they promised to rebuild him - better, faster, and stronger. This occasional series, the Six Million Dollar _____ will offer suggestions on how to elevate mvBASIC commands by making them better, faster, and stronger. We have the technology.

Getting data into an mvBASIC program requires a READ or an INPUT. While I have seen many, many attempts at creating a wrapper around the INPUT command, the diversity of data we push through often makes the wrapper into a programming language unto itself, using dozens of parameters and conditionals to attempt a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead of trying to be everything to everything , our six million dollar DATE will be an input wrapper focused on getting date-related input right. Sometimes limiting scope is the best answer.

Dates take on many forms: most operating systems have a time-date stamp based on an epoch. MultiValue has a epoch based on date alone. Europeans write dates as day/month/year while Americans write month/day/year. People who care about sorting external dates use year/month/day. Then there's Julian format, longhand (1 June 1981), and shorter longhand (28 Sept 1985). Reasonably, our wrapper needs to understand all of them (plus two bonus cases to be discussed later) and should be able to convert them any-to-any for use [


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