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[Python-Dev] bpo-36558: Change time.mktime() return type from float to int?


I already chimed in on the issue, but for the list, I'll boil my
comments down to two questions:

1. For anyone who knows: when the documentation refers to "compatibility
with `.time`", is that just saying it was designed that way because
.time returns a float (i.e. for /consistency/ with `.time()`), or is
there some practical reason that you would want `.time()` and
`.mktime()` to return the same type?

2. Mainly for Victor, but anyone can answer: I agree that the natural
output of `mktime()` would be `int` if I were designing it today, but
would there be any /practical/ benefits for making this change? Are
there problems cropping up because it's returning a float? Is it faster
to return an integer?

Best,

Paul

On 4/16/19 10:24 AM, Victor Stinner wrote:
> Hi,
>
> time.mktime() looks "inconsistent" to me and I would like to change
> it, but I'm not sure how it impacts backward compatibility.
> https://bugs.python.org/issue36558
>
> time.mktime() returns a floating point number:
>
>>>> type(time.mktime(time.localtime()))
> <class 'float'>
>
> The documentation says:
>
> "It returns a floating point number, for compatibility with :func:`.time`."
>
> time.time() returns a float because it has sub-second resolution, but
> the C function mktime() returns an integer number of seconds.
>
> Would it make sense to change mktime() return type from float to int?
>
> I would like to change mktime() return type to make the function more
> consistent: all inputs are integers, it sounds wrong to me to return
> float. The result should be integer as well.
>
> How much code would it break? I guess that the main impact are unit
> tests relying on repr(time.mktime(t)) exact value. But it's easy to
> fix the tests: use int(time.mktime(t)) or "%.0f" % time.mktime(t) to
> never get ".0", or use float(time.mktime(t))) to explicitly cast for a
> float (that which be a bad but quick fix).
>
> Note: I wrote and implemented the PEP 564 to avoid any precision loss.
> mktime() will not start loosing precision before year 285,422,891
> (which is quite far in the future ;-)).
>
> Victor
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