Btw, I probably should have emphasised this more, to get background for all this, folks should really watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zm95cYAtAa8. I think Eric described very well the problems he was trying to solve with this approach; I cannot recommend this enough.
Does it have an associated Ecto type for PostgreSQL datetime/date/time ranges?
No and no concrete plans for this at the moment, but yes I do eventually want to support it.
There are at least two things that would need to happen first to support that:
In Postgres, ranges may have inclusive (e.g. [1, 10]) or exclusive (e.g.: [1, 10)) bounds. This intervals implementation follows Elixir ranges and is always inclusive, but I can see how exclusive ranges can be useful too. I believe ISO 8601 intervals are always inclusive but I’d have to double-check the spec.
Worth mentioning that both Postgrex’s and Timex’s intervals support inclusive and exclusive bounds.
While date and datetime intervals are supported by design, time (without date) intervals are not. It is a bit tricky, because currently the underlying interval structs holds: first :: NaiveDateTime.t, last :: NaiveDateTime.t, precision: :year | :month | ..., so it can’t represent time. (I really don’t want to shoehorn it in into the same struct.)
I’ve been actually thinking a lot about this recently, and I think I could define a protocol and have implementations for CalendarInterval.NaiveDateTimeInterval and CalendarInterval.TimeInterval structs. That would be one way to support DateTime intervals, which I also want to eventually have, too.
I really like the ~I sigil and on one hand I’d like to have just that, but on the other hand I’m not yet sure how I feel about ~I"2019" representing one struct, but, say, ~I"T09:00/17:00" a completely different struct.
Last but not least, as far as I could tell, ISO 8601 does not specify time (without date) intervals but that’s not necessarily a reason not to have them, I think they’d be quite useful.
Could always force a trailing modifier to distinguish, that way you know at the call site what it is (and things like include/exclude first/last bounds)? Or put it in the string somewhere.
Yeah, notice I added a leading “T” in ~I"T09:00", maybe it’s a bit hard to see But yeah, one sigil for different structs is probably the way to go, thanks for validating this.
Speaking of one sigil, there’s a sister library for this: https://github.com/wojtekmach/calendar_recurrence. It’s even less stable so I’m not yet announcing it. Since RRULE-style recurring intervals are part of new ISO 8601 draft, we could use the sigil for yet another struct (that implements the protocol!): ~I"R3/2019-01-01/FREQ=DA;INTR=2" (every other day since 2019-01-01, total 3 dates). Maybe it’s complicating things too much though so that’s why I started with separate libraries, but yeah, that’s another thing I’m thinking about.
I have watched the video, and it seems that Eric talks about intervals (among other concepts) as a possible general way to work with time. I.e. as an alternative to NaiveDateTime, DateTime, and so on.
But this library’s purpose is only to work with intervals, and includes some ideas shown by Eric for working with them, right?
Second question, how do I get for example a Date.Range from an interval such as ~I"2018-01"? Or a Date from the first element of the interval ~I"2018-01"?
More generally, if I work with such intervals, at some point you have to work with Ecto or other components of the application, and you want Elixir types; or am I wrong?
My takeaway from Eric Evans’ work is a time instant and a time interval are one and the same so in that vein the library does work as a potential (definitely incomplete :)) replacement for a general Date/NaiveDateTime manipulation library (there’s no support for Time and DateTime yet), we have things that are not directly related to ranges like: