Denseman on the Rattis

Formerly known as the Widmann Blog


HTML5 metric clock

Three years ago, I added a metric clock to this blog, but I later redesigned the whole site and the clock got lost.

In the meantime, HTML5 has been getting more and more widespread, so I think it’s now time for an HTML5 metric (or decimal) clock:

Your browser is not capable of displaying an HTML canvas. 🙁

(Based on an ordinary HTML5 clock.)

Just in case any readers might have forgotten my definition of metric time and dates, here’s an edited version of what I wrote nearly five years ago:

I think the basic unit should be the day, so that we get some nice units such as deciday (slight less than 2.5 hours), centiday (almost 15 minutes) and milliday (almost a minute and a half). Just a shame there’s no SI prefix for 1/100,000, because this fraction of a day is the closest one would get to a second (0.864s, to be precise). I guess people would just say “second” in everyday speech and mean 10µday, just as “minute” would be a sloppy way of saying milliday.

Looking at longer time scales, the decaday could replace the week, the hectoday the month, and the kiloday the year. It would of course have the slight drawback that holidays wouldn’t fall on the same point in each kiloday (because it wouldn’t be aligned with the solar year), but moslems already have a similar problem with their calendar, so I’m sure we’d get used to that quickly. A ten-day week would lead to different working patterns, I guess – seven days at work and a three-day weekend, perhaps?

To honour the people who introduced the metric system in the first place, I think kilodays should be counted from the start of the French revolution, that is, day 0 would be 22nd September 1792. That would make today (12/06/12) day 80,251 (kday 80, hectoday 2, decaday 5, day 1).

5 thoughts on “HTML5 metric clock

  • One thing to note about this suggestion is that your basic time unit is not completely fixed. The length of the day differs slightly with Earth’s rotation.

    I do want metric time, and I agree that it probably won’t have much success if it doesn’t match a day (I fear this will also be the case if it doesn’t match the year, that you so easily dismiss), but by basing the time unit on a non-constant period, I have trouble seeing how it can be used in precise situations, like physics experiments, to there the current second wins.

    The system I have claimed to introduce when I become dictator is still based on the second, but will abolish minutes and hours and introduce dekaseconds, hektoseconds, and kiloseconds.

    Admittedly, we will have to live with 86.4 kiloseconds in a day, but I still prefer that system.

    Also, weeks and months will of course have to go, and be replaced with dekadays and hektodays. I thought a work dekaday might be organized as 4+1+3+2 siwtch between workdays and days off.

    • I’m very happy to define the metric day as being exactly 24 * 60 * 60 SI seconds, even if it doesn’t match the movements of the Earth.
      Don’t you think people would rather have a 3-day weekend?

    • Thanks, but I always found it annoying how the French revolutionaries didn’t create a properly metric way of specifying dates, and the fact they didn’t combine time and date into one system.

  • ten-day weeks called décades. The tenth day, décadi,Why does the word “decadence” come to mind? But I did find your Wikipedia link interesting, especially the following:In Britain, people mocked the Republican Calendar by calling the months: Wheezy, Sneezy and Freezy; Slippy, Drippy and Nippy; Showery, Flowery and Bowery; Wheaty, Heaty and Sweety.But it appears that only seven of them got jobs looking after Snow White.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *