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A tool to shorten (encode) the date and expand (decode) shortened date back to original date
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A tool to shorten (encode) the date and expand (decode) shortened date back to original date


Actually, I have developed a new way to encode/decode dates within 3 or 4 characters by using base-99 format. So here, we are going to learn about the logic behind this utility tool and reason of it's creation.

Why did I created it?

Actually, while sharing the files across organisation I would have to maintain version numbers in the filename but those versions won't tell anything about the last updation date until I check when was it last updated. So to maintain the updation dates in the filename, I had started adding timestamp in the filename which solved my issue but looks bad and it also increases the length of the filename. 

So I was searching ways to reduce the timestamp, at least the date portion to short string may be having only few characters but can tell the date. Initially, I got an idea of using base36 format instead of date and month because maximum date will be 31 which is less than 36; similary maximum month is 12 that is under 36 too. Well that solves my day-to-day problem but when I applied the same logic to years then it was limited to 36 years only. Then, I thought of using base64 format but that is also limited upto 64 years. 

Since I was looking for universal date conversion, so I would require something like base99 format. I looked over the Internet but I didn't found anything like that. So I made it by my own.

What is a base99 format?

In simple language, base99 format refers to series of 0-9 followed by small & capital A-Z characters and variations of vowel characters, i.e., 0123456789abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZàèìòùÀÈÌÒÙáéíóúÁÉÍÓÚâêîôûÂÊÔÛÎäëïöüÄËÏ; where each character refers to the position index in series.

Using this format, any number in between 0-99 can be represented by a character positioned in base99 sequence

e.g., 12 → c, 19 → j, 34 → y

where, c is placed at 12th position in the sequence, j at 19th while y at 34th.

Now here is a way to use the same logic for date, so to do that let us take a date and encode it as

15-8-2019 → 15.8.2019 → f.8.kj → f8kj

Similarly, decode it back as

f8kj → f.8.kj → 15.8.2019 → 15-8-2019


Open the application in terminal & run the required commands as shown below


Few sample usages are given below

$ ds -t
$ ds -t -s
2-12-2019 -> 2.12.2019 -> 2.c.kj -> 2ckj
$ ds -d 2ckj -s
2ckj -> 2.c.kj -> 2.12.2019 -> 2-12-2019
$ ds -e 2/12/2019 -s
2-12-2019 -> 2.12.2019 -> 2.c.kj -> 2ckj


Find out all the available command options & flags

$ ds -h
Date Shortener is a tool to shorten (encode) the date and expand (decode) shortened date back to original date. 

Usage: ds [flag] [options]

    -d, --date DD-MM-YYYY
                        encode the provided date
    -c, --code DMY      decode the provided code
    -t, --today         encode today's date
    -e, --explain       explain with steps
    -h, --help          display the help menu
    -v, --version       display the application version

 $ ds -v 
 $ ds -t 
 $ ds -t -e 
 $ ds -d 15/08/2019 
 $ ds -d 15/08/2019 -e 
 $ ds -c f8j 
 $ ds -c f8j -e 


See the currently available version

$ ds -v
Date Shortener 
Version 0.2.0 
Licensed under MIT License


To generate the builds for all platforms at once, run this

$ sh

Otherwise, to generate the build for particular platform and run below commands


Create desktop builds that could run on shell.

Debug build

$ cd date-shortener
$ cargo build
$ ./target/debug/ds -h

Release build

$ cd date-shortener
$ cargo build --release
$ ./target/release/ds -h


Create WASM file that could run using

In order to build it, we first need to install a WASI-enabled Rust toolchain:

$ rustup target add wasm32-wasi

Debug build

$ cd date-shortener
$ cargo build --target wasm32-wasi
$ file ./target/wasm32-wasi/debug/ds.wasm
$ wapm run ds -v

Release build

$ cd date-shortener
$ cargo build --target wasm32-wasi --release
$ file ./target/wasm32-wasi/release/ds.wasm
$ wapm run ds -v

Note: wapm runtime reserves these flags, so these gets override if app have it as well.

    -h, --help       Prints help information
    -V, --version    Prints version information

Although, doesn't override any command or flag; where the ds commands can be used straight-forward.


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