A base 60 datetime format

I have run into twtxt a couple of times.
Alos arvelie.

So anyway I was thinking about something like: What if twtxt but more hypertext? Or: If you want more of the basics, like, uh, “retwtxt” or replies, then I guess each twtxt needs an id of some kind. I guess url*timestamp is unique. What if a timestamp was shorter and looked more id-like? Maybe the way arvelie-dates look more id-like to me.

Playing with that idea. Regular calendar and time system. Just some formatting.


With a 60-character alphabet I can use one character for minute, one for day, and one for month. (And one for second, but eh, minute-precision seems fine.)

Also by avoiding base 64 I can use only ASCII letters and digits. Also I don't like the way the normal base 64 alphabet is ordered. Digits then uppercase letters then lowercase letters makes it easier to use regular string comparison stuff for comparing timestamps.

Trying this: 8 digits, 26 uppercase letters, 26 lowercase letters. Only the first 8 digits since that somehow seems less arbitrary to me than dropping some of the letters.

const alphabet = "01234567ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz";

Numbers to chars and chars to numbers

const b60FromInt = (i) => {
  let rest = i;
  let res = "";
  while (rest >= alphabet.length) {
    res = alphabet[rest % alphabet.length] + res;
    rest = (rest / alphabet.length) >>> 0;
  return alphabet[rest] + res;

const intFromB60 = (s) => {
  let res = 0;
  for (const c of s) {
    const idx = alphabet.indexOf(c);
    res = (res * 60) + (idx < 0 ? 0 : idx);
  return res;


const dateFromB60 = (s) => {
  const res = new Date();
  res.setUTCFullYear(intFromB60(s.slice(0, -4)));
  res.setUTCMonth(intFromB60(s.slice(-4, -3)));
  res.setUTCDate(intFromB60(s.slice(-3, -2)) + 1);
  res.setUTCHours(intFromB60(s.slice(-2, -1)));
  return res;

const b60FromDate = (d, minYLength = 0) => {
  const year = b60FromInt(d.getUTCFullYear()).padStart(minYLength , "0");
  const month = b60FromInt(d.getUTCMonth());
  const day = b60FromInt(d.getUTCDate() - 1);
  const hour = b60FromInt(d.getUTCHours());
  const minute = b60FromInt(d.getUTCMinutes());
  return year + month + day + hour + minute;


console.log(b60FromDate(new Date()));
console.log(dateFromB60(b60FromDate(new Date())));


It’s all within ASCII, so one byte per character in UTF-8: 4 bytes, or a 32-bit value, for month*day*hour*minute. As many bytes as I’d like for year, depending on which years I’m interested in. 2 bytes goes up to year 3600, 3 and 4 bytes go up to way more. If I want negative-number-years I can introduce a sign-byte.

I wonder if I should timestamp my posts here with something like this instead of how I currently do it. Mostly just obfuscation: I like the idea of not immediately being able to tell like “this is current, this is old.” I dunno.