thank you all for input on my little question. by now i'm quite sure i 
can't trick the ruby parser in accepting 10:30 for anything else than a 
syntax error. But i'm quite happy with the propsals, the one i like best 
is:

  'from 1030 to 1130'

this is reasonable close to what i had in mind(but what is with '0900' 
Illegal octal digit?). the basic idea is a console based time accounting 
implemented as an internal DSL with:

02.10 10:15-21:30 # a days work
      13:45-15:15 # time span: task with begin and end time
             0:45 # duration: a task given as duration in hours and 
minutes
             1.5  # a task given as fractions of hours an minutes

but with the feedback from this list i think i go for an external 
DSL(http://www.martinfowler.com/bliki/DomainSpecificLanguage.html). 
Regex based parsing should be easy enough. This is because '10_30' and 
the octal problems with '0900' might be solvable, but DSL should be for 
humans, not for parsers. And that was:

02.10 11:00-
      0:30     timepoint DSL # thirty minutes on ruby-forum.

have fun
dirk



Matthias Reitinger wrote:
> David Vallner wrote:
>>> I mean, it is not that bad, but still.
>>> dirk
>>> 
>>> ps.: of course i can always parse it,
>>> 
>>> 
>> 
>> I'd just use the 'from 1030 to 1130' notation - hopefully you don't need
>> to use both time values and integers in the same context.
> 
> You could also use 'from 10_30 to 11_30', which is similar in semantics 
> but
> a little easier to read.


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