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The documentation states:

An array that represents the months of the year in the current locale. This follows normal convention of January being month number 1, so it has a length of 13 and month_name[0] is the empty string.

Is this level of skeuomorphism warranted? Or is it confusing and potentially bug prone to start an array of expected values with no value?

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It's better (and less confusing) to have the empty [0] placeholder at the beginning of the array so that you can just plug the month directly into the array indexer, than it is to start January at month 0 and have to perform a bit of conversion math to get the correct array index each time.

Sensible date implementations should not allow a month zero. Note that, for historical reasons, arrays typically start at an array index of zero.

  • Should it be '' rather than None, though? The latter would cause noticeable trouble more quickly if something did end up accessing month_name[0]. – jonrsharpe Aug 18 '15 at 9:26
  • You can put whatever you want there. – Robert Harvey Aug 18 '15 at 14:38
  • Why not overload the [] function such that month_name[0] throws an error? – Adam Ashwal Aug 18 '15 at 20:55
  • That's probably a good idea. – Robert Harvey Aug 18 '15 at 21:02

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