In software, it is common to represent time as a time-stamp string. It is usually specified by a time format string. Some standards use the format %Y%m%d%H%M%S meaning that we print the year, the month, the day, the hours, the minutes and the seconds. The current time as I write this blog post would be 20230701205436 as a time stamp in this format. It is convenient because it is short, easy to read and if you sort the strings lexicographically, you also sort them chronologically.
by Daniel Lemire
From the article:
You can generate time stamps using any programming language. In C, the following program will print the current time (universal, not local time):
We are interested in the problem of parsing these strings. In practice, this means that we want to ...