Not long ago, I noticed that an important time-related
function was missing from the Perl built-in function set.
The manual says
Returns the number of non-leap seconds since
whatever time the system considers to be the epoch
but it's hard to write reliable applications if you don't know
what the system considers to be the epoch! It is
a aprticularly large problem for applications that must be portable
between platforms---you might port the program to a system
with a different idea of the epoch, and then the program's interpretation
of time values would be incorrect.
Anyway, I resolved to fix this, and recently submitted a patch
for Perl 5.7.0. It adds a new epochtime
function that returns the time at which the epoch occurs.
Rather than post the entire patch here,
I'll just provide a link.