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It made creating dates about 5 times faster.

It also overrode strftime and strptime to use the C level APIs directly if possible, and in the cases where the C level API could handle it, formatting using strftime was about 12 times faster, and parsing with strptime was about 45 times faster.

Because it kept the same data structure and just reimplemented some algorithms in C, there weren't many significant compatibility issues.