I'm wondering if in the lesson on d'ici.... the English translation might be "between now and such and such a date or time" and that d'ici be explicitly contrasted with "dans", which of course refers to a specific time when such and such will be done rather than a span of time within which it will be done. Just a thought. It was not until I came up with this idea that I began to understand "d'ici..."
"Dans" specifies a point in the future: dans une heure -- in one hour.
"d'ici" specifies either the limit of a timespan or a timespan itself. In the latter case it is interchangable with "en".
d'ici demain -- by tomorrow. This means any time from now until tomorrow at the latest.d'ici une heure -- within one hour.
Max, this fits very well with the translations/examples in Larousse bilingual on line. As Chris points out, there are sometimes other ways we would express it in English, but ‘by/within (from now)’ are just different ways to express between now and some time limit ( or point) in the future.
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