IST/IDT [Re: Chamorro Standard Time (new US time zone)]

Antoine Leca Antoine.Leca at
Mon Jan 15 09:41:14 UTC 2001

Garrett Wollman wrote:
> (I imagine most French-speaking areas outside
> continental France make little distinction beyond ``heure locale''
> and ``heure de New-York'' etc. -- and the English-language initialisms
> found in the tz database are of little value.)

Well, inside continental France, we have two concurrent uses:
- the traditional system, which is "Heure de Xxx", where Xxx is either
the name of a main town or of the geographical region ("Heure de l'Inde"
for +0530 is the traditional example);
- the modern system, in use by the agencies in charge of this (like
"Bureau des E'phe'me'rides"), which is "T.U. + n" (or "TU + n"), where
n is a number (T.U. means temps universel, that's UT in English).
As we see, this is more akind from the ISO 8601 system than from the
POSIX-like abbreviations...

I do not know what are the use in Belgium, Switzerland, or the other
French-speaking part of the the world. For Canada, there is a comment
by Alain LaBonte' in northamerica that describes the abbreviations
they are using.
> I'm curious, though... I know the tz library and database is in use by
> several commercial vendors with extensive localization programs (e.g.,
> Sun).  Do those vendors make an effort to translate the tz strings as
> well, so that `EST' and `EDT' in locale fr_CA come out `HNE' and
> `HAE'?  If so, do they do it by providing a completely localized tz
> database, or a locally-localized one, or by applying some
> post-processing on the (English) strings in the standard database?

I do not know. But in the Java libraries I looked at (some years ago),
there were the concept of time zone abbreviations, without translations
Even to the well-known Canadian abbreviations are not covered in ICU,

Bottom line: it looks like that with computers, abbreviations are not
often "localized", and that people stay with the ISO 8601 format instead
(when not using English).
Of course, GMT is a blatant counter-example!


More information about the tz mailing list