Docket No. 2005-22114

David Braverman david at
Mon Jan 23 17:47:02 UTC 2006

I apologize for intruding. I've been following the debate about Indiana with
some amusement.

It appears everyone on the list agrees that very few of the good citizens of
Indiana will get up early in the morning on April 2nd to change their clocks
twice unless unusually susceptible to April Fool's Day pranks. Though, come
to think of it...

The usual friendly Illinois-Indiana rivalry aside, isn't it acceptable to
allow computers to make two time changes that night without worrying about
the human impact? If displaying local time (and thus the TZ library)
requires adherence to the letter of the regulation, and the regulation
clearly (though impractically) creates a requirement to change clocks twice,
but only a few computers will be inconvenienced by the double-change, what's
wrong with that?

Now, if the concern is that people who need to record time in legal
documents, like radio station logs, will not enter the legally-correct
information because of the confusion, I don't think the regulation will make
much difference anyway. Time logs, like radio station logs or
police-department desk logs, need only be unambiguous, not perfect.

For example, radio stations I have worked for in the past almost always
switched the logs to or from DST when the next engineer came on. So an
overnight slot from 0000-0400, followed by one from 0400-0800, would usually
be extended to 0430 DT in October (with the next guy coming in at 0330 ST),
or shortened to 0330 ST in April (with the next guy coming in at 0430 DT).
Each of the engineers' logs would note the local time zone in effect at the
start of his or her shift.

Police and fire departments usually use UTC to obviate this exact problem.

Again, if I've intruded, I apologize. I'm just not sure why the debate has
continued so long, when the regulation is as clear as any I've seen, even
though it has a silly unintended effect (which is often the hallmark of
regulations in general).

David Braverman
Inner Drive Technology
Evanston, Ill.

More information about the tz mailing list