FW: Australian DST abbreviations causing business problems - still

Greg Black gjb at gbch.net
Tue Aug 26 23:08:05 UTC 2008

On 2008-08-27, Eric Ulevik wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 27, 2008 at 7:23 AM, Paul Eggert <eggert at cs.ucla.edu> wrote:
> > For abbreviations, it's not clear whether "AEDT" or "EDT" is
> > more common, though I suppose "AEDT" has a slight edge.
> >
> > I'd like to hear more from Australian correspondents on this before
> > thinking about specific changes, though.
> A federal government web site (eg. http://www.australia.gov.au/Time)
> is not authoritative as the time in states is strictly a right of the
> states.
> The terms 'summer time' and 'daylight saving time' are widely used.
> 'Australian' as a prefix would be very unusual, as it is commonly
> understood. Abbreviations typically omit the 'A'.
> Example:
> "EST denotes Eastern Standard Time. Summertime or daylight saving time
> is commonly expressed as EDST (eastern daylight saving time)."
> Reference:
> http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/Lawlink/cru/ll_cru.nsf/pages/cru_daylightsaving
> My guess would be that AEDT is becoming more prevalent on web sites
> which are built using systems trying to cover global time zones (eg.
> as a dateline in a news story).

As an Australian who has battled this issue for years, I am convinced
that there is absolutely NO useful answer to alphabetic abbreviations
for Australian time zones.  This past local summer, I had to deal with
Australian websites that used AEST to mean "Australian Eastern Standard
Time" and "Australian Eastern Summer Time".  In other words, whatever
people might like to think, these abbreviations mean nothing unless they
can be disambiguated by other context.  Arguing about changes, at least
until such time as the national government decides to take control of
this (which I think most unlikely), is really a waste of bits.

If you care, you have to use numeric time zone indicators.  Nothing else
has any reliable meaning.


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