FW: Australian DST abbreviations causing business problems - still

Nigel Jones nigjones at redhat.com
Mon Jan 5 12:33:51 UTC 2009

Petr Machata <pmachata <at> redhat.com> writes:

> Paul Eggert wrote:
> > I'd like to hear more from Australian correspondents on this before
> > thinking about specific changes, though.
> FYI, a request backing the use of AEST/AEDT has been opened in Red Hat 
> bugzilla:
> https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=478566
> Thanks,
> PM
Speaking as the person who opened this bug I'd like to make the following points:

In the short time I have been in Australia (read: a little over 2 months) I have
not heard of anyone refer to "Eastern Summer Time" it has always been a form of
AXYT where X is a choice of W,C,E and y is either S and D.

To me, the output of: 
[njones at njones ~]$ TZ="Australia/Brisbane" date
Thu Jan  1 13:44:55 EST 2009
[njones at njones ~]$ TZ="Australia/Sydney" date
Thu Jan  1 14:45:01 EST 2009

Is just confusing, I don't care about America using 'EST' as well (although that
does become confusing at times) I just think it's bad.

For instance, there is a town on the border of NSW and Queensland (NSW has DST,
Queensland doesn't), apparently the state border runs through the middle of one
of the streets, which would be confusing enough, but if your saying to someone
(think output from a web script) "It'll be delievered by 5PM EST" it just
doesn't make sense.

I'll also point out a few examples for you:
http://servicestatus.tpg.com.au/index.php?category=19&timeframe=future - Nation
Wide ISP, states the outage time as "Outage Started:	   Wednesday 14 January
2009,  4:00 AM AEDST"  - can't get confused, heck AEDST is really overkill, but
at least I know what time they are talking about.
Several major websites/TV stations use AEST/AEDT, i.e. Whirlpool, Nine Network,
Seven Network, TEN Network (I think).

I think the main reason you see so many "EST" results in Google is because it's
a failed method for looking at this stuff, because it's possible you'll catch
AEST, and your likely to catch linux users that refer to the output from 'date'
in scripts/text/etc.

As for the different states, most States don't specify what they want Time Zones
to be called, so the Federal word (i.e. australia.gov.au) should be taken on
this (with except of NSW).

- Nigel

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