FW: Australian DST abbreviations causing business problems - still

Stuart Bishop stuart at stuartbishop.net
Fri Jan 16 03:21:15 UTC 2009

On Fri, Jan 16, 2009 at 6:20 AM, Eric Ulevik <eulevik at gmail.com> wrote:

> Different locations in Eastern Australia have varied interpretations of
> summer time (eg. start/end dates, amount of clock shifts).
> To avoid ambiguity, use an explicit UTC offset (UTC+11) or specify a
> location ('Australia/Sydney').
> In my view, the tz database should record existing practice rather than
> trying to promote new standards. In any case, engaging the relevant
> governments is likely to be difficult. Daylight savings is quite
> controversial in parts of Australia. For example, a new political party was
> founded in 2008 to promote adoption of daylight savings for south-east
> Queensland.
> Reference:
> http://ds4seq.com/

I'm not sure how this is relevant to the current situation where the
abbreviation used for standard time is the same as the abbreviation
used for daylight savings time. People already are using a location
like Australia/Sydney, and abolishing daylight savings altogether in
one state doesn't resolve the issue - it just makes it worse as the
clocks will be out of sync between states for a longer part of the
year whilst sharing the same timezone abbreviation.

I don't think I have heard an argument *for* the status quo and plenty
against. I expect there are some implicit backwards compatibility
concerns, likely mythical, and possibly some people enjoy the pain.
There appears to be no standard for Australian timezone abbreviations
apart from the one created by this database, so why should this
database perpetuate a confusing and difficult standard?

Stuart Bishop <stuart at stuartbishop.net>

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