[tz] User time zones

Guy Harris guy at alum.mit.edu
Wed Dec 7 23:27:27 UTC 2011

On Dec 7, 2011, at 1:40 PM, Steven Abner wrote:

> On Dec 7, 2011, at 3:37 PM, Zefram wrote:
>> Generally, I think your goal of being able to look up a geographical
>> timezone based on the abbreviations it uses is a sensible one,
>> but creating new names for the zones is not the way to go about it.
> I only know that functions are required to handle. And there has been a
> good reason why no end user currently does use it. Do you know what its like to
> scan every file to find one zone? much less create a look-up table just
> so an end user could use the API that says it is suppose to work? This
> file is my look up so POSIX functions can work, even if its the best guess for now.

End users don't use APIs, they use applications that use APIs.  Programmers use APIs.

A user might want to specify to some application some information to select time zone information of some sort - the question is "what sort" and "what do they mean by that"?  For example, does "MST" mean "Mountain Standard Time", regardless of whether daylight savings time is in effect or not, so that it's the same as local time in Arizona, or does it mean "the Mountain time zone", so that, in Arizona, it's Mountain Standard Time all the time and, elsewhere in the Mountain time zone, it's Mountain Standard Time part of the year and Mountain Daylight Time in part of the year?

I.e., what are the end users you're thinking of trying to *do*?  Do they want to, for example, know "what time is it in the Mountain time zone"?  If so, they'd better add "in Arizona" or "not in Arizona" to that question?  Or do they want to know "what time would it be now in Mountain Standard time?" (even if, outside of Arizona, daylight savings time is in effect) or "what time it would be in Mountain Daylight time"?

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