[tz] Ambiguous abbreviations for Australian timezones when daylight savings is in affect
Mark Davis ☕
mark at macchiato.com
Tue Apr 2 10:14:12 UTC 2013
The abbreviations only really make sense is where people commonly deal with
multiple timezones, such as in broad countries like the US or AU.
> (She insisted that it was Pacific Standard Time all year round.)
Yes, a lot of misunderstandings, even in those countries.
> if an offset needs to be expressed, use +/-HHMM.
That works for single points in time. It does not, however, handle
repeating meetings. For example:
Mondays at 8:00 PT
You can't really express this with offsets in any way that would be more
understandable than the full name. One could try:
Mondays at 8:00 GMT-7/8.
But nobody is familiar with that: leaving people to guess that you mean -7
most of the year, but -8 from Nov to mid March.
*— Il meglio è l’inimico del bene —*
On Tue, Apr 2, 2013 at 11:19 AM, John Haxby <john.haxby at oracle.com> wrote:
> On 02/04/13 09:30, Alan Barrett wrote:
> > As long as different people can point to different web sites that say
> > different things, and there is no overall summary, this matter is
> > unlikely to be resolved.
> > I have no decision making power here, and I have no wish to lay out a
> > set of necessary conditions, but here's a stab at a set of sufficient
> > conditions:
> > Provide a list of what abbreviations are actually in use by
> > the people in Australia, and what abbreviations are legislated
> > or standardised or recommended by governments or industry
> > bodies or interest groups. If there is inconsistency,
> > then present a report on the relative frequency of use of
> > the different abbreviations. If the report shows a clear
> > consensus in favour of one set of abbreviations, then those
> > are the abbreviations that the tz project should use.
> > So far, we have identified that there is inconsistency, but I have no
> > idea which abbreviations are in wider use.
> I suspect that there isn't any consistency.
> In the UK where we have just one timezone, commonly abbreviated to GMT
> and BST depending on the time of year, we *still* have problems. I've
> had people refer to UK time as GMT regardless of the time of year (this
> is especially confusing around March/April and October/November).
> The man or woman on the street doesn't care about the abbreviation.
> Apart from GMT (use and misuse) people usually refer to "summer time"
> and "winter time", or, around the weekend of the clock change "old time"
> and "new time".
> In the US, it seems to be common to refer to ET and PT (Eastern,
> Pacific). I'm not a US resident, but I've seen TV trailers refer to
> that quite a few times. I also vividly recall a US manager insisting
> that the time of a meeting would be 10am PST, just after the switch to
> PDT. (She insisted that it was Pacific Standard Time all year round.)
> Most people don't use timezone names beyond "what time is it for Aunty
> Clara in New Zealand/Canada/far-flung-country-of-choice?" Many of
> those people that really do car what time is it have multiple timezone
> clocks that display a city name.
> I would happily get rid of the abbreviations completely and, if an
> offset needs to be expressed, use +/-HHMM.
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