[tz] Ambiguous abbreviations for Australian timezones when daylight savings is in affect

Alan Barrett apb at cequrux.com
Mon Apr 1 13:29:53 UTC 2013

On Mon, 01 Apr 2013, David Patte ₯ wrote:
> On 2013-04-01 6:28, Alan Barrett wrote:
>> I don't think that anybody wants the tz database to use 
>> different abbreviations from what is in common use in 
>> Australia.
> I think you may be incorrect. What people want is the 
> most popular and usable standard used in Australia that 
> differentiates between standard/winter time and daylight/summer 
> time.

I think that the Australian people would be better served by 
abbreviations that differentiate between standard/winter time and 
daylight/summer time.  But, I think that users of the tz database 
are better served by abbreviations that follow what Australian 
people actually use, whether or not those abbreviations are 
logical, or ambiguous, or differentiate between standard/winter 
time and daylight/summer time.

> Several government pages seem to show that a standard for the 
> eastern zone is AEST/AEDT or EST/EDT, yet the database shows 
> EST/EST, which is both ambiguous and, as far as I can tell, not 
> directly recommended on most modern AU government pages.
> In this case I dont care for the eastern zone whether AEST/ADST 
> or EST/EDT is used in the database. Either would be better, and 
> less ambiguous than what the database currently uses. And that 
> is the point being made here.

I was under the impression that "Eastern Summer Time" was the 
official name used in the relevant state legislation, and that 
"EST" is the obvious and common abbreviation for that name.  If 
the Australian people really use "EDT" or "AEDT" in preference 
to "EST" then (a) it would be nice if there was a relatively 
unbiased survey to demonstrate that, and (b) after the result is 
demonstrated, but not before, it would be sensible for the tz 
database to follow suit.

--apb (Alan Barrett)

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