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

random832 at fastmail.us random832 at fastmail.us
Tue Apr 2 14:21:16 UTC 2013

On Tue, Apr 2, 2013, at 1:27, Robert Elz wrote:
> As to why the actual value EST is used, it is because (at least) the
> Victorian legislation (and it is Victoria where these acronyms were first
> inserted into unix systems for Aust - that eventually moved them into
> tzdata) the legislation contains the names "Eastern Standard Time" and
> "Eastern Summer Time".

No, it doesn't. ADO just posted a link to it, and the word "Eastern"
appears not once within. The time zone has no name. By that measure, we
should change it to MELT/MELST.

> The comonwealth govt in Aust is not responsible for anything  (outside
> ACT,
> and perhaps NT) (time, acronyms, what you eat for breakfast ...) unless
> either the Aust constitution, or some enabling delegation from one of the
> state governments says it is so.

"Trade and commerce with other countries, and among the States"

How to refer to the time zone of one state from another, from outside
the country, or how to make a reference (published from witthin one
state) to a state's timezone for people in other states or other
countries to see, arguably qualifies.

> Personally I'd be quite happy (but please do not treat this as a request,
> or even a serious suggestion, it is not) if we were to set all of the
> acronyms, in all of the zones (in Aust and all other places) to ZZZ.

Why not set them to "+10:00" [etc], so that %Z can become as useful as

There's no fundamental reason people shouldn't be able to print time
zone information. And for a portable C program (assuming C11 is not
supported), %Z is the only available means to do so.

Strictly, there's nothing requiring %Z to be related to tzname, so it
could even still do the +10:00 even if tzname has been set to an
alphabetic string by parsing a POSIX-style TZ value.

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