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

Arthur David Olson arthurdavidolson at gmail.com
Tue Apr 2 15:04:23 UTC 2013

One other factoid: the C language standard calls for various formatting
functions to produce "the locale’s time zone name or abbreviation, or by no
characters if no time zone is determinable."

(Some history: early draft language standards specified "time zone name;" a
proposal to change to "time zone abbreviation" was rejected; "name or
abbreviation" is where things landed.)


On Tue, Apr 2, 2013 at 10:21 AM, <random832 at fastmail.us> wrote:

> 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
> %z?
> 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.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mm.icann.org/pipermail/tz/attachments/20130402/e672b1b1/attachment.htm>

More information about the tz mailing list