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

Russ Allbery rra at stanford.edu
Tue Apr 2 18:38:50 UTC 2013

Alan Mintz <Alan_Mintz+TZ_IANA at Earthlink.net> writes:
> At 2013-04-02 10:08, Russ Allbery wrote:

>> Humans don't need the abbreviation and don't care.  They either
>> schedule the meeting in local time or in the current time in some other
>> time zone (or possibly in UTC) and then just expect the software to
>> cope with changes due to daylight saving time.  This is a detail of the
>> calendar exchange format and internal representation, not the user
>> interface.

> I disagree. I think it's natural to want to abbreviate, especially with
> things that are repeated a lot.

I apologize for phrasing this so badly and creating a bunch of confusion
about what I meant.  The abbreviations I refer to above are the time
offset abbreviations (PDT, PST, etc.), not the abbreviations like PT that
actually match a time zone and are therefore arguably more useful.
(US/Pacific is just another sort of "abbreviation" in that sense.)

That's actually one thing that the current abbreviations for Australia get
right; they could be usable for indicating a time zone instead of an
offset because they don't change with daylight saving time.  But poking
around at random web sites in Australia, there's pretty entertaining lack
of agreement.  For example, http://www.foxsports.com.au/ currently uses
both EDT and AEDT in different places on the *same page*, presumably for
the same time zone offset (and doesn't use the abbreviation that would
stay constant with daylight saving time changes).

Russ Allbery (rra at stanford.edu)             <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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