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

Russ Allbery rra at stanford.edu
Tue Apr 2 18:44:22 UTC 2013

John Hawkinson <jhawk at MIT.EDU> writes:

> (1) I look at the Date: header and I want to know, without thinking too
> hard, where the originator is.

The Date headers only use ISO 8601 time zone offsets now, and prior to
that, even when abbreviations were allowed, you were only permited to use
the US time zone abbreviations (or the US military abbreviations, which
have tons of other problems and were never in widespread use), never the
Australian ones.  Or are you referring to a comment in the header?  (Your
message didn't contain one in your Date header.)

> (2) I can't remember if we are in daylight time or standard time so
> I type "date" and look at the abbreviation.

*heh*.  I've done that too, although usually I just look at the time zone
offset (via date -R).  I think ctime output is ridiculous, so tend to
avoid having to look at it.

> The current Australian abbrevs do a poor job of both of those cases.

> Given that they are worthless programatically, any argument that they
> are based on a dead API, or that programattic consistency is required,
> etc., etc. is not compelling. If they are worthless to software, let's
> make them useful to humans, please.

And this, I think, is the best argument for changing them, and I'm
personally mildly inclined to agree, *provided* that it's the last time we
ever change them.

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

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