[tz] Australian Timezone Abreviations (Daylight Savings Time) [SEC=UNOFFICIAL]

Alan Barrett apb at cequrux.com
Sat Feb 23 09:18:27 UTC 2013

On Sat, 23 Feb 2013, Peter Stagg wrote:
> Is their anything I can do or say to bring some clarity to this 
> issue and perhaps resolve it one way or another?

The tzdata project attempts to follow legislation or official 
standards, where they are known, or common practice, where that is 

In the case of Australia, official standards appear to be defined 
at the state level (not the Australian Commonwealth Government 
level), and the relevant state legislation appears to define 
phrases like "Eastern Standard Time" and "Eastern Summer Time", 
not abbreviations.

Common practice in Australia appears to be inconsistent, with some 
government and non-government sources using abbreviations like 
"AEST" and some using abbreviations like "EST".

Given the absence of consistency in common practice, the tzdata 
project has chosen to retain the status quo every time this issue 
has been discussed.

It's probably worth pointing out that the status quo is consistent 
with the legislation, in that the abbreviations used by the tzdata 
project match the first letters of the words of the official time 
zone names.  For example, the legislated names "Eastern Standard 
Time" and "Eastern Summer Time" are both abbreviated to "EST".

The two most likely reasons for the tzdata project to change 
its Australian time zone abbreviations are:

1. If an "official" set of preferred abbreviations were set out 
in a statement from a recognised national standards body, or in a 
collection of statements from recognised state governments, and if 
somebody notices the fact and reports it to the tzdata project.

2. If the people in Australia start being consistent in their 
choice of timezone abbreviations, and if somebody notices the fact 
and reports it to the tzdata project.

You may be in a position to cause some sort of official statement 
to be made.  You may also be in a position to cause government-related
web sites in Australia to be more consistent.

--apb (Alan Barrett)

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