barbara at mabasoft.net
Fri Jun 3 12:09:40 UTC 2016
In my opinion the abbreviations problem should be faced from a different perspective. I think the point isn’t who invented a particular abbreviation or whether it is available or not on English-language tzdata-independent sources, but that abbreviations are useful because they provide information that the UTC offsets with which they are now being replaced don’t provide.
A very simple example: I could write that my time is 14:09 +02 and this would precisely define it, but if I wrote that my time is 14:09 CEST then, if you care, you would also know that I’m writing from Central Europe and not from Egypt, from Central Africa, from South Africa, or from the Kaliningrad Oblast in Russia.
Using abbreviations when specifying times isn't obligated (i.e. if you don’t like them you can omit them), but I would say that it is undeniable that their indication makes world times easier to read and quicker to identify since abbreviations link times to geographic regions. If this weren’t so, time zone names (e.g. Central Europe Time, Pacific Standard time, … ) wouldn’t have been introduced and tzdata wouldn’t have included abbreviations in its data.
Admitted that time zone names (and their abbreviations) have their usefulness, I think that all TZ ids should be treated in the same way and should deserve an abbreviation. The fact that NOVT or KRAT were invented didn’t make them less useful.
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