[tz] Introduce Etc/UTC+x timezones?

Derick Rethans tz at derickrethans.nl
Fri Apr 21 19:12:21 UTC 2023

On 21 April 2023 17:59:38 BST, Paul Eggert via tz <tz at iana.org> wrote:
>On 2023-04-21 06:32, Benjamin Drung via tz wrote:
>> What do you think about the idea of introducing Etc/UTC+x timezones that
>> have the "correct" offset so that people can select fixed offsets more
>> easily?
>Wouldn't this introduce confusion? Etc/UTC+2 would mean the opposite of Etc/GMT+2. We can't get rid of the latter name, due to backward compatibility. Furthermore, Etc/UTC+2 would magnify Etc/GMT+2's problem, in that it would tempt people into writing TZ='UTC+2' which is just wrong.
>The bug reports you cited don't seem to be instances of user confusion with tzdata, only of frustration that dpkg-reconfigure presents these wrong-signed names to the user. However, those names are meant for internal use, just as the other Zone names are. So the real bug here seems to be with dpkg-reconfigure, not with tzdata.
>In contrast, tzselect gets this right: it does not expose names like Etc/GMT+2 to the user.

In PHP we actively discourage people using these Etc/GMT zones, as they're not actually zones, but fixed offsets . They're often just temporary place holders for the offset at some time during the year. And we're of the opinion that they shouldn't be used in user facing interfaces at all.


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