Timezone naming

J Wunsch j at uriah.heep.sax.de
Tue Nov 26 09:04:20 UTC 1996

You'll say ``Argh!'' now, i know.

After a long and heated discussion in the FreeBSD core team, we came
to the conclusion that changing the timezone name for Central Europe
from MET to CET is a very bad move.

The reasoning: the name MET is in widespread use here on almost all
Unix systems around.  (With AIX being the most noteworthy and most
funny exception; they call it ``Norway-France-Time'', NFT. :) However
technically correct your choice for CET might be, it breaks tradition,
and is in general something people here will consider a ``US-centric''
decision.  MET might sound like a half-translated term in German, but
people can easily memorize it, and identify their own timezone by this
name.  Other languages like Danish even use this term as well as their
local abbreviation (which is no surprise given that Danish is closer
to English than German is).

You'll note that we don't mind you US inhabitants naming the New York
timezone ``EST'' either, even though the term ``Western Atlantic
Timezone'' is far more correct from our point of view, since you are
west of us, not east as the name suggests.  Needless to say, i'd leave
the decision for this name at the people that have to live with the
name.  But i expect you doing likewise: respect our wish to keep the
name `MET' for the Central/Middle European Time.  Changing it will
gain nothing, but cause support hassles for our userbase.

Btw., there's at least one alternate (but not less bogus) translation
for this abbreviation: Mediterranean Time.

I'm also sending this request on behalf of Poul-Henning Kamp, another
FreeBSD core team member.  Cc to him for this.

cheers, J"org

joerg_wunsch at uriah.heep.sax.de -- http://www.sax.de/~joerg/ -- NIC: JW11-RIPE
Never trust an operating system you don't have sources for. ;-)

More information about the tz mailing list