Timezone naming

Markus G. Kuhn kuhn at cs.purdue.edu
Tue Nov 26 23:51:56 UTC 1996

In message <199611262146.WAA14614 at uriah.heep.sax.de>, J Wunsch wrote:

> As Markus G. Kuhn wrote:
> >   - I hardly ever have seen MET and METDST used anywhere outside the Unix
> But we _are_ in the Unix world.  Our ``target market'' is not outside,
> but inside this world.

The time zone string CET or MET is never parsed by any software, because in
all applications (e-mail, news, etc.) the time format standards require
that a numeric local time - UTC offset is also provided (e.g., required by
RFC822 except for US names) and the numeric value is then used. Therefore,
MET->CET is no compatibility problem.

Consequently: Only humans have to recognize the time zone abbreviation
and it definitely does not make sense here to use one that does not
follow common practice (Langenscheid, PTB, SkyTV, CNN, etc.).

> Sorry, i can't remember you starting a discussion in de.comp.os.unix.
> That's where those affected by your decision can be found.  Why didn't
> you ask there what people would prefer?

May be you simply read the wrong groups. A large MET->CET discussion took
place in de.comp.standards and CET was after a brief exchange of arguments
quite quickly the common consens. Give me around 48 hours, then I have some
time to start a small educational flame war in de.comp.os.unix. I think,
I am quite good at this ... ;-)  Let's see in two weeks again what the
USENET mob thinks then.

> The American Indians don't really live in India,
> but changing this name after years of usage wouldn't make sense,
> either.

Here you really have very litte idea of what you are talking about: They are
called "Native Americans" today. Political correctness ideology requires
the Americans to change terminology every ten years and believe me, they
are quite good at this!


Markus G. Kuhn, Computer Science grad student, Purdue
University, Indiana, USA -- email: kuhn at cs.purdue.edu

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