Timezone naming

Markus G. Kuhn kuhn at cs.purdue.edu
Wed Nov 27 00:05:04 UTC 1996

In message <5562.849036754 at critter.tfs.com>, Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:

> At least for Denmark MET is actually
> the abbreviation recommended by the ministry of the interior.

Be careful here:

Is MET the official abbreviation associated with the Danish or the English 
language? I expect it is only Danish! Abbreviations depend on the language!

In Germany, there is a law that defines MEZ as the German abbreviation, 
nevertheless the official translation into English is CET (as used by the EU 
buerocrats when they mess around with the summer time rules every few years).

For the Olson data base, it was a design decision that only abbreviations 
based on the English names of the time zone will be used (as found for example 
in international airline association manuals). Multiple language versions of 
the database is a possible future project for which nobody has found the time 
and energy to realize it so far.

If you want to replace the English abbreviation CET by the Danish abbreviation 
MET, then I could argue as well that we should replace it instead by the 
German abbreviation MEZ as there are much more German speaking Unix users than 
Danish speaking users. You see to where this argument would lead?


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

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