Timezone naming

Janis.Papanagnou at pc-plus.DE Janis.Papanagnou at pc-plus.DE
Wed Nov 27 13:09:21 UTC 1996

Markus wrote:
> 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.

That seems quite reasonable.  A formal scheme is what I expect when handling
time zones (myself or by application).

> 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.).

That's the point, humans should be provided a user-friendly naming scheme.
But I cannot second your conclusions.  The US time zone "names" are very
strange (to me!), but I don't care - it's not my domain, I have not to use
them.  CNN, etc. is not what I would call common practice; in DE I hear
the terms MEZ (or MET).  I am not talking with the PTB, nor do I inform
myself by US broadcasts.

Talking about i18n:  are these TZ "names" really considered a matter of
international standards ?  Concerning computer variable TZ, I doubt it.
Concerning the definition of an international standard, I do not think
that the current 3-letter TZ "names" serve for i18n-"codes"; they are
neither formal nor intuitive.  As posted some weeks ago, ambiguities and
coincidences happen to exist, too.  The Olsen DB as a quasi-standard on
computers shall fulfill demands of an IS ?

To come back to the user-friendliness: the three letter "names" are easily
misinterpreted (from a global view); I would prefer something intuitive.


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