Paul Eggert's comments on draft-newman-datetime-00.txt

Garrett Wollman wollman at
Wed Jan 1 19:04:02 UTC 1997

<<On Tue, 31 Dec 1996 15:18:33 -0800, Paul Eggert <eggert at> said:

>   When the local offset is unknown, the offset "-00:00" MAY be used to
>   indicate that the time is in UTC and the local offset is unknown.

> This is worded a little confusingly -- could you please clarify?
> Is it common to have situations where UTC is known but local time isn't?
> Without more motivation, it's hard to see why this suggestion is needed.

Certainly.  If you're running NTP, for example, you know a fairly good
approximation of UTC, but the local offset is still left to be
manually configured.  Or consider, for example, a large corporate host
with users from many different parts of the world; while each user may
have his own idea of the timezone, system administrators may choose to
use UTC for system programs to ease administration.  Programs which
communicate with such a system should not assume that communications
related to a particular user is dated with that user's preferential


Garrett A. Wollman   | O Siem / We are all family / O Siem / We're all the same
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Opinions not those of| Dance in the burning flame
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