Australian Timezone issues.

Chris Bitmead chris.bitmead at
Sun May 9 15:12:08 UTC 1999

I understand this is the appropriate email address for addressing issues
with the standard UNIX timezone files.

Has any thought been given to having the Australian EST timezone renamed
to AEST? The conflicting name with the American EST has caused too much
grief for too long.

AEST is the proper abbreviation anyway in an international
context and is reported on international radio broadcasts that refer to
Australian timezones. The current practice of using plain EST simply
breaks everything.

For example, when a database dumps a time 'Sun May  9 11:07:06
EST 1999 in Australia, and then the database reads the time back in, it
assumes that EST is New York time and everything gets screwed up.

Another example, typing date in Australia's EST zone gives
Sun May  9 11:07:06 EST 1999
But typing TZ=EST date
Sat May  8 20:07:06 EST 1999
Inconsistent or what?

As far as I know it is only Australian zones which suffer from
this stupidity. It basicly renders timezones partly useless in
Australia, because the timezone abbreviation of EST is ambiguous, and
whenever interpreted, it's always done wrongly as NY time.

This means that a lot of UNIX software simply doesn't work properly in
Australia. Frankly I count the standard UNIX date program amoungst the
many because the time it reports as EST is different to the date it
reports when TZ=EST.

What would have to be done to get this changed in the zoneinfo files?

Chris Bitmead
mailto:chris.bitmead at

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