FW: Updated Australian time zone names/strings

Alex LIVINGSTON alex at agsm.edu.au
Tue Apr 17 06:32:21 UTC 2001

On 2001-03-22 at 03:40 David J N Begley <d.begley at uws.edu.au> wrote:
>I can't speak for Mr Mackin's direct experience, but I can most certainly
>contest the assertion that, "We in Australia have _never_ referred to DST as
>`daylight' time" - certainly everyone I know (and myself, of course) have
>always used the term "daylight savings" rather than "summer time".

Yes, we (Australians) certainly usually speak of "daylight saving" 
(or, with disputable correctness, "daylight savings"*) and 
"daylight-saving time", but we do _not_ speak of "daylight time"! All 
the examples and demonstrations given of the former are of no avail: 
they in no way support the assertion that Australians use or are 
familiar with the term "daylight time" or an abbreviation containing 
"DT" derived from it. "DST" is fairly likely to be understood, but 
not "DT".

In my opinion, time-zone, or more accurately time-offset, 
abbreviation strings are a self-indulgent folly. I cannot really 
imagine what benefit they convey, in comparison to explicit numeric 
offsets, besides possibly indicating with unpredictable and widely 
varying granularity something about the accompanying data's location 
of origin and that location's time-offset history, all of which can 
be determined much more reliably and comprehensively by other means, 
and none of which is necessary to determine the time being 
represented in terms of another offset.

Isn't determining the equivalent time according to another offset 
nearly always the _only_ purpose of time-offset abbreviation strings? 
And isn't that purpose fulfilled flawlessly by explicit offset 
indicators, something which time-offset abbreviations clearly do not 
do and cannot, judging by the intractable discussion on the subject, 
be expected to do anytime soon? It would seem to me that explicit 
numeric offsets should be compulsory, with offset abbreviations an 
optional indulgent addition to be regarded as no more than comment 
and ignored by software.

My two cents' worth.


* To be consistent with the terms "saving" and "savings" from 
economics, "daylight saving" would be the practice of saving 
daylight, whereas "daylight savings" would be what is saved, which in 
this case is hard to nail down, but might be considered to be an hour 
a day.
IT, Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM), UNSW SYDNEY NSW 2052
Fax: +61 2 9931-9349 / Phone: +61 2 9931-9264 / Time: UTC + 10 or 11 hours

It's year 2001, decade 201, century 21, and millennium 3 -
the 1st year of the 1st decade of the 1st century of the 3rd millennium.

Elapsed average years since epoch* at end of today (Apr. 17): 2000.29295605

* 1-1-1 (year 1, month 1, day 1: periods) at 00:00:00 (0 o'clock: instant)

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