etcetera patch

Paul Eggert eggert at
Fri Feb 16 01:28:11 UTC 2001

> Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2001 22:21:35 -0600
> From: =?iso-8859-1?Q?Jesper_N=F8rgaard?= <jnorgard at>
> Resent-From: tz at
> "internal-style signedness" and "zic style"?? Reading the below utterings
> just makes me bounce of the wall and scratch my head (but not at the same
> time :-). 

OK, here's a draft rewording that I hope doesn't leave as many marks
on your wall (and your head :-).

# We use POSIX-style signs in the Zone names and the output abbreviations,
# even though this is the opposite of what many people expect.
# For example, TZ='Etc/GMT+4' corresponds to 4 hours behind UTC
# (i.e. west of Greenwich); it is equivalent to TZ='GMT+4',
# except that it uses the abbreviation "GMT+4"
# whereas TZ='GMT+4' uses the misleading abbreviation "GMT".
# TZ='Etc/GMT+4' is equivalent to the TZ='<GMT+4>+4' of Draft 5 of the next
# version of POSIX, but the angle-bracket notation is not yet
# supported by the tz code.  With the Draft 5 notation, people who
# prefer the traditional sign in abbreviations (where positive numbers
# are east of Greenwich) can use TZ='<GMT-4>+4'; if they also want
# abbreviations that conform to ISO 8601 they can use TZ='<-0400>+4'.

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