FW: Question about: TWiki.org Service: Date and Time Gateway

Olson, Arthur David (NIH/NCI) olsona at dc37a.nci.nih.gov
Mon Feb 14 14:18:10 UTC 2005

Neither Peter nor Krystian is on the time zone mailing list; direct replies


-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Thoeny [mailto:peter.thoeny at attglobal.net] 
Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2005 6:23 PM
To: krystian at mindspring.com; tz at lecserver.nci.nih.gov
Subject: Re: Question about: TWiki.org Service: Date and Time Gateway

Dear Krystian and tz team,

The program on TWiki.org takes the data from the Olson tz database,

I am not sure I can explain the +/- GMT question, someone from the Olson tz
database team is probably better in that.

More info on GMT at

Info on timezones at

Interstingly, above site shows GMT times in reverse to the Olson database!
E.g. for me in California, the Olson database tells me I am in Etc/GMT+8,
and greenwichmeantime.com tells me I am GMT-8.

Confused Peter

krystian at mindspring.com wrote:
> This question pertains to the data within:
> TWiki.org Service: Date and Time Gateway 
> http://twiki.org/cgi-bin/xtra/tzdate
> Which I believe is under a revision by your penmanship.
> Q. Are the GMT offsets mixed in this website? When I think of GMT-5 I 
> think of Eastern Standard Time, however your site lists GMT-5 as where 
> I always think GMT+5 is.
> > Greenwich Mean Time: (GMT/UCT/UTC/Universal/Zulu; positive numbers 
> > count hours west of GMT
> What is the cause of having positive numbers count west of GMT? Aren't 
> positive numbers, by definition, to be east of GMT? (like GMT+5 is add 
> 5 hours to the time at GMT?)
> I've seen lots of confusion about this on the web and I don't 
> understand why this is so. I have always thought GMT-5 was Eastern 
> Standard Time, not some time in the European longitudes.
> Can you please speculate on this? I'm also trying to find the 
> difference between UTC and GMT (as I've read they are the same but not 
> exactly). Maybe this is how they differ.
> I'm terribly confused. Please offer an explanation to your readers in 
> the form of a link or direct them to such a place.
> Regards,
> Roland Krystian Alberciak.

   * Peter Thoeny                           Peter at Thoeny.com
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