Re coming Russian-Belarusian-Ukrainian timezone change

Tim Parenti tim at
Fri Sep 23 18:45:11 UTC 2011

Remember that for all of these cases (and even for those in Russia as a
whole), the updates to the tz database have been codified as a switch to a *
new* standard time zone with no DST, rather than as keeping the old time
zone with *permanent* DST.  (Indeed, it seems from a cursory review that the
wordings of the relevant bits of legislation are also better reflected by
this idiom.)

The notion of perpetually calling this "summer time" (as EEST) or "forward
time" (as EEFT) is silly, since it's observed as the same standard
year-round.  If one were to ask a reasonably knowledgeable person on the
street for their current time and time zone, I doubt they'd qualify it with
"but we're on DST now and the whole year" or similar phrasing.  Even if they
did so in the short term, if you asked them again after the change has been
in place for a couple of years, such qualifiers would seem even more
preposterous.  The time is simply "the time."  (Of course, if common usage
controverts this reasonable assumption, we should obviously go with that
instead.  But it's been six months in the case of Russia and no such usage
has been brought to this list's attention.)

Since this year-round standard is effectively a *new* standard, a new
nomenclature is indeed necessary as a new zone has been created.  While the
reasoning presented for "FET" is perhaps weak, and it may not be the
*most*reasonable answer, it's important to keep in mind that it solves
the problem
in a manner that is *not un*reasonable.

UTC+3 was not a standard offset within Europe prior to this change; now it
is.  Since this isn't a change to an existing zone, we're not really
concerned with the "suffix": "-ET" for "European Time" remains appropriate
since it's consistent with the other standard European zones.  The question
lies in the "prefix": Having seen nothing better, "F-" can do for now.

I admit I'm not thrilled with "FET", but I wholeheartedly support it as the
most reasonable and thought-out proposal thusfar.

Tim Parenti

On Fri, Sep 23, 2011 at 12:50, Paul Eggert <eggert at> wrote:

> On 09/23/11 05:52, Tobias Conradi wrote:
> > If calling it permanent summer time in the side note is the issue
> It's more than that.  It's that the whole notion of "forward
> time" is questionable.  There's no need for a new notion that
> means "This location is one hour ahead of where it used to be,
> and this is a permanent change."  All one needs to say is
> "This location has changed time zones."
> Changing time zones is not that unusual.  It happens reasonably
> often, and we've dealt with it before.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...

More information about the tz mailing list