Re coming Russian-Belarusian-Ukrainian timezone change

Tobias Conradi tobias.conradi at
Fri Sep 23 20:40:51 UTC 2011

On Fri, Sep 23, 2011 at 8:45 PM, Tim Parenti <tim at> wrote:
> 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,
What definition of
did you mean?

Also I do not see any reason in Theory file that says the
abbreviations, names, terms should be changed, so they cannot be used
perpetually. Actually stable names that can be used "perpetually" seem
to be an objective of the tz database. Greenwich Mean Time is
perpetually abbreviated GMT. British Summer Time is perpetually
abbreviated BST and British Double Summer Time BDST.

> since it's observed as the same standard
> year-round.
Do you mean it is silly to call a time summer time outside summer?
Then there is a lot of silliness in the tz database, i.e. EEST would
make it very consistent.

> 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.
Did you make that test for FET in the streets of Minsk?

>  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.
Here we go:

> The time is simply "the time."
Space and dot is not allowed per Theory file in abbreviations.

> (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.)
But the usage of FET has?

> 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 unreasonable.
Of course alphabetic order (F comes after E) can be taken as a
reasoning. But so can FT = forward time. While the former has no
similarity with anything else in the Theory file, the latter has.

> UTC+3 was not a standard offset within Europe prior to this change;
tzdata2011i\europe says otherwise for zones:

> now it
> is.  Since this isn't a change to an existing zone,
of course it changes existing zones one is Europe/Minsk

> we're not really
> concerned with the "suffix": "-ET" for "European Time" remains appropriate
And Belarus was geographically transferred from Eastern Europe to
F-landian Europe by legislation on standard time, there for one E from
EET had to be dropped?

> 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.
Which is inconsistent with any other standard European zones, which
are called Central ET, Eastern ET, Western ET....

> I admit I'm not thrilled with "FET", but I wholeheartedly support it as the
> most reasonable and thought-out proposal thusfar.
I see no proof for "most reasonable and thought-out proposal". Why not
calling it DET, D just comes before E in the alphabet?

Tobias Conradi
Rheinsberger Str. 18
10115 Berlin

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