Information wanted #1: time zone names in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine

Ian Abbott abbotti at
Tue Sep 27 14:12:57 UTC 2011

On 2011/09/27 02:02 PM, Yury Tarasievich wrote:
> On 09/27/2011 01:46 PM, Robert Elz wrote:
> ...
>> What we should really be doing is making it clear to one and all that
>> these abbreviations are meaningless, rather than FET or EEFT or BYT or
>> anything else, call all the Russian (and related) zones "EST" (they're
>> Eastern, with respect to most of Europe anyway, and they have a standard
>> time), for no better reason than to make it clear to everyone that the
>> abbreviations have no practical purpose, and are better never used, anywhere.
> In fact, rather than the abbreviations, I'd 
> rather see designations based somehow on the 
> corresponding international timezones 
> (/chasovyye poyasa/). That's the long 
> established practice here, after all. Something
> like UTC+3 or Z02+1 (w/r to the 0..23 numbering) 
> would make do nicely both for Belarus and 
> Ukraine, at least.

If you want to include digits, '+' and '-' characters in the
abbreviations, they'd also have to start with '<' and end with '>'.  See
the description of the TZ environment variable in the X/Open Single UNIX

Some experiments on my Linux system:

$ LANG=C TZ='UTC' date
Tue Sep 27 14:05:51 UTC 2011
$ LANG=C TZ='UTC+3' date
Tue Sep 27 11:05:56 UTC 2011
$ LANG=C TZ='<UTC+3>' date
Tue Sep 27 14:06:02 UTC+3 2011
$ LANG=C TZ='<UTC+3>3' date
Tue Sep 27 11:06:05 UTC+3 2011

You can see the effect of the '<' '>' quoting characters in the above
commands.  In the TZ='UTC+3' case the 'UTC+3' was broken down and parsed
(hence the 3 hour shift in the printed time relative to the 'UTC' case)
instead of being treated as a literal abbreviation.

-=( Ian Abbott @ MEV Ltd.    E-mail: <abbotti at>             )=-
-=( Tel: +44 (0)161 477 1898   FAX: +44 (0)161 718 3587              )=-

More information about the tz mailing list