[tz] Timezone abbreviations
carl at linkleaf.com
Thu Jan 5 23:57:59 UTC 2012
Alain Petit <alain.petit <at> oracle.com> writes:
> [As I was using an incorrect email, I am resending.
> Apologies if duplicates were issued]
> I am looking at
> the following timezone definition
> # Zone
> GMTOFF RULES FORMAT [UNTIL]
> America/Metlakatla 15:13:42 -
> LMT 1867 Oct
> -8:46:18 - LMT 1900 Aug 20
> -8:00 - PST
> -8:00 US P%sT
> -8:00 - PST
> -8:00 US P%sT 1983 Oct 30
> -8:00 US MeST
> I am trying to
> make sense of the MeST [the format].
> I think PST means
> "Pacific Standard Time", and P%sT becomes PST or PDT according to the US rule
> effect [and making it Pacific Standard Time or Pacific Daylight
> However I cannot
> figure out what MeST would be, apart from Metlakatla Standard Time
> [I found MEST -
> Middle European Standard Time, but Metlakatla is not in
> Searching for
> Metlakatla [google] always refers it as AKST [Alaska Standard Time].
> So 2 questions
> a) What would MeST
> mean? [and why no '%s' for it?]
> b) Where can I
> find the meaning of these abbreviations [as I will probably find others that
> will confuse me in the future]
I ended up researching pretty much the same question after a timezone library I
use returned "MeST" for America/Metlakatla. I went to the tz database source,
obtained from http://www.iana.org/time-zones . The data files are peppered with
notes that provide discussion and context to many of the timezone oddities.
Short answer: MeST is Metlakatla Standard Time. No %s because the Metlakata
Indian Reservation does not observer daylight savings time.
Long answer: Here are are the relevant background notes from the 'northamerica'
file in tzdata2011n.tar.gz.
# From Arthur David Olson (2011-02-09):
# I just spoke by phone with a staff member at the Metlakatla Indian
# Community office (using contact information available at
# <a href="http://www.commerce.state.ak.us/dca/commdb/CIS.cfm?
# It's shortly after 1:00 here on the east coast of the United States;
# the staffer said it was shortly after 10:00 there. When I asked whether
# that meant they were on Pacific time, they said no--they were on their
# own time. I asked about daylight saving; they said it wasn't used. I
# did not inquire about practices in the past.
# From Arthur David Olson (2011-08-17):
# For lack of better information, assume that Metlakatla's
# abandonment of use of daylight saving resulted from the 1983 vote.
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