[tz] tz abbreviations / zdump for programmers

John Haxby john.haxby at oracle.com
Tue Jun 5 20:54:07 UTC 2012

On 5 Jun 2012, at 18:46, Dafydd Rhys-Jones wrote:

> If I recall, correctly, PST/PDT is Pacific Standard Time, and Pacific Daylight Time in the US.

You are, of course, correct.   It was my misfortune to work with someone who insisted that a meeting was going to be at Pacific Standard Time, that meeting was arranged a few *before* daylight savings began in Spring for a date a few days after.   We checked, yes, she did mean PST and she got quite heated about it.  We ignored that and decided to schedule the meeting for PDT anyway as the UK clocks hadn't changed so it made a difference to us.

It's not just that one person, I've since come across others who think that it's PST all year round, sometimes with daylight savings in force, sometimes not.  It's not that long ago that someone thought we in the UK were on GMT all year round.    US TV often advertises programs starting at some time ET (eastern), MT (mountain) or PT (pacific) without any reference to daylight savings.   This actually makes sense but may contribute to confusion.

Asking people to provide a timezone for the purposes of, for example, scheduling meetings, is a minefield.  Especially around the vernal and autumnal time changes.   Subscribers to this list are in a minority in understanding timezones!


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