[tz] Astrakhan region got approval to change its time zone

Paul Eggert eggert at cs.ucla.edu
Sun Feb 14 22:49:09 UTC 2016

Random832 wrote:
> Is there a strong reason to use +04 instead of UTC+04

Two reasons. First, UTC is undefined for time stamps before 1961. Second, 
"UTC+04" is longer than plain "+04".

Although the latter objection is relatively minor, the former is fundamental. 
And although we could try working around the former objection by using "UTC+04" 
only for time stamps starting with 1961, we'd still need to address the problem 
for earlier time stamps somehow, and any solution we came up with would cause 
confusion for users wondering why different abbreviations are used before and 
after 1961.

Brian Inglis suggested "+0400" as an alternative to "+04". This would also work, 
though it's longer. I plan to follow up on this in an email soon.

Again, no abbreviation is perfect; even "UTC+04" would confuse some people about 
sign for the same reason that "+04" would. All in all, though, "+04" (or perhaps 
"+0400") seems like a better way to go than "UTC+04".

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