[tz] Why did you rename Russian zone name abbreviations

Russ Allbery eagle at eyrie.org
Thu Nov 3 16:27:17 UTC 2016

A theme in everything Paul is saying is that time zone abbreviations are
generally a bad idea and you ideally should just not use them.  They were
never particularly well-defined, and people always think they mean things
other than they actually do.

ISO 8601 recommends expressing times with just the offset from UTC and
avoiding all of these abbreviations, including the new-style ones.  Either
date -R (for an RFC 2822 Date), date -Iseconds (for an ISO 8601 date and
time) or any strftime string with %z will give you that offset.  This is
really how times should be expressed everywhere.

These time zone abbreviations have to be provided because POSIX requires
the field exist for backward compatibility reasons, but as with two-digit
years (also supported in numerous places by POSIX), they're best avoided

If you want to convey someone's physical location, using the time zone for
this is ambiguous, problematic, and mostly doesn't work.  There are
numerous other ways of designating this, from simply stating the location
to using actual coordinates.  The time should not be doing double-duty.

Russ Allbery (eagle at eyrie.org)              <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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