[tz] EU Public Consultation summertime arrangements

Brian Inglis Brian.Inglis at SystematicSw.ab.ca
Wed Jul 11 23:58:40 UTC 2018

On 2018-07-11 14:28, Michael H Deckers via tz wrote:
> On 2018-07-11 17:21, Paul Eggert wrote:
>>  How about appending a sentence like the following in the next draft?
>> If the EU suggests new terminology, it should bear in mind the confusion that
>> would ensue if the EU gave new meanings to existing names; for example, if a
>> new French UTC +02 zone is called “Central European Time (CET)”, many existing
>> applications that assume that CET is UTC +01 will misbehave.
> Maybe it is more confusing than helpful.
> I do not think that the names of time scale are considered to be EU business
> by anyone in the EU -- the EU follow the principle of subsidiarity which
> defers decisions with local scope to the locals.
> Time scale names are currently regulated only by the member countries. For
> instance, countries with the same time scale (eg Ireland, Britain, Portugal)
> have chosen different names, and there is no chance that any EU directive
> will "suggest" names.
> The EU questionnaire is only about the application of summer time, not about
> the names for winter and summer times. By the way, names in Europe can be a
> very sensitive matter anyway (think of Macedonian Winter Time MWT).

It is apparent that elimination of summer time may result in some, perhaps many,
countries realigning their standard time, perhaps to pre-WWII UTC offsets, or
whatever they consider to have the most desirable impact on their society.

> And the names "Central European Time",.. and acronyms "CET",.. designate time
> scales, not zones. It is just (bad) tzdb lingo to use "zone" when a time
> scale is meant.

UTC, TAI, TT, GPS, etc. are considered time scales: that term does not seem to
be commonly used of time zone names or UTC offsets in English.

Central European Time is the English localization of various EU and North
African UTC+1 time zones and CET the abbreviation, all of which are referred to
as time zones in common usage, and by some computer systems and applications.

> So I think the stakes of tzdb in the EU questionnaire are restricted to
> request enough lead time between the EU decision on a potential change,
> including the implementation in the law of member countries, and the date of
> its coming into force.

Technically that is true, and the project will document and implement whatever
decisions the EU and affected countries may eventually make, but they are also
interested in views on any potential change, and we can forward feedback from
the project on issues that recur perennially,

Take care. Thanks, Brian Inglis, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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