[tz] permanent DST and North American time zone names

Jon Skeet skeet at pobox.com
Wed Mar 16 16:05:51 UTC 2022

On Wed, 16 Mar 2022 at 15:45, Fred Gleason via tz <tz at iana.org> wrote:

> On Mar 16, 2022, at 11:16, Tim Parenti via tz <tz at iana.org> wrote:
> Complicating matters somewhat is that, because of the prevalence of tzdb,
> in a sense we're "victims of our own success".  That is, whatever we end up
> picking will likely show up fairly automatically in a lot of public-facing
> places, and so even if it isn't what the public would've naturally used in
> the immediate aftermath of a change, many will be fairly quickly informed
> by what they start to see, and may start adopting and spreading whatever
> nomenclature we've picked.
> With that in mind, I’m thinking that the best approach might be (to take a
> page from the Hippocratic Oath) to “do no harm”. Given that the overall
> thrust of the Bill is ‘permanent DST’, perhaps we should reflect just that
> —i.e. the “permanent” abbreviations would become EDT | CDT | MDT | PDT, the
> 'tm_isdst' member of the 'tm' struct would always return a positive value,
> etc.
> Doing this would narrowly confine the scope of the changes to DST
> transition handling itself; without the need to go change the meanings of
> abbreviations as defined in the relevant RFCs and other standards with the
> concomitant needed changes in downstream applications.

Alternatively, we could keep the central "D" but still make tm_isdst return
false. The new meaning of "D" could be "Definitive" instead of "Daylight".

There is precedent for something like this, in the UK: BST means both
British Summer Time (the most common expansion) and British Standard Time
(around 1970), with both having the same offset, but different meanings in
terms of whether it was officially observing daylight savings.

I *think* my tongue is firmly in my cheek, but then I go through brief
periods of wondering if it's actually a reasonable approach...
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