There should be a timezone chip

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. With all the problems the US and NZ went through last year (and NZ is still
    going through this year) with changes to daylight saving rules, now it's
    Australia's turn
    <http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/182439/daylight-savings-shift-causes-software-headaches.html>.

    I think this problem needs to be solved once and for all. Do away with all
    proprietary timezone databases. All software-upgradable platforms should
    use the Olson database <http://www.twinsun.com/tz/tz-link.htm>. This way,
    even if the vendor orphans the platform (or is just too slow to provide an
    update), it will still be possible for sysadmins to apply the patches
    themselves.

    For embedded systems where this is not practical, the zoneinfo should be
    encoded into a special chip that can be individually upgraded or replaced.

    Relying on vendor-specific software patches just isn't enough any more.
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Mar 31, 2008
    #1
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  2. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    RL Guest

    Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    > I think this problem needs to be solved once and for all. Do away

    with all

    Damn right it should be solved. Do away with idiotic ideas like daylight
    savings and time zones, and use GMT.

    With so much business being conducted internationally, it would be much
    easier if everyone published their open hours in a common format.

    Then, if shop owners or others want to finish earlier in winter, they
    can just set summer and winter hours. Of course, we should come up with
    more generic descriptions so as not to confuse our northern hemisphere
    counterparts.

    RL
    RL, Mar 31, 2008
    #2
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  3. In article <fsq3ic$4a6$>, RL did write:

    > Damn right it should be solved. Do away with idiotic ideas like daylight
    > savings and time zones, and use GMT.


    How would that work, then? Would us folks in NZ be going to work in the
    middle of the night?
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Mar 31, 2008
    #3
  4. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Murray Symon Guest

    Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:

    > In article <fsq3ic$4a6$>, RL did write:
    >
    >> Damn right it should be solved. Do away with idiotic ideas like daylight
    >> savings and time zones, and use GMT.

    >
    > How would that work, then? Would us folks in NZ be going to work in the
    > middle of the night?


    I wouldn't have any problem with going to work at 8pm in the morning
    and going home at 5am in the afternoon. The "time" is just an
    artificial number.
    Murray Symon, Mar 31, 2008
    #4
  5. In <fsq5dm$5bk$> Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    > In article <fsq3ic$4a6$>, RL did write:
    >
    >> Damn right it should be solved. Do away with idiotic ideas like
    >> daylight savings and time zones, and use GMT.

    >
    > How would that work, then? Would us folks in NZ be going to work in
    > the middle of the night?


    The idea is to throw away local time zones and set all clocks around the
    world to UTC. You would still be starting work at the same time (i.e.
    when the sun rises), but instead of calling it 8:30am NZST you would
    call it 2030 UTC. Our neighbours in Australia would start two hours
    later at 2230 UTC. Instead of shifting the clock during daylight savings
    periods you would just start the day an hour earlier or later.

    One problem I can see is the date rollover. It would no longer match up
    with the work day e.g. in the morning it would be Monday, but in the
    afternoon it would be Tuesday. The word 'afternoon' still works I
    suppose, if we change the meaning of noon to 'time when the sun is at
    it's highest during the day'.

    --
    Roger Johnstone, Invercargill, New Zealand -> http://roger.geek.nz
    Roger Johnstone, Mar 31, 2008
    #5
  6. In article <>, Roger Johnstone did
    write:

    > The idea is to throw away local time zones and set all clocks around the
    > world to UTC. You would still be starting work at the same time (i.e.
    > when the sun rises), but instead of calling it 8:30am NZST you would
    > call it 2030 UTC. Our neighbours in Australia would start two hours
    > later at 2230 UTC. Instead of shifting the clock during daylight savings
    > periods you would just start the day an hour earlier or later.


    You think that would be easy to keep track of? "Don't forget, daylight
    saving starts this weekend, so next week you'll be coming in to work at
    1930Z instead of 2030Z".

    People have enough trouble adjusting their clocks as it is.
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Mar 31, 2008
    #6
  7. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Dave Taylor Guest

    Lawrence D'Oliveiro <_zealand> wrote in news:fsq3ae
    $3js$:

    > Relying on vendor-specific software patches just isn't enough any more.
    >


    "Each location in the database represents a national region where all
    clocks keeping local time have agreed since 1970

    Quote from the website."


    I like UTC. No FUD.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix_time

    Cool, the original article is about the same thing, just called something
    else.
    So no FUD after all, just obfuscation.


    --
    Ciao, Dave
    Dave Taylor, Mar 31, 2008
    #7
  8. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Dave Taylor Guest

    Lawrence D'Oliveiro <_zealand> wrote in news:fsq9tu
    $7nf$:

    >
    > You think that would be easy to keep track of? "Don't forget, daylight
    > saving starts this weekend, so next week you'll be coming in to work at
    > 1930Z instead of 2030Z".
    >
    > People have enough trouble adjusting their clocks as it is.
    >


    I think it is no more difficult that moving left hand drive to right. or
    give way to left turners. or. or


    --
    Ciao, Dave
    Dave Taylor, Mar 31, 2008
    #8
  9. In article <>, geoff did write:

    > Relying on chip-changes is a dip-shit idea ...


    What's the alternative?
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Apr 1, 2008
    #9
  10. In article <Xns9A734FF95440daveytaynospamplshot@203.97.37.6>, Dave Taylor
    did write:

    > Lawrence D'Oliveiro <_zealand> wrote in
    > news:fsq9tu $7nf$:
    >>
    >> You think that would be easy to keep track of? "Don't forget, daylight
    >> saving starts this weekend, so next week you'll be coming in to work at
    >> 1930Z instead of 2030Z".
    >>
    >> People have enough trouble adjusting their clocks as it is.

    >
    > I think it is no more difficult that moving left hand drive to right. or
    > give way to left turners. or. or


    Isn't that "give way to right-turners"?

    See what I mean?
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Apr 1, 2008
    #10
  11. In article <fsq3ic$4a6$>, RL <> wrote:
    >Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    > > I think this problem needs to be solved once and for all. Do away

    >with all
    >
    >Damn right it should be solved. Do away with idiotic ideas like daylight
    >savings and time zones, and use GMT.


    Except GMT doesn't exist any more ...
    UTC is the 'new' name for GMT, when the French took over the handling of it
    they decided the name needed to be changed. It stands for Universal Time
    Coordinate.
    Bruce Sinclair, Apr 1, 2008
    #11
  12. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Ross Guest

    On Tue, 01 Apr 2008 01:19:41 GMT,
    z (Bruce Sinclair)
    wrote:

    >In article <fsq3ic$4a6$>, RL <> wrote:
    >>Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >> > I think this problem needs to be solved once and for all. Do away

    >>with all
    >>
    >>Damn right it should be solved. Do away with idiotic ideas like daylight
    >>savings and time zones, and use GMT.

    >
    >Except GMT doesn't exist any more ...
    >UTC is the 'new' name for GMT, when the French took over the handling of it
    >they decided the name needed to be changed. It stands for Universal Time
    >Coordinate.


    French, bah!
    All the more reason to call it GMT then.

    What is the problem anyway?
    All software that deals with time should have a "preference option"
    where all times will either be converted to GMT, or all to local time.
    e.g. Wikipedia update edit histories.
    Ross, Apr 1, 2008
    #12
  13. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    RL Guest

    Bruce Sinclair wrote:
    > In article <fsq3ic$4a6$>, RL <> wrote:
    >> Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >> > I think this problem needs to be solved once and for all. Do away

    >> with all
    >>
    >> Damn right it should be solved. Do away with idiotic ideas like daylight
    >> savings and time zones, and use GMT.

    >
    > Except GMT doesn't exist any more ...
    > UTC is the 'new' name for GMT, when the French took over the handling of it
    > they decided the name needed to be changed. It stands for Universal Time
    > Coordinate.


    GMT is the name I will be sticking with permanently. It is typcal of the
    human species that they will call something 'Universal' despite the fact
    that we are only a minor part of the universe, and no doubt the concept
    of time exists elsewhere as well.

    RL
    RL, Apr 1, 2008
    #13
  14. In <fsrv2t$b18$> Bruce Sinclair wrote:
    > In article <fsq3ic$4a6$>, RL <>
    > wrote:
    >>Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >> > I think this problem needs to be solved once and for all. Do away

    >>with all
    >>
    >>Damn right it should be solved. Do away with idiotic ideas like
    >>daylight savings and time zones, and use GMT.

    >
    > Except GMT doesn't exist any more ...
    > UTC is the 'new' name for GMT,


    UTC is a different time standard from GMT, which still exists.

    From good ol' Wikipedia:

    "Coordinated Universal Time is a high-precision atomic time standard.
    UTC has uniform seconds defined by International Atomic Time (TAI), with
    leap seconds announced at irregular intervals to compensate for the
    Earth's slowing rotation and other discrepancies. Leap seconds allow UTC
    to closely track Universal Time (UT), a time standard based not on the
    uniform passage of seconds, but on the Earth's angular rotation.

    Since the difference between UTC and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) never
    exceeds 0.9 second, for many purposes the difference can be ignored."


    > when the French took over the handling
    > of it they decided the name needed to be changed. It stands for
    > Universal Time Coordinate.


    I thought UTC stood for a French phrase too, but it's much more
    interesting than that.

    Again from Wikipedia:

    "The International Telecommunication Union wanted Coordinated Universal
    Time to have a single abbreviation for all languages. English speakers
    and French speakers each wanted the initials of their respective
    languages' terms to be used internationally: 'CUT' for 'coordinated
    universal time' and 'TUC' for 'temps universel coordonn?'. This resulted
    in the final compromise of using UTC."


    --
    Roger Johnstone, Invercargill, New Zealand -> http://roger.geek.nz
    Roger Johnstone, Apr 1, 2008
    #14
  15. In article <>, Roger Johnstone did
    write:

    > From good ol' Wikipedia:
    >
    > "Coordinated Universal Time is a high-precision atomic time standard.
    > UTC has uniform seconds defined by International Atomic Time (TAI), with
    > leap seconds announced at irregular intervals to compensate for the
    > Earth's slowing rotation and other discrepancies. Leap seconds allow UTC
    > to closely track Universal Time (UT), a time standard based not on the
    > uniform passage of seconds, but on the Earth's angular rotation.
    >
    > Since the difference between UTC and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) never
    > exceeds 0.9 second, for many purposes the difference can be ignored."


    I think there's confusion here between UT1 (which tracks the Earth's
    rotation <http://tf.nist.gov/general/enc-ch.htm>) and GMT, which nowadays
    is exactly the same thing as UTC
    <http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/what-is-gmt.htm>.

    More interesting notes on the history of the meaning of "GMT" here
    <http://www.ucolick.org/~sla/leapsecs/timescales.html>.
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Apr 1, 2008
    #15
  16. In article <>, Ross did write:

    > French, bah!
    > All the more reason to call it GMT then.


    There's nothing special about Greenwich any more. It's not even the zero
    meridian according to current commonly-used geographical coordinate
    systems.

    > What is the problem anyway?
    > All software that deals with time should have a "preference option"
    > where all times will either be converted to GMT, or all to local time.
    > e.g. Wikipedia update edit histories.


    A better technique is for the server to keep all times in UTC, and accept
    them from and return them to the browser in UTC. JavaScript has built-in
    functions to do any necessary conversion to/from your local time zone, why
    does the server have to care at all?
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Apr 1, 2008
    #16
  17. In article <>, Ross <> wrote:
    >On Tue, 01 Apr 2008 01:19:41 GMT,
    > (Bruce Sinclair)
    >wrote:
    >>In article <fsq3ic$4a6$>, RL <> wrote:
    >>>Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >>> > I think this problem needs to be solved once and for all. Do away
    >>>with all
    >>>
    >>>Damn right it should be solved. Do away with idiotic ideas like daylight
    >>>savings and time zones, and use GMT.

    >>
    >>Except GMT doesn't exist any more ...
    >>UTC is the 'new' name for GMT, when the French took over the handling of it
    >>they decided the name needed to be changed. It stands for Universal Time
    >>Coordinate.

    >
    >French, bah!
    >All the more reason to call it GMT then.


    :) Seems they were prepared to support it and no one else was.

    >What is the problem anyway?
    >All software that deals with time should have a "preference option"
    >where all times will either be converted to GMT, or all to local time.
    >e.g. Wikipedia update edit histories.


    It's simple. Check your time occasionally people and use a bit of that not
    so common thing, common sense. :)
    Bruce Sinclair, Apr 2, 2008
    #17
  18. In article <fssq23$oa3$>, RL <> wrote:
    >Bruce Sinclair wrote:
    >> In article <fsq3ic$4a6$>, RL <> wrote:
    >>> Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >>> > I think this problem needs to be solved once and for all. Do away
    >>> with all
    >>>
    >>> Damn right it should be solved. Do away with idiotic ideas like daylight
    >>> savings and time zones, and use GMT.

    >>
    >> Except GMT doesn't exist any more ...
    >> UTC is the 'new' name for GMT, when the French took over the handling of it
    >> they decided the name needed to be changed. It stands for Universal Time
    >> Coordinate.

    >
    >GMT is the name I will be sticking with permanently. It is typcal of the
    >human species that they will call something 'Universal' despite the fact
    >that we are only a minor part of the universe, and no doubt the concept
    >of time exists elsewhere as well.


    You can do what you like - many people do. ... but why you would do
    something you know to be wrong entirely escapes me. What is the point of a
    standard if people not only don't use it, but knowingly ignore it ? Hmmm ...
    sounds like certain computer s/w companies of our aquaintance. :)
    Bruce Sinclair, Apr 2, 2008
    #18
  19. In article <47f20ba4$>, Jerry <> wrote:
    >RL wrote:
    >> Bruce Sinclair wrote:
    >>> In article <fsq3ic$4a6$>, RL <> wrote:
    >>>> Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >>>> > I think this problem needs to be solved once and for all. Do away
    >>>> with all
    >>>>
    >>>> Damn right it should be solved. Do away with idiotic ideas like
    >>>> daylight savings and time zones, and use GMT.
    >>>
    >>> Except GMT doesn't exist any more ...
    >>> UTC is the 'new' name for GMT, when the French took over the handling
    >>> of it they decided the name needed to be changed. It stands for
    >>> Universal Time Coordinate.

    >>
    >> GMT is the name I will be sticking with permanently. It is typcal of the
    >> human species that they will call something 'Universal' despite the fact
    >> that we are only a minor part of the universe, and no doubt the concept
    >> of time exists elsewhere as well.
    >>

    >Indeed! How do you convert time to Vulcan or Klingon?


    Hey ! ... I still have the 'klingon clock' from win 3.11. Conversion was
    obviously possible then ... so shouldn't be a problem now. :)
    Bruce Sinclair, Apr 2, 2008
    #19
  20. In article <>, Roger Johnstone <> wrote:
    >In <fsrv2t$b18$> Bruce Sinclair wrote:
    >> In article <fsq3ic$4a6$>, RL <>
    >> wrote:
    >>>Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >>> > I think this problem needs to be solved once and for all. Do away
    >>>with all
    >>>
    >>>Damn right it should be solved. Do away with idiotic ideas like
    >>>daylight savings and time zones, and use GMT.

    >>
    >> Except GMT doesn't exist any more ...
    >> UTC is the 'new' name for GMT,

    >
    >UTC is a different time standard from GMT, which still exists.


    Mayhap ... but it will fall more and more into disuse as the old buggers
    die out I reckon. :)
    Bruce Sinclair, Apr 2, 2008
    #20
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