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Re: [Nmh-workers] date math

From: Robert Elz
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] date math
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2014 02:49:59 +0700

    Date:        Mon, 15 Dec 2014 12:56:46 -0500
    From:        Ken Hornstein <address@hidden>
    Message-ID:  <address@hidden>

  | It's actually not hard ... you'd have a table to convert a numeric offset
  | to a symbolic one, with two entries (one for regular, one for DST).  It's
  | just ... should we bother?

It actually is hard, there's no one-one mapping between numeric offsets
and timezone names.abbreviations - you alo need to know the origin of the
message (of course, if you've converted to local time, and are just
printing the local offset, then it is relatively easy).

For example, if you see a message with -0500 as the numeric offset, is
that US Eastern Standard time, or US Central Daylight time?   Or
might it just be from Chile (which also uses -0400 and -0500, but
given it in the other hemisphere, at different times of year).

There's a lot of work required to get this particularly useless piece of
information - just stick with numeric (except possibly when you are 
deliberately printing the local equivalent - which also makes it more
clear to the viewer whether it is an original or a converted time they're

On the other question, of defaults, I quite like the exmh method,  for your
message, for example, the Date: header is shown as ...

        Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2014 12:56:46 -0500 (Tue 00:56 ICT)

which tells me both what time it was for you when you sent it, and what
that means to me (how long ago it actually was).   It also uses the
numeric offset for your time (no worthing out what zone you posted from)
and the abbreviation for local time for me.

For scan listings it's not so easy, but I think I prefer the original
time (source zone, not local) - when doing a scan of lots of messages
the order (arrival order of the messages) tends to alow enough context
that it all makes sense - with just one message, it isn't as obvious,
so this one I am more ambivalent about.


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