dates and their representation

Caskey L. Dickson caskey at
Tue Sep 22 14:56:00 CEST 1998

On Tue, 22 Sep 1998, Michael Sobolev wrote:

> On Tue, Sep 22, 1998 at 08:41:38PM +0200, Werner Koch wrote:
> > Here is the reason, why I do not like time conversion:
> > 
> > pub  1024D/57548DCD 1998-07-07 Werner Koch (gnupg sig) <dd9jn at>
> >                     ^^^^^^^^^^
> > 
> > This may get listed as -07-08 or -07-06 depending on the timezone.
> > I think that this could lead to some confusion if two persons list the
> > key but get different times (yes they are not different really, but it
> > seems so)
> > 
> > I all other cases a localized time is okay for me.
> I believe that using mix of gmt and localized times may lead to other
> confusions.  My vote goes for having an option that control how *all* times
> are considered.

I would disagree with your statement that mixing gmt and local time will
cause confusion.  What will cause confusion is mixing of semantics.  When
you are using a date to represent when something occured in the context of
the person using the software, you ought to use the local time.  If you
are using a date that is to identify something external, such as when a
key was created, you should use UTC. 

In the above case of a key listing, the same date should appear the same
no matter where the person running the program is.  Consistency is really
all that matters in user interface design. 

As a general rule I agree that using local time is a good thing as it has
more meaning to the user.  Also, I would say that being consistent in
usage of UTC or local time is important as well, however all things must
be considered in the context of how they will be used.


       There is hardly a thing in the world that some man can not
             make a little worse and sell a little cheaper.
Caskey <caskey*>       ///                pager.818.698.2306
TechnoCage Inc.                     ///|               gpg: 1024D/7BBB1485
  I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian.

More information about the Gnupg-devel mailing list