dates and their representation

raf raf at
Wed Sep 23 13:07:34 CEST 1998

Caskey wrote:

>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. 

i disagree. even if the time refers to an external event,
displaying that time is done in the context of a user using
the software that displays that time.

btw, when you say "use" to you mean storage or display?
it's not clear. imho all times should be stored in UTC always.
display is another matter but whatever is decided, display the
timezone as well. then, werner's example ceases to be confusing.

if the time is displayed in UTC and states that fact, there is
no ambiguity. if the time is displayed locally and states that
fact, there is no ambiguity.


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