[ntp:questions] Can or should the NTP protocol eventually serve timezone data?

Richard B. Gilbert rgilbert88 at comcast.net
Wed Jun 17 19:39:16 UTC 2009


Joe wrote:
> Timezone data is fairly dynamic. It makes sense to have some form of
> network service to update timezone data. Does anyone know if there
> have been any proposals about a standardized timezone update protocol,
> or reasons why there should not be one? Since NTP is well established,
> maybe it could be expanded to include timezone data?

I don't think it's practical!  The legislatures of the various states 
can and do fiddle with it every year such that Arizona does not 
necessarily follow the same schedule as as South Dakota. The rules may 
not even be consistent from year to year.  It helps the legislatures 
concerned to appear as if they are actually doing something useful.

NTP does not concern itself with time zones or "Daylight Time".  It's 
UTC all the way.  What your computer displays as the time depends on how 
you have it configured.  With, potentially, fifty or more different sets 
of rules for daylight time, I think it's going to be the responsibility 
of the System Administrator to "get it right" for the systems he is 
responsible for.




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