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

Richard B. Gilbert rgilbert88 at comcast.net
Wed Jun 17 20:24:25 UTC 2009

Rob wrote:
> Richard B. Gilbert <rgilbert88 at comcast.net> wrote:
>> 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.
> Now you are just iterating the reasons why it would be useful to
> distribute this info via some network.  The question being asked is
> if it could be useful to use an NTP server to distribute it.  An
> alternative could be do use some HTTP server, a new dedicated protcol,
> or whatever method you could think of.
> The advantage of extending NTP could be that you only need to configure
> one server to know both time and zone info.
> And Yes, OFCOURSE you cannot use this to determine in what zone you
> are.  But once you know you are in Arizona or South Dakota, you can
> use the info to calculate your timezone offset (depending on date).

I believe that the O/S vendors supply a file with timezone data.  If you 
have support, you can even get updates from the vendor.  Since I can't 
afford support (I'm retired and a hobbyist) I have to do it by hand.

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