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Re: Daylight saving time in my region should be...

by jonadab (Parson)
on Dec 14, 2011 at 20:09 UTC ( #943613=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Daylight saving time in my region should be...

If we could get rid of it nationwide, I'd be in favor of that -- provided everyone got at least ten years' notice ahead of time.

However, one thing worse than messing around changing the clocks twice a year is not changing them when everyone else around you does. I went to college in northern Indiana (which does not observe daylight savings), and figuring out timezone issues when communicating with family in Ohio was a royal pain. For part of the year, this configuration actually reversed the logical roles of east and west in determining whose time is ahead of whose. It was confusing and annoying, and we had to stop and think for 30 seconds or more every single time we planned anything involving somebody crossing the border.

Another thing that's worse than changing the clocks twice a year is changing the schedule for changing the clocks, with only a few months' notice. We went through that a few years ago, and it was a nightmare, especially for a network administrator trying to keep track of exactly which systems had the timezone update to make the change correctly on their own, which ones still needed said update, and which ones weren't going to be able to get the update and would have to have their clocks changed manually twice per time change. Hence, I'm against changes to the schedule on short notice. Anything less than ten years is short notice, because systems deployed before the announcement might still be in widespread use.

So, if we're going to move away from DST, we should do it nationwide, all at once, and we should plan the change at least ten years in advance. With those provisos, I'd be very much in favor, because DST is a bit of a nuisance.

For that matter, I'd be in favor of getting rid of timezones entirely and using UTC everywhere -- but again, we'd have to do it (at least) nationwide, all on the same date, and we'd have to plan the switchover WELL in advance.

I don't buy the argument that changing the clocks -- or using timezones for that matter -- gives us daylight at a different time of day. All it does is change what numbers we use to refer to a given time.

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