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Re: Suggestion: HTTP Timezone header

From: Chuck Shotton <cshotton@biap.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 1995 06:20:51 -0600
Message-Id: <ab9817aa0b0210046cb7@[129.106.201.2]>
To: David Robinson <drtr1@cam.ac.uk>, ietf-lists@proper.com
Cc: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
At 10:39 AM 3/24/95, David Robinson wrote:
>On Thu, 23 Mar 1995 14:26:53 -0700, Paul Hoffman wrote:
>>>A suggestion for HTTP: that clients send a Timezone header in the request,
>>>describing the timezone of the user.

>The applications I have in mind are bulletin board or bug-tracking systems.
>Individual files contain messages from users, stamped with dates/times in
>either server time or GMT, which is no problem. However, I also provide an
>'index' of recent messages sorted by date, so the users can check for any
>updates since they last read the messages. Having that list presented in the
>user's local timezone would make it much more intelligable; otherwise they
>would have try to figure out whether they have already seen a posting
>at '13:25 CET' when they know they last checked the system at 5:15 PST.

This is protocol "candy". If you need to know the user's timezone for your
BBS application, why don't you ask for it when you collect their name,
address, etc.? There are plenty of message oriented systems on the Internet
today that do not have synchronized time bases, yet are able to present
users with messages sorted by date. And the users seem to be able to figure
out which messages have been read or not.

Two particular systems that work this way spring to mind -- SMTP E-Mail and
UseNet News.

And if you REALLY have to know the user's timezone without asking, how do
you expect to accomodate users with machines in more than one location, or
users with portable computers? Your best bet is to build a Whois look-up
into your BBS application and find the physical location of the server,
rather than complicating the date information in HTTP by adding local
timezone info which would diminish the standard time base we have with GMT.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Chuck Shotton
cshotton@biap.com                                  http://www.biap.com/
cshotton@oac.hsc.uth.tmc.edu                           "I am NOT here."
Received on Friday, 24 March 1995 05:28:42 EST

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