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Re: Time zones in base data schema

From: Massimo Marchiori <massimo@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2000 13:34:19 -0400
Message-Id: <200006261734.NAA14321@tux.w3.org>
To: ctoomey@netscape.com
Cc: www-p3p-public-comments@w3.org

Chris Toomey <ctoomey@netscape.com> wrote:
> I certainly understand your desire to avoid redundancy and to achieve
> compactness, but I do strongly feel that user timezone is commonly requested
> enough, and it's inference from other fields non-trivial enough, that it should
> be added as a new field in the schema (probably as a new field in either
> contact. or postal.).
> Many sites ask explicitly for timezone when registering or setting preferences;
> some examples include "My" pages (http://my.netscape.com/,
> http://my.yahoo.com/, http://my.cnn.com), calendaring pages
> (http://calendar.aol.com, http://calendar.yahoo.com), and various other sites
> (e.g., tvguide.com, passport.com).  Certainly for these sites and all the
> others than request timezone, it'd facilitate adoption of and conformance to
> P3P if timezone were added to the base data schema.
> Unfortunately, the ISO8601 representation is insufficient to represent what
> timezone the user is in, as the instantaneous UTC offset is different at
> different times during the year (due to daylight savings time observance,
> etc.), according to various rules in different localities.  The best (only)
> standard I've seen for representing timezone explicitly is the tz database,
> described at http://www.twinsun.com/tz/tz-link.htm.  It is the timezone
> representation standard used by Java, various Unix systems, and many websites.
> Thus the legal timezone names defined by this database is what I think should
> be used as the P3P type for the timezone field.

Dear Chris, after a careful analysis of the situation, the working group has finally
decided that adding a separate timezone feature, although useful, is not a critical 
priority for P3P version 1.0. We will certainly keep your suggestion for the next 
versions of the P3P dataset, integrated with the experience gained from a wide use  
by users and companies (wide deployment will hopefully teach us a lot on the 
critical extensions that are needed for the data schema).
Thanks again for your comment, and please go on to review the spec that is now approaching
its final stage, as feedback and suggestions are precious to us.


| Massimo Marchiori                    Room NE43-350            |
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Received on Monday, 26 June 2000 13:34:20 UTC

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