[thelist] Why use UTC time?

Erik Mattheis gozz at gozz.com
Mon Feb 24 14:59:45 CST 2003

On Monday, February 24, 2003, at 01:47  PM, shawn allen wrote:
> quoth Erik Mattheis:
>> What's the advantage for having unix epoch times always in GMT if your
>> app is hosted in a single time zone? Seems useless to me. Nay,
>> detrimental.
> The UNIX epoch /is/ midnight GMT. Storing time vales relative to
> differing timezones on individual files or machines would kinda defeat
> the purpose of having a standard, wouldn't it?

I would agree in general ... but not for the purpose of what I want to
do. When I use PHP's date('Y-m-d H:i',0) it interprets 0 as local time
- 1969-12-31 18:00 ... is this the expected behavior? I'd rather
something come out of MySQL as I put it in there instead of adjusting
it for GMT and then any adjustments the app requires on top of that ...
but I get the feeling I'm making things more complicated then they
should be ...

My desired behavior:

User enters 2/24/2003 6:00 pm in CST, date is stored as seconds since
midnight, 1/1/1970, and can be displayed as that same time in any
timezone the user chooses ... like if they're in EST, it would display
as 7 pm. Seems to me that could be taken care of in less than four
short lines of code ... but I don't see it.

>  the TZ environment variable determines
> the output of time(), mktime(), date(), etc. To change your timezone,
> simply change the environment variable:
> putenv('TZ=US/Pacific');


Lots of info to digest, but it seems like my answer is definitely in
there somewhere. Thanks!

For the record, if you can't tell, I'm just getting into PHP/MySQL,
trying to make use of time serving jury duty, which mainly consists of
doing nothing except being prepared to be immediately and indefinitely
Erik Mattheis
GoZz Digital
Flash and ColdFusion Development
Minneapolis, MN

More information about the thelist mailing list