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Michal Charemza - "Time zone 'GMT/BST' not recognized" errors when editing set

Michal Charemza - "Time zone 'GMT/BST' not recognized" errors when editing set

by Arnold Pizer -
Number of replies: 0
inactiveTopic"Time zone 'GMT/BST' not recognized" errors when editing set topic started 4/25/2006; 7:55:33 AM
last post 4/25/2006; 11:39:03 PM
userMichal Charemza - "Time zone 'GMT/BST' not recognized" errors when editing set  blueArrow
4/25/2006; 7:55:33 AM (reads: 625, responses: 6)

If trying to make changes in the Set Details page for a particular set, after clicking the "Save Changes" button I get the error "Time zone 'GMT/BST' not recognized". If I remove the "/BST" from each of the three times at the top, then I can save changes successfully. However, the "/BST" keeps coming back, thus I need to remove them every time I edit the page.

Is it possible to not have to do this every time I wish to edit the set? If so, how?


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userArnold K. Pizer - Re:  blueArrow
4/25/2006; 8:59:45 AM (reads: 698, responses: 0)
Hi Michal,

This is just a guess but I assume your "server" is adding the BST. One thing I would try is using just BST as the time zone, not GMT. Times are kept by WeBWorK in Perl format which is a (large) interger representing the number of seconds since 1/1/1980. But they are translated back and forth into a "human readable format" by standard routines and most likely these standard routines are having problems with GMT and certainly with 'GMT/BST'.


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userMichal Charemza - Re:  blueArrow
4/25/2006; 10:50:59 AM (reads: 708, responses: 0)
Hi Arnie,

I have changed it to BST - it has the same effect as setting to to GMT. The time zone then reverts back to GMT/BST when the page re-loads after making a change, such as removing a problem.


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userMichael Gage - Re: DateTime and timezones  blueArrow
4/25/2006; 5:17:14 PM (reads: 712, responses: 0)
I've been able to reproduce your problem here at Rochester. It appears to be a bug not a misconfiguration. Some incompatibility between the timezone names recognized by DateTime and the ones we use to label the times.

That said the information in the original post below may still be useful.

We use the module for calculating times. A reference is

where you can find out way more than you want to know. :-)

Try using Europe/London as your time zone for

$siteDefaults{timezone} = "Europe/London";

in global.conf

(We use America/New_York for the eastern seaboard in the US.)

There is a list of timezones as recognized by DateTime at:

These timezones are more refined than standard timezone usage in that they include switches to daylight savings time ( for example some parts of a time zone may make the switch and others may not)

Hope this helps.


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userSam Hathaway - Re:  blueArrow
4/25/2006; 11:06:06 PM (reads: 694, responses: 0)
I think the difficulty stems from the fact that when we output a timezone, we use the short abbreviations (format string "%Z"), which are sometimes ambiguous and therefore not accepted as input.

We could avoid this if we output the canonical time zones instead (like "America/New_York"), but these are long and unweildy.

For the open/due/answer date boxes, another option would be to simply note the time zone in which the input will be interpreted off to the right, as a reminder, rather than having it be part of the editable field. This would not allow people to input dates in arbitrary time zones, but it would simplify things somewhat.

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userMichael Gage - Re:  blueArrow
4/25/2006; 11:20:21 PM (reads: 706, responses: 0)
The only time I have edited the timezone is when I replace EST by EDT. That might be important in some cases.

-- Mike

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userMichael Gage - Re:  blueArrow
4/25/2006; 11:39:03 PM (reads: 715, responses: 0)
Ah ha!!!!!!!!

I found this at:


0.34 2005-03-11

- Some time zone short names were incorrectly being given as something like "GMT/BST", when it should have been alternating between GMT and BST based on the daylight saving time. Reported by Tom Yandell.

- This release is based on version 2005f of the Olson database.


So I suspect that if I update to the current version of (which is 0.43) things will improve.


And indeed it does. The timezone returned is now just GMT. (You will have to fix this manually the first time which is a pain, but after that it will work fine.)

thanks for the bug alert.

-- Mike

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