Daylight Saving Time (DST) within one country

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Superdeboer
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Daylight Saving Time (DST) within one country

Post by Superdeboer »

It is hard for me to understand why the developers team has chosen to deal with Daylight Saving Time (DST) only by adding an extra userpreference. I know that this choice is based on the philosophy that time is relative and that users from any country should be able to display the times they like it. What is being ignored in my opinion, is that a lot of boards (including mine) have a pretty small userbase that consists of people from one nationality.
Now I get this problem. Let's say I'm posting in december at 13:37h and I say: "LOL, just in time with this posting to have a l33t posttime". That's funny right? (I'm sorry, it's stupid, but it's just an example.) Then we get to March, when nearly most of the European countries proceed to DST. I have only Dutch users, so I as an administrator set both the boardconfiguration and the userpreferences to "Use DST".

But hey! Look what has happened: the post which was created originally at 13:37 will now show up as 14:37h... So the joke doesn't make any sense now. It's not just this stupid example... it's also with messages where people say: "O.K. it's almost midnight, I'll go to bed now..." That message will appear during DST as if it has been posted on 0:45, while actually it was posted during winter on 23:45h.
I'm really curious why the developing of 2.2 still uses the same way of dealing with post times. I do not have Australian visitors on my Dutch board, so why would I bother how they see my post times? Moreover, I think that the majority of the phpBB-users does not run a board for an international community, but is just having a little community for a bunch of national friends, as I do. Would it be possible to add an option to the ACP, with which you can choose to store *all* post times in local time instead of GMT? My server (linux) automatically switches to DST, so that would solve my problem. :)

Thanks in advance for taking this problem serious. ;)
geocator
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Re: Daylight Saving Time (DST) within one country

Post by geocator »

I think what youare overlooking is that phpB is designed to be used by the masses. Not just some individual tastes. I would say that in you case a MOD would be the perfect solution.
Superdeboer
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Re: Daylight Saving Time (DST) within one country

Post by Superdeboer »

Well, I'm happy that at least someone does understand the problem. :mrgreen:

My point is, that I expect the masses to encounter the same problem as I do. As I said, I can not believe that the majority of the users is running an international site with a phpBB on it. I've got lot's of friends who set up a phpBB forum to keep in touch with old classmates or to be able to communicate in an easy way with a group of people for study purposes or something like that. Those individual forums do not have a lot of users, but I presume that when you just look at the amount of boards itself, it will be a vast amount of the worldwide phpBB userbase.

Ofcourse I do not have statistics to prove this. The only thing I'm saying is that boards like Gaia Online (http://ian.gaiaonline.com/forum/index.php) must be mere exceptions... Ofcourse, they need a flexible way to display post times. Ofcourse, in *that case* I don't want to get my post time displayed in local American time when I'm a Dutch user. But I think that's a problem that doesn't apply to lots of other boards. I mean, I'm not a freak because I just have users from my own country, am I?

In my opinion a MOD or hack is just a way to deal with small imperfections or to customize your board to get most out of it. The problem I'm talking about here will be the problem of so many users like me, that it should be provided with a standerd option in ACP, in my opinion. I think phpBB is just not complete for a very huge amount of users without a standard solution for this issue. :)
SamG
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Re: Daylight Saving Time (DST) within one country

Post by SamG »

The problem (according to those who have researched it) is that it is difficult to supply an accurate, reliable, automated DST adjustment based on a locale. Despite the fact that phpBB might be used in a small geographic setting, it's designed to be useful globally.

Obviously automated DST can be done, but it's complex (they say). Even my Palm needs to be told exactly how to handle DST :) .
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{o}
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Re: Daylight Saving Time (DST) within one country

Post by {o} »

I have on my board Polish, Dutch, American and Canadian users...

And what? Who should use a mod? Me or You?

I think, phpBB is used usually by small groups, just because it's free. But this doesn't change the fact, that this board is powerfull and can satisfy needs of big, international groups. Should satisfy. I think - "development" means "going in the direction to satisfy greater and greater needs". Not "making things simpler and simpler, reducing the power".

If you think that some bb is too complicated, have unnecessary options - find another...
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dhn
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Re: Daylight Saving Time (DST) within one country

Post by dhn »

As an admin you can easily execute a sql statement that sets the DST value for all users to active. Ask in the support forums how to do this or request a simple MOD when the time of release comes. :)
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Superdeboer
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Re: Daylight Saving Time (DST) within one country

Post by Superdeboer »

{o} wrote:I have on my board Polish, Dutch, American and Canadian users...

And what? Who should use a mod? Me or You?
As I already said, I think that both of the options should be in phpBB, so in my opinion none of us should use a mod. I'm saying that one should be able to choose, for I'm sure I'm not the only one with this issue.
I think, phpBB is used usually by small groups, just because it's free. But this doesn't change the fact, that this board is powerfull and can satisfy needs of big, international groups. Should satisfy. I think - "development" means "going in the direction to satisfy greater and greater needs". Not "making things simpler and simpler, reducing the power".

If you think that some bb is too complicated, have unnecessary options - find another...
You're not only contradicting yourself, but besides that apparently you did not read both of my earlier posts very well. You're contradicting yourself, because "satisfying greater and greater needs" would necessarily lead to the conclusion that the vast amount of small groups should be provided with the features that are usefull to them... wouldn't it? If the group of people who likes a feature is big enough, then fullfilling that request is the only way to satisfy that need IMO. :)

I conclude you didn't really read the suggestions that I posted, because I'm not at all complaining that phpBB is too complicated. Where you've read that part is a secret to me, because it surely wasn't in this topic. So... I'm not complaining about unnecessary options; on the contrary: I'm pleading for the developers team to add another option. In my topicstart I said: "Would it be possible to add an option to the ACP, with which you can choose to store *all* post times in local time instead of GMT?" and in my second post "The problem I'm talking about here will be the problem of so many users like me, that it should be provided with a standard option in ACP, in my opinion."

I cannot be more clearly in my question: would it be possible to add an *option* for the ACP to store post times in the local timeformat, instead of the GMT unix timestamp? When you go and look at the phpBB support forum, you'll find enough justification to add a preference-option like that, because lots of people are dying to have such a feature. For people who'd like to use the original GMT timestamps: don't check the checkbox to use the local time of the server... Easy as that. :P
SamG wrote:The problem (according to those who have researched it) is that it is difficult to supply an accurate, reliable, automated DST adjustment based on a locale. Despite the fact that phpBB might be used in a small geographic setting, it's designed to be useful globally.
But... when my server gets the timezone and DST automatically... this should'n be a great problem right? If it doesn't, than I should just use the normal GMT-format for my post-times... I have written a lot of PHP-scripts that run on the same server as my phpBB-forums. In those scripts I use date() to create a local time. They *always* return the correct time, where phpBB won't.

To get it to an end: ofcourse I could write a mod or something to deal with this problem. But that's not what I'm asking. I'm also not asking for all international users to turn to the system that I'm proposing. All I'm asking is, if it's possible to create this as an extra setting, so administrators can choose between an international compatible, *or* DST compatible board. I don't know how far development of version 2.2 has progressed yet, that's why I'm suggesting all this now, because I think an awful lot of users will welcome a feature like this. That's all... :)

[edit]
dhn wrote:As an admin you can easily execute a sql statement that sets the DST value for all users to active. Ask in the support forums how to do this or request a simple MOD when the time of release comes. :)
That will not solve the problem of messages inserted on 13:37h in December, showing up like 14:47h when having DST in the summer. No worse: it's just causing it... ;)
SamG
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Re: Daylight Saving Time (DST) within one country

Post by SamG »

This is more complicated than it sounds, I'm thinking, or maybe I'm just missing the point. phpBB would need to optionally ignore user preferences and always use localized board time (rather than GMT/UTC). Then, in the case of phpBB installs where the server does not adjust for DST, the time would still be off, since phpBB would still be enforcing localized board time and it doesn't know how to optionally do DST. So the time stamp wouldn't be GMT but the wrong local time during the DST period.

Likely, I'm confused ... :?
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Superdeboer
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Re: Daylight Saving Time (DST) within one country

Post by Superdeboer »

SamG wrote:This is more complicated than it sounds, I'm thinking, or maybe I'm just missing the point. phpBB would need to optionally ignore user preferences and always use localized board time (rather than GMT/UTC). Then, in the case of phpBB installs where the server does not adjust for DST, the time would still be off, since phpBB would still be enforcing localized board time and it doesn't know how to optionally do DST. So the time stamp wouldn't be GMT but the wrong local time during the DST period.

Likely, I'm confused ... :?
No, you're not confused! You did exactly understand what I meant! :D

The good thing of heaving it as an option in the Admin Control Panel, is that you can turn it on if you need it *and* you know that your server will be able to deal with it. I think that almost all Windows operated servers will automatically adjust to DST. In my case, Linux also does (Debian). If you don't see the advantages of the option or if you know (and if you don't know it two weeks before DST changes, you'll notice it soon enough after it did :mrgreen:) that your server doesn't adjust to DST automatically, you leave all like it was in the early days of 2.0.x... So in that case you'll use GMT timestamps like no other format did ever cross your mind.
Wow... that's a kind of userfriendly choice freedom that is truly "satisfying needs," don't you think? :) :P
SamG
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Re: Daylight Saving Time (DST) within one country

Post by SamG »

Well, I dunno if that's user friendly or not ... I'm still feeling a little confused. :)
"I hate trolls!" - Willow Ufgood
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