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1410Dates with timezone information

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  • mattias_flodin
    Jan 5, 2006

      I am trying to follow the ISO 8601 requirements for date and time
      formatting in an application where I need to store a date, and am
      completely dumbfounded by the lack of information on representing the
      time zone together with the date.

      As far as I can tell, there are two possible ways of extrapolating the
      rules for representation of time zone bias:
      A. Put the time zone directly after the date: 2000-01-02+03:04.
      B. Use a 'T' separator before the time zone: 2000-01-02T+03:04.

      Alternative A has a problem with ambiguity. Take for example the
      string "2000-01-02:03". This could be interpreted as either "Year
      2000, January 2nd, 3 am" or "Year 2000, January, time zone bias
      negative 2 hours 3 minutes".

      Alternative B essentially becomes a combined date and time, so it
      would have to adhere to the rules for such combinations. Because of
      that, it becomes impossible to use reduced precision in dates that
      have time zone information. For example, "2000T+01:02" is illegal
      according to the rules in the standard.

      Is it possible that the need to represent dates with time zone
      information has been overlooked by the standardization group? If not
      how should this situation be handled?

      Thanks in advance,
      Mattias Flodin
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