Timezone bug in Ask? October 5, 2009 4:41 PM   Subscribe

Timezone bug in Ask?

There appears to be a problem with the user time offset setting & AskMefi. Currently, my local & system time is 9.38am, and my user timezone is set to +17hrs (Aust east coast, no DST) from server time. Mefi, Meta, Music & Jobs posts & comments all show correct local times (e.g the most recent post in Mefi shows for me as October 6 @ 6:33am), but Ask doesn't seem to reflect my timezone properly - the time in the header bar is OK, but posts and comments (e.g. this one I made a few minutes ago) show without the offset i.e. "posted by Pinback at 4:17 PM on October 5", instead of "posted by Pinback at 9:17 AM on October 6".

Anyone else seeing this?
posted by Pinback to Bugs at 4:41 PM (19 comments total)

Is it on preview (that is, without the favorite buttons beside each comment and everything)? When you preview it shows everything on metafilter standard time,
posted by qvantamon at 4:49 PM on October 5, 2009

I think I found the problem, try logging out and back in and see if the times are correct.

(We had an issue with the Kindle sending non-numeric timezone values, and needed to change things a bit to handle that.)
posted by pb (staff) at 4:49 PM on October 5, 2009

I logged out and logged back in. I still see this recent AskMe question as being posted at 5:11 pm when it should be 7:11 in my timezone. I only see this when I click on the question; the time is correct on the AskMe main page.

Windows XP, IE7.
posted by desjardins at 5:16 PM on October 5, 2009

I was seeing this problem earlier, and it's fixed for me now. It went away after I hit 'edit profile' to check my timezone setting, and I did that slightly after you said you found the problem. So I think you did, and it's fixed.
posted by FishBike at 5:17 PM on October 5, 2009

Does the MeFi universe keep time in UTC yet? Just asking.
posted by flabdablet at 5:17 PM on October 5, 2009

I cleared my cache and reopened my browser just to make sure. The answer to this question is showing up in the wrong time, also (not previewing)
posted by desjardins at 5:18 PM on October 5, 2009

Weird... the problem re-appeared for me, and then got fixed again.
posted by FishBike at 5:24 PM on October 5, 2009

ok, found the same problem for Ask threads. Fixed now, hopefully.

flabdablet, no MeFi keeps time in Pacific Time.
posted by pb (staff) at 5:26 PM on October 5, 2009

Whereas I prefer Miller Time. When it's time to relax, one beer stands clear. Miller Beer.

...and by Toyota. I love what you do for me! Toyota!

Guests stay at the Omni Hotel...

posted by not_on_display at 5:52 PM on October 5, 2009 [2 favorites]

Daylight saving checklist:
1. Watch ✔
2. Alarm clock ✔
3. Phone ✔
4. Microwave ✔
5. Oven ✔
6. Weather centre ✔
7. DVD ✔
8. Heater ✔
9. Souvenir from Japan of two cats with embedded clock ✔
And now, after seeing this post;
10. MetaFilter preferences ✔
Thanks for the prompt, Pinback.
posted by tellurian at 5:59 PM on October 5, 2009

What kind of bizarro world has ended daylight saving so soon?! Are you barking mad?!
posted by deborah at 7:29 PM on October 5, 2009

MeFi keeps time in Pacific Time

Which means I have to jump my preference offset twice each Daylight Saving season change.

Daylight Saving has just kicked in here, moving me from GMT+10 to GMT+11. Pacific Time is currently GMT-7, so I went and changed my preferences offset from 17 hours to 18. On November 1, when Daylight Saving ends for you, you'll go to GMT-8 and I'll need to go change my offset again, this time from 18 to 19.

It's a small thing, I know, but it really is irritating. Why is my time zone preference kept as an explicit offset from Pacific Random Time instead of having the server work it out from the name of a nominated city?
posted by flabdablet at 7:37 PM on October 5, 2009

Sorry about the hassle. We're just not in the timezone-watching business. The server doesn't automatically know when a particular city is having daylight time vs. not, and those rules change from year to year. A human needs to code those rules into the site, and we haven't wanted to devote the resources to keeping up with those changes. Our solution is that we offload that work to you. I agree it's not pretty.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:45 PM on October 5, 2009

Doesn't Windows keep timezone rule information current via automatic updates? Is there really truly no way for ColdFusion to use that stuff?
posted by flabdablet at 9:28 PM on October 5, 2009

Even if you left the preference as a simple numeric offser, you could make it an offset from UTC. Then your end could deal with the vagaries of Pacific Time, and all I'd need to worry about was my own daylight saving start and stop dates.
posted by flabdablet at 9:34 PM on October 5, 2009

Are this and this any use?
posted by flabdablet at 9:39 PM on October 5, 2009

No, there's no way that I'm aware of to access Windows timezone info via ColdFusion. Maybe Java has some tools we could tap into. Moving everything to GMT (or even implementing a Java solution) would be a big change requiring us to touch most of the code to make happen. It's possible but it would be a lot of work to solve a minor annoyance.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:46 PM on October 5, 2009

What kind of bizarro world has ended daylight saving so soon?! Are you barking mad?!
Just started, not just stopped. Unless you live in Queensland and you get none at all. Guess how much I love that it's broad daylight at 4 am and dark when I get home from work?
posted by dg at 3:43 AM on October 6, 2009

Guess how much I love that it's broad daylight at 4 am and dark when I get home from work?

You love it with the fiery heat of a single sun?
posted by Rumple at 8:20 AM on October 6, 2009

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