The trouble with timezones

Timezones are a headache. I built the 1Radio system with limited knowledge of how to handle times around the world.

Being a global community, I tried to make booking as easy as possible by showing programme slots in your local time.

Once you’d set your timezone in your personal preferences, show times and slots were listed with your local date and time. The only issue was how to handle Daylight Savings since I’d cut corners and built the system based the presenter's offset from GMT. This difference is a generally a constant over the course of the year but for the US and Europe, where most 1Radio presenters were located, DST starts and ends on different dates.

So for part of the year, the US and Europe were out of synch on DST and the difference in hours between us varied by an additional hour. This meant the US presenters needed to manually switch their preferences to keep the same time difference with Europe.

This always caused a bit of hassle and on reflection, I really should have handled this correctly from the very start and taken the time (no pun intended) to get it right. As usual, I had more ideas and features I wanted to implement than time (or indeed knowledge) available to do it as well as it deserved.

Or perhaps I should have just made everyone adopt Greenwich Mean Time and work on London hours. I  could have made the British Empire great again.

Posted by Tim on Sat 09 Jul 2022 at 08:50 and viewed 1,241 times.

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