GNU bug report logs - #9614
date: warn on invalid TZ string (was: date ignoring wrong

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Package: coreutils; Severity: wishlist; Reported by: Sandro Santilli <strk@HIDDEN>; merged with #11748, #14229; dated Tue, 27 Sep 2011 16:14:02 UTC; Maintainer for coreutils is bug-coreutils@HIDDEN.
Merged 9614 11748 14229. Request was from Paul Eggert <eggert@HIDDEN> to control <at> debbugs.gnu.org. Full text available.
Removed tag(s) wontfix. Request was from Paul Eggert <eggert@HIDDEN> to control <at> debbugs.gnu.org. Full text available.
Changed bug title to 'date: warn on invalid TZ string (was: date ignoring wrong' from 'date ignoring wrong TZ values' Request was from Assaf Gordon <assafgordon@HIDDEN> to control <at> debbugs.gnu.org. Full text available.
Severity set to 'wishlist' from 'normal' Request was from Assaf Gordon <assafgordon@HIDDEN> to control <at> debbugs.gnu.org. Full text available.
Added tag(s) wontfix. Request was from Assaf Gordon <assafgordon@HIDDEN> to control <at> debbugs.gnu.org. Full text available.

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Subject: Re: bug#9614: date ignoring wrong TZ values
To: Paul Eggert <eggert@HIDDEN>, Sandro Santilli <strk@HIDDEN>
References: <20110927140913.GB17136@gnash> <4E8213A0.5010608@HIDDEN>
 <m2fwjhejqh.fsf@HIDDEN> <20110928054451.GB2083@xtp>
 <4E82B533.2040709@HIDDEN>
From: Assaf Gordon <assafgordon@HIDDEN>
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Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2018 08:11:44 -0600
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tags 9614 wontfix
severity 9614 wishlist
retitle 9614 date: warn on invalid TZ string (was: date ignoring wrong 
TZ values)
stop

(triaging old bugs)

Hello,

On 27/09/11 11:48 PM, Paul Eggert wrote:
> On 09/27/11 22:44, Sandro Santilli wrote:
>> A warning/error message with hint on how to correctly form
>> the string would be very friendly for users
> 
> Unfortunately, there's no portable way to determine
> which TZ values are supported on the current platform.
> One cannot even reliably determine whether the current TZ
> value is supported.  So it's not clear how that warning
> would be generated.
> 
> Also, lots of programs use TZ; it's not just "date".
> 

Based on the above, and no follow-ups in 7 years,
I'm closing this bug. Discussion can continue by replying to this thread.

-assaf







Information forwarded to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN:
bug#9614; Package coreutils. Full text available.

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Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2011 10:38:58 +0200
From: Sandro Santilli <strk@HIDDEN>
To: Andreas Schwab <schwab@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#9614: date ignoring wrong TZ values
Message-ID: <20110929083858.GC2071@gnash>
References: <20110927140913.GB17136@gnash> <4E8213A0.5010608@HIDDEN>
	<4E823ACC.2050304@HIDDEN> <m2k48tejy1.fsf@HIDDEN>
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On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 11:04:11PM +0200, Andreas Schwab wrote:
> Sandro Santilli <strk@HIDDEN> writes:
> 
> > On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 12:19:22AM +0200, Andreas Schwab wrote:
> >> Pádraig Brady <P@HIDDEN> writes:
> >> 
> >> > $ TZ=Japan+1 date
> >> 
> >> This is a well-formed POSIX timezone.
> >
> > Meaning UTC+1 ?
> 
> The timzone name has no meaning, only the offset matters.

Offset from which date ?

> >> > $ TZ=Japan date
> >> 
> >> This is a non-POSIX timezone that happens to match an Olson timezone.
> >
> > non-POSIX means illegal ?
> 
> It means unspecified (but not undefined), ie. the implementation may
> reject it or do something sensible.

So it can also print a warning ?

--strk; 

  ()   Free GIS & Flash consultant/developer
  /\   http://strk.keybit.net/services.html




Information forwarded to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN:
bug#9614; Package coreutils. Full text available.

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From: Andreas Schwab <schwab@HIDDEN>
To: Sandro Santilli <strk@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#9614: date ignoring wrong TZ values
References: <20110927140913.GB17136@gnash> <4E8213A0.5010608@HIDDEN>
	<4E823ACC.2050304@HIDDEN> <m2k48tejy1.fsf@HIDDEN>
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Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2011 23:04:11 +0200
In-Reply-To: <20110928054401.GA2083@xtp> (Sandro Santilli's message of "Wed,
	28 Sep 2011 07:44:01 +0200")
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Sandro Santilli <strk@HIDDEN> writes:

> On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 12:19:22AM +0200, Andreas Schwab wrote:
>> Pádraig Brady <P@HIDDEN> writes:
>> 
>> > $ TZ=Japan+1 date
>> 
>> This is a well-formed POSIX timezone.
>
> Meaning UTC+1 ?

The timzone name has no meaning, only the offset matters.

>> > $ TZ=Japan date
>> 
>> This is a non-POSIX timezone that happens to match an Olson timezone.
>
> non-POSIX means illegal ?

It means unspecified (but not undefined), ie. the implementation may
reject it or do something sensible.

Andreas.

-- 
Andreas Schwab, schwab@HIDDEN
GPG Key fingerprint = 58CA 54C7 6D53 942B 1756  01D3 44D5 214B 8276 4ED5
"And now for something completely different."




Information forwarded to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN:
bug#9614; Package coreutils. Full text available.

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Subject: Re: bug#9614: date ignoring wrong TZ values
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On 09/27/11 22:44, Sandro Santilli wrote:
> A warning/error message with hint on how to correctly form
> the string would be very friendly for users

Unfortunately, there's no portable way to determine
which TZ values are supported on the current platform.
One cannot even reliably determine whether the current TZ
value is supported.  So it's not clear how that warning
would be generated.

Also, lots of programs use TZ; it's not just "date".




Information forwarded to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN:
bug#9614; Package coreutils. Full text available.

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Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2011 07:44:51 +0200
From: Sandro Santilli <strk@HIDDEN>
To: Andreas Schwab <schwab@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#9614: date ignoring wrong TZ values
Message-ID: <20110928054451.GB2083@xtp>
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On Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 11:52:22PM +0200, Andreas Schwab wrote:
> Pádraig Brady <P@HIDDEN> writes:
> 
> > On 09/27/2011 03:09 PM, Sandro Santilli wrote:
> >> I've been puzzled by date(1) giving weird results
> >> when setting TZ to values unknown by zoneinfo.
> >> 
> >> As far as:
> >> 
> >>  $ TZ=Fake date
> >>  Tue Sep 27 14:06:32 Fake 2011
> >
> > Yes, that is per POSIX.
> 
> This is not a POSIX format, since it lacks the offset.

A warning/error message with hint on how to correctly form
the string would be very friendly for users.

--strk;

  ()   Free GIS & Flash consultant/developer
  /\   http://strk.keybit.net/services.html




Information forwarded to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN:
bug#9614; Package coreutils. Full text available.

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Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2011 07:44:01 +0200
From: Sandro Santilli <strk@HIDDEN>
To: Andreas Schwab <schwab@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#9614: date ignoring wrong TZ values
Message-ID: <20110928054401.GA2083@xtp>
References: <20110927140913.GB17136@gnash> <4E8213A0.5010608@HIDDEN>
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On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 12:19:22AM +0200, Andreas Schwab wrote:
> Pádraig Brady <P@HIDDEN> writes:
> 
> > $ TZ=GB-Eire+1 date
> 
> A POSIX timezone name cannot have dashes.

Doesn't all these "can't have" and "undefined" specs mean
we do can warn or error out w/out breakin POSIX compatibility ?

> > $ TZ=Japan+1 date
> 
> This is a well-formed POSIX timezone.

Meaning UTC+1 ?

> > $ TZ=Japan date
> 
> This is a non-POSIX timezone that happens to match an Olson timezone.

non-POSIX means illegal ?

--strk; 

  ()   Free GIS & Flash consultant/developer
  /\   http://strk.keybit.net/services.html




Information forwarded to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN:
bug#9614; Package coreutils. Full text available.

Message received at 9614 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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Subject: Re: bug#9614: date ignoring wrong TZ values
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P=C3=A1draig Brady <P@HIDDEN> writes:

> $ TZ=3DGB-Eire+1 date

A POSIX timezone name cannot have dashes.

> $ TZ=3DJapan+1 date

This is a well-formed POSIX timezone.

> $ TZ=3DJapan date

This is a non-POSIX timezone that happens to match an Olson timezone.

Andreas.

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Information forwarded to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN:
bug#9614; Package coreutils. Full text available.

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Subject: Re: bug#9614: date ignoring wrong TZ values
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On 09/27/2011 10:47 PM, Andreas Schwab wrote:
> Pádraig Brady <P@HIDDEN> writes:
> 
>>  $ TZ=NZ+1 date # No zone reported
> 
> This is undefined.  A zone name in a POSIX time zone must have at least
> three letters.

I considered that, but it seems inconsequential in this case.
I'd advise people to stay clear of these abbreviations and offsets completely.

$ TZ=GB-Eire+1 date
Tue Sep 27 22:02:49  2011
$ TZ=Japan+1 date
Tue Sep 27 21:02:54 Japan 2011
$ TZ=Japan date
Wed Sep 28 07:03:53 JST 2011




Information forwarded to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN:
bug#9614; Package coreutils. Full text available.

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Pádraig Brady <P@HIDDEN> writes:

>  $ TZ=NZ+1 date # No zone reported

This is undefined.  A zone name in a POSIX time zone must have at least
three letters.

Andreas.

-- 
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GPG Key fingerprint = 58CA 54C7 6D53 942B 1756  01D3 44D5 214B 8276 4ED5
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Information forwarded to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN:
bug#9614; Package coreutils. Full text available.

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From: Andreas Schwab <schwab@HIDDEN>
To: =?utf-8?Q?P=C3=A1draig?= Brady <P@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#9614: date ignoring wrong TZ values
References: <20110927140913.GB17136@gnash> <4E8213A0.5010608@HIDDEN>
X-Yow: Yow!  Am I JOGGING yet??
Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2011 23:52:22 +0200
In-Reply-To: <4E8213A0.5010608@HIDDEN> (=?utf-8?Q?=22P=C3=A1draig?=
	Brady"'s message of "Tue, 27 Sep 2011 19:19:12 +0100")
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Pádraig Brady <P@HIDDEN> writes:

> On 09/27/2011 03:09 PM, Sandro Santilli wrote:
>> I've been puzzled by date(1) giving weird results
>> when setting TZ to values unknown by zoneinfo.
>> 
>> As far as:
>> 
>>  $ TZ=Fake date
>>  Tue Sep 27 14:06:32 Fake 2011
>
> Yes, that is per POSIX.

This is not a POSIX format, since it lacks the offset.

Andreas.

-- 
Andreas Schwab, schwab@HIDDEN
GPG Key fingerprint = 58CA 54C7 6D53 942B 1756  01D3 44D5 214B 8276 4ED5
"And now for something completely different."




Information forwarded to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN:
bug#9614; Package coreutils. Full text available.

Message received at 9614 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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To: Sandro Santilli <strk@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#9614: date ignoring wrong TZ values
References: <20110927140913.GB17136@gnash> <4E8213A0.5010608@HIDDEN>
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On 09/27/2011 07:19 PM, Pádraig Brady wrote:
> On 09/27/2011 03:09 PM, Sandro Santilli wrote:
>> I've been puzzled by date(1) giving weird results
>> when setting TZ to values unknown by zoneinfo.
>>
>> As far as:
>>
>>  $ TZ=Fake date
>>  Tue Sep 27 14:06:32 Fake 2011
> 
> Yes, that is per POSIX.
> One can specify info about the timezone in TZ
> like TZ="Fake+6", so one couldn't start warning about that.
> 
>> It would be more helpful if the command raised an error 
>> or warning about "unknown" timezones rather than giving
>> random dates.
>>
>> It's particularly anonying when the same TZ _reported_
>> by the command isn't recognized in input:
>>
>>   $ date
>>   Tue Sep 27 16:08:13 CEST 2011
>>
>>   $ TZ=CEST date
>>   Tue Sep 27 14:08:13 CEST 2011
>>
>> Thanks for making a clock available for everyone, btw :)
> 
> Wow you learn something everyday.
> I thought the TZ=XYZ was just treated as UTC+0
> to allow one to specify TZ=XYZ+4 etc. as
> an offset from UTC.
> 
> But in fact some TZ values are matched,
> as can be seen for CET here on my system:
> 
> $ TZ=CEST date
> Tue Sep 27 18:03:05 CEST 2011
> $ TZ=CET date
> Tue Sep 27 20:03:09 CEST 2011
> $ date
> Tue Sep 27 19:03:17 IST 2011
> 
> There are a few three letter codes on my
> system at /usr/share/zoneinfo/
> (maybe these are the only non ambiguous ones?)
> 
> Hmm, how about we warn if an unmatched code (without a /)
> is specified, without any other info like UTC offset etc.?

Actually we could warn about unmatched codes containing / too.

I just noticed more inconsistencies, for codes that are matched:

 $ TZ=NZ+1 date # No zone reported
 Tue Sep 27 21:03:06  2011
 $ TZ=CET+1 date # Zone reported
 Tue Sep 27 20:03:16 CET 2011

thanks,
Pádraig.




Information forwarded to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN:
bug#9614; Package coreutils. Full text available.

Message received at 9614 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2011 21:37:12 +0200
From: Sandro Santilli <strk@HIDDEN>
To: =?iso-8859-1?Q?P=E1draig?= Brady <P@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#9614: date ignoring wrong TZ values
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 <4E8213A0.5010608@HIDDEN>
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On Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 07:19:12PM +0100, Pádraig Brady wrote:
> On 09/27/2011 03:09 PM, Sandro Santilli wrote:
> > I've been puzzled by date(1) giving weird results
> > when setting TZ to values unknown by zoneinfo.
> > 
> > As far as:
> > 
> >  $ TZ=Fake date
> >  Tue Sep 27 14:06:32 Fake 2011
> 
> Yes, that is per POSIX.
> One can specify info about the timezone in TZ
> like TZ="Fake+6", so one couldn't start warning about that.
> 
> > It would be more helpful if the command raised an error 
> > or warning about "unknown" timezones rather than giving
> > random dates.
> > 
> > It's particularly anonying when the same TZ _reported_
> > by the command isn't recognized in input:
> > 
> >   $ date
> >   Tue Sep 27 16:08:13 CEST 2011
> > 
> >   $ TZ=CEST date
> >   Tue Sep 27 14:08:13 CEST 2011
> > 
> > Thanks for making a clock available for everyone, btw :)
> 
> Wow you learn something everyday.
> I thought the TZ=XYZ was just treated as UTC+0
> to allow one to specify TZ=XYZ+4 etc. as
> an offset from UTC.
> 
> But in fact some TZ values are matched,
> as can be seen for CET here on my system:
> 
> $ TZ=CEST date
> Tue Sep 27 18:03:05 CEST 2011
> $ TZ=CET date
> Tue Sep 27 20:03:09 CEST 2011
> $ date
> Tue Sep 27 19:03:17 IST 2011
> 
> There are a few three letter codes on my
> system at /usr/share/zoneinfo/
> (maybe these are the only non ambiguous ones?)
> 
> Hmm, how about we warn if an unmatched code (without a /)
> is specified, without any other info like UTC offset etc.?

Better than nothing, I guess.

--strk;

  ()   Free GIS & Flash consultant/developer
  /\   http://strk.keybit.net/services.html




Information forwarded to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN:
bug#9614; Package coreutils. Full text available.

Message received at 9614 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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On 09/27/2011 03:09 PM, Sandro Santilli wrote:
> I've been puzzled by date(1) giving weird results
> when setting TZ to values unknown by zoneinfo.
> 
> As far as:
> 
>  $ TZ=Fake date
>  Tue Sep 27 14:06:32 Fake 2011

Yes, that is per POSIX.
One can specify info about the timezone in TZ
like TZ="Fake+6", so one couldn't start warning about that.

> It would be more helpful if the command raised an error 
> or warning about "unknown" timezones rather than giving
> random dates.
> 
> It's particularly anonying when the same TZ _reported_
> by the command isn't recognized in input:
> 
>   $ date
>   Tue Sep 27 16:08:13 CEST 2011
> 
>   $ TZ=CEST date
>   Tue Sep 27 14:08:13 CEST 2011
> 
> Thanks for making a clock available for everyone, btw :)

Wow you learn something everyday.
I thought the TZ=XYZ was just treated as UTC+0
to allow one to specify TZ=XYZ+4 etc. as
an offset from UTC.

But in fact some TZ values are matched,
as can be seen for CET here on my system:

$ TZ=CEST date
Tue Sep 27 18:03:05 CEST 2011
$ TZ=CET date
Tue Sep 27 20:03:09 CEST 2011
$ date
Tue Sep 27 19:03:17 IST 2011

There are a few three letter codes on my
system at /usr/share/zoneinfo/
(maybe these are the only non ambiguous ones?)

Hmm, how about we warn if an unmatched code (without a /)
is specified, without any other info like UTC offset etc.?

cheers,
Pádraig.




Information forwarded to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN:
bug#9614; Package coreutils. Full text available.

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Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2011 16:09:13 +0200
From: Sandro Santilli <strk@HIDDEN>
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Subject: date ignoring wrong TZ values
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I've been puzzled by date(1) giving weird results
when setting TZ to values unknown by zoneinfo.

As far as:

 $ TZ=Fake date
 Tue Sep 27 14:06:32 Fake 2011

It would be more helpful if the command raised an error 
or warning about "unknown" timezones rather than giving
random dates.

It's particularly anonying when the same TZ _reported_
by the command isn't recognized in input:

  $ date
  Tue Sep 27 16:08:13 CEST 2011

  $ TZ=CEST date
  Tue Sep 27 14:08:13 CEST 2011

Thanks for making a clock available for everyone, btw :)

--strk;

  ()   Free GIS & Flash consultant/developer
  /\   http://strk.keybit.net/services.html




Acknowledgement sent to Sandro Santilli <strk@HIDDEN>:
New bug report received and forwarded. Copy sent to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN. Full text available.
Report forwarded to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN:
bug#9614; Package coreutils. Full text available.
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