[rb-general] TZ=UTC wrong?

Holger Levsen holger at layer-acht.org
Wed Oct 30 12:42:54 UTC 2019


(changed to: to debian-devel, added the r-b general list as cc: and bcc:ed
Niko and Guillem.)

the following came up in "#791362: perl: build timezone affects

On Tue, Oct 29, 2019 at 09:00:15PM +0200, Niko Tyni wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 28, 2019 at 12:28:32PM +0100, Guillem Jover wrote:
> > Just noticed this change from the changelog. :) UTC is not really a
> > proper timezone specification, the format requires an offset, so here
> > it would be UTC0 (see «man timezone»).
> Oh! Thanks for the note. This is probably a very common misconception.
> I think the reproducible builds docs have advised setting TZ=UTC in
> the past, and I see https://reproducible-builds.org/docs/timezones/
> mentions it currently.
> Also, codesearch.debian.net reports 95 packages matching TZ=UTC
> but only two match TZ=UTC[0-9]. Time for a mass bug filing? :)

I'd like to defer this question to debian-devel at . OTOH UTC0 indeed seems
to be technically correct (eg indicated by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UTC
's disambiguation notice stating 'This article is about the time standard
abbreviated as "UTC". For the time offset between UTC−1 and UTC+1, see
UTC±00:00.' though of course this is not the proper definition which is
$somewhere_else_), on the other hand TZ=UTC is something not surely me
has learned, used and taught many many times but many many many other people
as well.

So I'm torn between wanting to do the right thing and letting good
enough be just that.

What's the opinion of debian-devel@ and others?


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