Nitpicking on timezones

I’m Polish. I’ve spent all of my life in GMT+1 (aka CET) and daylight-saving GMT+2 (aka CEST).

My beeminder settings look like that: Saying that my Timezone is GMT+1 (Warsaw) is only half-true. Warsaw time sometimes is GMT+1, sometimes is GMT+2, because of the daylight saving. The tab on the right correctly say that I’m in CEST (aka. GMT+2) at the moment. I’m starting to feel confused about the inconsistency in this picture. A better wording for the drop-down menu would be Europe/Warsaw, like in the Olson database.

Now, more confusing is the data that’s entered using the beedroid app. It’s always marked as “GMT+01:00” or as “CET” (changes every few months, depending on what libraries you push to production. Last change from “CET” to “GMT+1” occured on or around 2015-02-11. Those data points are always interpreted as local time in Europe/Warsaw, but their comments automatically added by the beedroid app always mark them as “GMT+01:00” or as “CET”, which is incorrect during the daylight saving period.

Recently I traveled to EEST (aka GMT+3) for vacations. While I was there the beemergency deadlines that I faced were still in terms of Europe/Warsaw time, and the datapoints I entered from my smartphone had beedroid comments with timestamps from Europe/Warsaw time incorrectly marked as GMT+01:00, even though my smartphone operated in GMT+3.

My best understanding is that the Beeminder internally does the right thing (and likely stores beemergency deadlines and such as UNIX epoch timestamps or what have you), but the UI presentation looks confusing and inconsistent — most of all in the timestamp comments added by the beedroid app.

Sorry about this nitpicking. You know I really like your service.


+1 on fixing timezone related issues.

Thanks so much, @tkadlubo! Bug reports are a very genuine expression of love indeed. (:

Reminder to everyone who’s noticed this to hit like (heart) on @tkadlubo’s post and chime in if this gets too buried before we get to it.

Related thought in the meantime: In the US it seems to be common to use “EST/CST/MST/PST” to just mean “eastern/central/mountain/pacific time, summer or winter as appropriate”. It should be, for example, “EST” in winter and “EDT” in summer, but people seem to not do that. Anyway, maybe this sort of thing could be avoided by just using city names for timezones instead of the abbreviations.