Topic Path: Symbol Reference > Constants > TZ_IDLW Constant

The public-domain time zone database.

TZ_IDLW = -12;

Olson Timezone Abbreviations is a public-domain time zone database that contains code and data that represent the history of local time for many representative locations around the globe. It is updated periodically to reflect changes made by political bodies to time zone boundaries, UTC offsets, and daylight-saving rules. This database (often called tz, tzinfo, or zoneinfo) is used by several implementations, including the GNU C Library used in GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Cygwin, DJGPP, HP-UX, IRIX, Mac OS X, OpenVMS, Solaris, Tru64, and UnixWare. 

Each location in the database represents a national region where all clocks keeping local time have agreed since 1970. Locations are identified by continent or ocean and then by the name of the location, which is typically the largest city within the region. For example, America/New_York represents most of the US eastern time zone; America/Phoenix represents most of Arizona, which uses mountain time without daylight saving time (DST); America/Detroit represents most of Michigan, which uses eastern time but with different DST rules in 1975; and other entries represent smaller regions like Starke County, Indiana, which switched from central to eastern time in 1991. To use the database on an extended POSIX implementation set the TZ environment variable to the location's full name, e.g., TZ="America/New_York". 

In the tz database's FTP distribution the code is in the file tzcodeC.tar.gz, where C is the code's version; similarly, the data are in tzdataD.tar.gz, where D is the data's version. The following shell commands download these files to a GNU/Linux or similar host; see the downloaded README file for what to do next. 


  wget '*.tar.gz'
  gzip -dc tzcode*.tar.gz | tar -xf -
  gzip -dc tzdata*.tar.gz | tar -xf -


The code lets you compile the tz source files into machine-readable binary files, one for each location. It also lets you read a tz binary file and interpret time stamps for that location. 

The data are by no means authoritative. If you find errors, please send changes to the time zone mailing list. You can also subscribe to the mailing list, retrieve the archive of old messages (in gzip compressed format), or retrieve archived older versions of code and data; there is also a smaller HTTP mirror. 

The Web has several other sources for time zone and daylight saving time data.


Copyright 1993-2006, Chad Z. Hower (aka Kudzu) and the Indy Pit Crew. All rights reserved.
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