Movable Type time zones

I finally got round to playing with TypePad yesterday, which was fun; almost every page had me muttering, “ooh, that’s nice!” But it did remind me of a problem I noticed with Movable Type some months ago.

Back in March Yoz wrote clever stuff about the problems MT has with its handling of a weblog’s time zone. The following month, when I was eight time zones west, it occurred to me there was another problem. Individual weblog entries should have their own time zone.

As a comment on Yoz’s post now suggests, each entry should record the time zone set for the weblog when the entry was written. Currently, if you change the weblog time zone and rebuild, all the times on old posts are changed to correlate with the new time zone. Which makes nonsense of any time-related text in the entry (“earlier today I…”, “yesterday I…”, etc.). So you’ve got a problem if you move home to another time zone after starting a weblog. Or, if you merely visit another time zone your posts will still be timed as if you were back home. While visiting California I might write, “it’s been a long day,” while the post’s time claims it’s only 8am (the time back in London, my set-in-stone weblog’s time zone).

There are more important problems in life, but if one never mentions these things, they’ll never get fixed…

Comments

  • Ah, Phil, you always want to “geo” everything up eh? Good work. If it’s not going too stupidly far, there could be a similar contextual problem where reader’s timezone is suffiently different to the writer’s. (But we believe that the standard way to deal with this is to ignore it as a non-issue.)

  • Ooh, a good point made at MovableBlog: http://movableblog.richarderiksson.com/asides/2003_08.php#asides000792

    The default time zone (that is then picked up by each entry) setting shouldn’t be a blog-specific one, but an author-specific one.