Commonwealth Games and Daylight Saving

Daylight saving changes usually occur on the last Sunday of March and the last Sunday of October for the eastern states of Australia (Queensland excepted). This year is an exception.

Got an email at work yesterday asking us to reboot our Windows boxes to have this patch applied. Apparently because of the upcoming Commonwealth Games at Melbourne, daylight saving change (from DST to standard time) has been postponed from the 26 of March to 2 -- and this is across the whole of Australia wherever daylight saving is implemented.

One you have the patch installed, you should be able to choose the "Commonwealth Games" variant of your existing timezone. For example:

Common Wealth Games DST

For Mac OS X, here is a method to manually patching it by compiling your own timezone files. Not pretty and there seems to be some compatibility issues with other Apple applications. My Linux boxes are also unpatched, even though I am running the up-to-dated Gentoo. As it is using the same system as Mac OS X, I guess the same method applies.

(Note that timezone is part of glibc on Gentoo, and looks like you need at least 2.3.6 for the change, which is still keyword-masked at the moment).

And exception is always troublesome. It is more than having operating system vendors updating the zone files. You also need to have date-sensitive applications verified as well, as they might not be using the facility provided by the operating system. One application we had relies on pytz, and its latest release has DST change-over on the right date. However I can imagine that there are many that have not been updated with latest changes.

I am actually fine with having daylight saving. However if government wants to have an exception because of sporting events (maybe only Australia would do that), they need to make updates available early. Not 4 months prior to the change, but at least one or two years, so that those on slightly older version of software can still work, without being forced with a patch or upgrade.