The inconsistency that these changes imply could be a real headache, not just for computer programmers.
Note: this is a pretty long post. If you’re not interested in the details, the conclusion at the bottom is intended to be read in a standalone fashion. There’s also a related blog post by Lau Taarnskov – if you find this one difficult to read for whatever reason, maybe give that a try.
When I read Stack Overflow questions involving time zones, there’s almost always someone giving the advice to only ever store UTC. Convert to UTC as soon as you can, and convert back to a target time zone as late as you can, for display purposes, and you’ll never have a time zone issue again, they say.
This blog post is intended to provide a counterpoint to that advice. I’m certainly not saying storing UTC is always the wrong thing to do, but it’s not always the right thing to do either.
Note on simplifications: this blog…
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