TimeZone intrinsic class. A TimeZone object represents a location entry in the IANA zoneinfo database. It contains information on the location's wall clock time settings relative to universal time (UTC), allowing translations between local wall clock time and UTC. The object stores the current clock settings in the location, the current ongoing rules for future switches between standard and daylight time (if applicable in the zone), and a full history of the past changes to the location's time settings, including standard/daylight time changes, redefinitions of the time zone, and changes in the location from one time zone to another. (For example, some US cities that lie near zone borders have switched their time zones at various points in their history.) The historical information for most zones goes back to the original establishment of standard time zones, typically in the late 19th century, and for dates before that, the history usually includes the Local Mean Time settings for the location. The history information allows the accurate reconstruction of the local time representation for virtually any date and time in the past, present, or future.


new TimeZone() - creates a TimeZone object representing the local
system time zone. Note that a TimeZone object created this way
will always represent the local zone. If the game is saved on
one machine and restored on another that uses a different local
time zone, the restored object will represent the new machine's
local time zone after the restore.

new TimeZone(integer) - creates a TimeZone object representing the
given offset from UTC, in seconds. Positive values are east of
UTC, negative values are west; for example, Pacific Standard
Time is 8 hours west of UTC, so you'd use -8*60*60 as the offset.
This type of TimeZone represents a fixed offset

new TimeZone('name') - creates a TimeZone object for the given zone
name. This can use a number of formats: *.
'America/New_York' - a name from the IANA zoneinfo database.
This is the best way to specify a zone because it's
unambiguous. *.
'Z', 'UTC' - UTC (Universal Time Coordinated, also sometimes
called GMT/Greenwich Mean Time, or Z/Zulu time)

'EST' - a colloquial English abbreviation for a local time
zone. Many of these are ambiguous, since some zone names
are used in several different regions. For example,
'CST' is used in the US, Brazil, Australia, and China,
for time zones at different offsets from UTC. When the
name is ambiguous, we use a fixed mapping that tends to
favor zones in the US and Europe. This format is mapped
to a zoneinfo entry, so the actual underlying zone will
be one of the location-based entries. For example, 'EST'
is mapped to 'America/New_York'. This is important
because it means that the TimeZone object uses the full
rule set and history for the mapped zone, which might
differ from the history of the same nominal zone in other
locations; e.g., 'America/New_York' and 'Canada/Montreal'
are both on Eastern Time, but they have some differences
in their historical daylight savings rules.

'PST8PDT' - a POSIX TZ-style string, with the standard time
abbreviation, the standard time offset in hours (and
optionally minutes and seconds, with colons), the daylight
time abbreviation, and optionally the daylight time
offset (which defaults to one hour ahead of standard
time when not specified). This is somewhat less ambiguous
than using just the zone abbreviation, but is still

'+0430' or 'UTC+0430' - four hours thirty minutes east of UTC;
this can also be written as '+4:30' or '+4:30:00'. For a
whole number of hours, you can write it as simply '+4', for
example. A negative number is west of UTC; e.g., Pacific
Standard Time is '-8'. When using this format, the zone
represents a fixed time offset from UTC; it's not tied to
any location or named time zone, and doesn't use daylight
savings time.

Note that the commonly used time zone names (e.g., PST, or Pacific Standard Time) aren't allowed. The standard time zone names are ambiguous; for example, CST refers to at least four different time zones (USA Central Standard Time, Australia Central Standard Time, China Standard Time, and Cuba Summer Time).

intrinsic class TimeZone :   Object

Superclass Tree   (in declaration order)


Subclass Tree  


Global Objects  


Summary of Properties  


Summary of Methods  

getHistory  getLocation  getNames  getRules 

Inherited from Object :
getPropList  getPropParams  getSuperclassList  isClass  isTransient  ofKind  propDefined  propInherited  propType  valToSymbol 




getHistory (date?)date.h[566]

Get the history item that applies to a given date, or the entire enumerated history of clock changes in this timezone.

If 'date' is supplied, it must be a Date object. This returns a list describing the single period in the timezone history that applies to the given date. The list contains [date, offset, save, abbr], where 'date' is a Date object giving the starting date when the history item took effect; 'offset' is the offset from UTC in milliseconds of standard time in the zone during this period, using the zoneinfo convention that positive values are east of GMT; 'save' is the additional time added if daylight savings is in effect during this period, in milliseconds, or zero if standard time is in effect; and 'abbr' is a string giving the abbreviation for the zone during this period ('PST', 'EDT', etc). Each period in the history is entirely in daylight or standard time; if 'save' is zero, standard time is in effect, otherwise daylight time.

If 'date' is omitted or nil, this returns a list of all of the pre-computed changes in the timezone's history, including definition changes and daylight time changes. Each list entry is a sublist of the form described above.

In a full history, the first and last items are special. The first item represents the settings in the location prior to the establishment of standard time zones; this is usually a "local mean time" setting (with abbreviation LMT) for the mean solar time at the location. The last item represents the last pre-computed history entry, which is sometimes in the future; further transitions after this item might occur if the zone has ongoing rules.

In many cases, the history list contains a number of periods that could have been inferred from the ongoing rules, so strictly speaking they don't need to be enumerated in the history. When they're included, it's for faster run-time lookup. TADS pre-computes rule-based transitions up to the present and a few years into the future, since history-based lookups are much faster than applying the rules. We expect that the typical program will mostly work with dates close to the present time, so we pre-compute transitions for a few years into the future to speed things up for the typical case. For changes after the last enumerated entry, TADS applies the rules, so transitions in the far future will be correctly figured when needed.

getLocation ( )date.h[628]
Get the zone's location. This returns a list: [country, lat, lon, comment], where 'country' is a string with the country code (a two-letter ISO 3166 code) for the country that contains the zone's main city, 'lat' is a string giving the latitude in the format +ddmm (degrees and minutes) or +ddmmss (and seconds), 'lon' is the longitude as a string in the format +dddmm or +dddmmss, and 'comment' is a string with any comment text from the zoneinfo database.

getNames ( )date.h[520]
Get the name or names for this timezone. This returns a list of strings with the timezone's names, as defined in the IANA zoneinfo database. The zoneinfo database names zones by location, usually using a combination of a continent major city, as in 'America/New_York'. Some zones have multiple aliases as a matter of convenience, such as when there are several major cities in a region that share the same timezone rules. When a zone has aliases, the primary name is listed first, followed by the aliases.

getRules ( )date.h[616]
Get the ongoing rules that are in effect after the last enumerated history item. This returns a list of the rules for future changes to the zone; each rule fires once annually, and encodes the day of year when the rule fires, and the new clock settings in effect after the rule fires. Virtually all zones that use ongoing rules have exactly two: one for the annual change to daylight savings time in the spring, and one for the return to standard time in the fall. Each rule's firing date is specified in an abstract format designed to handle the variety of regional daylight savings schemes: "last Sunday in March", "second Sunday in November", "January 15", etc.

Each rule in the list is described by a sublist: [abbr, offset, save, when, mm, typ, dd, wkday, time, zone]. 'abbr' is a string with the time zone abbreviation while the rule is in effect; most zones use one abbreviation for standard time and another for daylight time, so each rule tells us the abbreviation to use while the rule is in effect. 'offset' is the standard time GMT offset, in milliseconds, while the rule is in effect, and 'save' is the additional offset for daylight savings time - so the full offset while the rule is in effect is offset+save. 'when' is a string with a human-readable description of the firing date: this will be of the form 'Mar last Sun' (for the last Sunday in March), 'Mar Sun>=1' for the first Sunday in March on or after March 1, 'Mar Sun<=28' for the last Sunday in March on or before March 28, 'Mar 7' for March 7, or 'DOY 72' for the 72nd day of the year. Next we have the same firing date information in a more computer-friendly format: 'mm' is the month number, 1-12 for Jan-Dec; 'typ' is an integer giving the type of date specification (0 for a fixed day of the month 'mm/dd', 1 for the last <weekday> of month <mm>, 2 for the first <weekday> of month <mm> on or after day <dd>, and 3 for the last <weekday> of month <mm> on or before day <dd>), 'dd' is the day of the month (which is ignored if 'typ' is 1), 'wkday' is the day of the week, 1-7 for Sunday-Saturday (which is ignored if 'typ' is 0). 'time' is the time of day the rule goes into effect, as milliseconds after midnight. 'zone' is a code for the timezone used to interpret the date and time; this is usually 'w' for local wall clock time (in other words, the local time zone that was in effect up until the moment this rule takes effect - so if this is a daylight savings rule, the rule is stated in terms of local standard time, and vice versa), but can also be 's' for local standard time (in other words, if the previous period was in daylight time, ignore that and read this rule's time in terms of local standard time instead), or 'u' for UTC. Note that the zone has to be applied to the full date-and-time value, since an 's' or 'u' could conceivably cause the local date and the date in the rule's zone to differ by a day at the time of day of the rule.

TADS 3 Library Manual
Generated on 5/16/2013 from TADS version 3.1.3