Hardscrabble 🍫

By Max Jacobson

time zones are still the worst

25 Apr 2015

After publishing my last post, a few minutes ago, I of course triggered refreshes until the reminder ticked down to “0 days and 0 hours”, but… it didn’t work.

Instead, I saw: “0 days and 4 hours”. What the hell?

My first instinct was to blame the script and feel a little embarrassed for sharing a faulty script.

After a little digging, I realized it was worse than that: it was actually my RSS feed that was faulty! This commit fixed the problem: 642cd54.

Because I wasn’t supplying a time zone in the metadata for the post, Jekyll (my blog generator) had to make an assumption, and it assumed UTC, which is currently 4 hours ahead of New York, from where this blog emanates, and from where I anxiously remind myself to update it.

By stating that I was publishing a post at 15:53 UTC as opposed to 15:53 EDT, I was effectively backdating it, which makes it sort earlier in RSS feeds. One of my favorite blogs, The Setup, doesn’t supply times at all, only dates, so whenever a new interview arrives, it arrives buried below all of the day’s posts, which I find mildly inconvenient. It pains me to know I’ve caused something of the same, and I apologize.

But at least the script is fine!