What do Samoa and Seattle have in common? The sun won't shine on either on Dec 30th!

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2011/12/29 06:01 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2011/12/29/10251662.aspx


 No sun in Seattle is fairly common this time of year.

I've lived here since late '96 and I can count the number of sunny December 30thson one hand, and have fingers left over.

It is harder to engineer in Samoa, though.

However, for this year, they have achieved the goal!

And the sun won't come out tomorrow, December 30th, if you are in Samoa.

As I previously mentioned back in May (in What do Ian Anderson and Samoa have in common? They're both tired of Living in the Past!), Samoa is gong from the end of the time zone list to the beginning.

The only way to do that? Just skip the day....

M3 Sweatt talks about the sevral important issues in the update, in Advisory: Windows Cumulative Update for Samoa, as they skip Friday and change their time zone, including lots of important details:

I thought I'd mention one other interesting issue here.

As M3 mentions:

Technical Changes

The change will be a move from from UTC -11:00 to UTC+13:00, and a change in the display name for UTC +13:00 time zone (Nuku’alofa, Samoa). So, on the next clock tick after Dec 29, 2011 at 23:59:59, Samoa’s UTC offset becomes UTC +13:00. And the next clock tick will be is Dec 31, 2011 00:00:000. Cartographers will have some challenges dealing with all the updates to maps, moving the International Date Line to 171 degrees longitude west of Greenwich.

Those string changes have consequences in up to 35 different languages (I don't think those strings are localized for LIP languages).

And of course all those products that duplicate the effort as I happened to talk about in You don't waste my time if you 'reinvent the wheel' but you often waste yours! may wish they had read that blog.

For good measure and to be safe, they may wish that had read it a good five to six months before I wrote it!

My biggest worry (from where I sit) will be for any component not properly updated, either in all strings or in just the non-en-US strings....

Feel Free to say something if you run into problems with either any other language or any other product after installing this update (and pretty much any time zone update, especially for other products).

And if your birthday is December 30th and you live in Samoa, then look on the bright side -- in some sense you don't get any older this year.... :-)

John Cowan on 29 Dec 2011 7:10 AM:

Yet more evidence, if any were needed, that the International Date Line is international in name only (except in the open ocean), and is subject to arbitrary bending and twisting by national governments.

Maurits [MSFT] on 29 Dec 2011 8:39 AM:

Big year for time zone changes, between this and Permanent Summer Time in Russia and Belarus.

Andrew West on 29 Dec 2011 9:15 AM:

So what happens if they want to switch back? That'll be way more confusing as they'll either have to relive the same day or add in an extra day unsupported by the calendar (32nd December sounds good).  And just imagine what would happen if they thoughtlessly enacted a law declaring that "on the next clock tick after Dec 29, 2012 at 23:59:59, Samoa’s UTC offset becomes UTC -11:00, and the next clock tick will be Dec 29, 2012 00:00:000" ...

Raymond Chen - MSFT on 29 Dec 2011 12:39 PM:

@Andrew, the same thing happens on a smaller scale in most countries when DST ends: We get to re-live an hour. Somehow we manage.

Michael S. Kaplan on 29 Dec 2011 1:54 PM:

With that said, lots of our own software and that of third parties regularly trips on DST switches in small/large ways, so it would just be a slightly larger trip. But everyone will likely survive with minor problems that will resolve themselves soon enough....

Maurits [MSFT] on 29 Dec 2011 4:32 PM:

I don't know that switching back by as much as a day has ever happened.  The last major switch was from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, but that was a forward jump.

Obvious solution: have time run at half-speed for two days.

Van on 29 Dec 2011 7:54 PM:

Alaska actually did one better in 1867, when Friday, October 6 was followed by Friday, October 18. That one incorporated both a Julian to Gregorian shift, but also a move of the date line.

Michael S. Kaplan on 29 Dec 2011 10:19 PM:

Certainly our Outlooks and Exchanges will be horked for schedules that month!

me on 30 Dec 2011 8:27 AM:

@Andrew: They could add another leap year.

John Cowan on 2 Jan 2012 10:24 AM:

Andrew:  Actually, the Samoan shift of 2011 was undoing an earlier shift.  Samoa (not yet divided) repeated 4 July 1892 when shifting from the Asian to the American date.  As far as I can tell, that was the first and only eastward shift of a whole day.

Central and eastern Kiribati shifted on 1 January 1995 from UTC-11 and UTC-10 to UTC+13 and UTC+14.  Since western Kiribati was already on UTC+12, this put the whole country on a single date.

John Cowan on 2 Jan 2012 11:08 AM:

I meant to mention that the *Jewish* Date Line is at 125.2°E thanks to a 12th-century Talmud commentary putting it six hours past Jerusalem solar time.  This is gerrymandered not to run through Asia or Australia.  As a consequence, the Orthodox observe Shabbat prohibitions on (local) Sunday and Saturday in New Zealand and Japan, and on (local) Friday and Saturday in Hawai'i.  However, Shabbat prayers, etc. are done only on (local) Saturday.

Alex Cohn on 3 Jan 2012 12:30 PM:

@John:  how can that be SIX yours? My world clock counts twelve!

tilo on 6 Mar 2012 1:29 PM:

the sun is what we live on

referenced by

2012/03/13 I don't care what time it was (except when I *really* care about what time it was, I mean)

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