[mythtv-users] time zone with distant frontend

f-myth-users at media.mit.edu f-myth-users at media.mit.edu
Wed Dec 30 02:26:38 UTC 2009

    > Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2009 17:12:19 -0500
    > From: "Michael T. Dean" <mtdean at thirdcontact.com>

    > Oh, and, really, does /anyone/ have 2 hosts running MythTV applications 
    > that /are/ actually in different time zones?  (Perhaps I should really 
    > say, "Does /anyone/ who isn't stealing (cable, satellite, ...) service...")

The use case I've always had in mind for differing timezones between
frontends & backends is travelers who want to stream stuff from home.
I always reset my laptop to the local time, so if I also tried to
stream stuff, that would be an issue.  But this is probably a very
small slice of potential users.  (And I've never tried this; if I'm
traveling, the last thing I want to do is watch TV.  Business
travelers who spend half their time in hotels in random cities they
don't care about probably have a very different opinion.)  Setting the
TZ via env vars at the mythfrontend startup is probably a good-enough
workaround for that.

This gets dicier if smartphones start getting spiffy enough to run
mythfrontend on (perhaps they already are).  Such phones might track
what they perceive to be the local timezone and may insist on using
whatever -their provider- claims is the timezone, which might not map
to any timezone on a Linux box at all.  Again, an env var setting
trick might be enough on any phone capable of running a frontend in
the first place, but it's one more thing we may see questions about...
[And it may be that nobody would want to spend their bandwidth on it,
but such predictions are usually wrong for -somebody-...]

(Multics, of course, always assumed that every user was in his or her
own timezone because the assumption was that people would be using one
big timesharing host from a number of places on the net, and Unix and
later operating systems copied that approach with varying amounts of
fidelity.  Lots of other OS's of the time instead assumed that all
its users were local & hence all shared a timezone.  Some went even
further---ITS, the Incompatible Timesharing System, which only ran at
the MIT AI Lab and which only really existed on about 4 CPUs in the
world, had a little issue when one of the 10's got shipped to Sweden
years later:  "How do you reset the timezone?" "The timezone?  Uh....
I guess you patch DDT..." :)

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