Fixing Australian time zones in plone

One of our clients, the Ancient Arts Fellowship have requested a new Plone site.

After some deliberation and several futile attempts to upgrade their current Plone 2.5.5 to a plone 3.x instance we made a collective decision to run with a new Plone 4 setup.

Of course the “curse of the time zone” reared its ugly head and bit us on the bum.

the “Curse of the Time Zone” arises when (for reasons historic and political) there is a collsion between the GNU/Linux timezone names and those expected by zope/Plone framework. This happend because the GNU/Linux servers call Australian and US time zones “EST” and “EDT”… while zope/plone stack calles them AEDT, AEST for Australia and  EDT and EST for USA.

Ultimately the solution is to set a timezone variable inside of the Zope framework to take care of the differences, but that problem is what to call it…  Australia/Canberra and Australia/Sydney did not work . But after a few searches and trial and error we found this magic string  “AEST-10AEDT-11,M10.1.0,M4.1.0/3” it seems to work.

so the process is:

  • build your zope/plone stack.
  • go to in $TARGET/zinstance
  • add the follwing lines to [instance] section:
      environment-vars =
          TZ AEST-10AEDT-11,M10.1.0,M4.1.0/3


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