יום שני, נובמבר 16, 2009

HOWTO: Shift MS-Exchange users to sane (TZID) time zones

All invitations I got to a specific (MS using) company were shifted ~10 hours.

Since I was pretty familiar with MS software time-zone related oddities I ignored it for a while. But then as a curiosity I decided to look into the attached meeting content (vcs file). Lo and behold, it was saying: "Pacific Standard Time" ... as if our life at the middle east were really pacific ;-(

MS inventing their own "standards" is..., well, pretty standard. However, being a KDE user I was thinking if I can make korganizer understand their terminology:
  • An strace proved korgranizer was obediently trying to convert the time by searching for /usr/share/zoneinfo/Pacific Standard Time
  • So I tested a simple workaround (which worked):
ln -s America/Los_Angeles "/usr/share/zoneinfo/Pacific Standard Time"
  • A little search showed some organization already made a formal map between LaLa-Land and the real world (even including an XML representation).
It was easy enough to generalize it by creating a small package that install a links-farm to do all these mappings. It simply uses the XML data together with a small perl script to create these links during build.
(hint, hint, review, review ;-)

People from other distros can grab the script here.

If all MS kinks were as simple as this...

[BTW: I am fully aware that this can be generated by modifying the source of tzdata -- I was looking for a simple solution with minimal disruption of existing packages].

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