bugGNU Octave - Bugs: bug #53916, Document the TZ environment...


bug #53916: Document the TZ environment variable

Submitted by:  Ian McCallion <ianmcc>
Submitted on:  Tue 15 May 2018 08:05:01 PM UTC  
Category:  Documentation Severity:  3 - Normal
Priority:  5 - Normal Item Group:  Documentation
Status:  None Assigned to:  None
Originator Name:  Open/Closed:  Open
Release:  4.4.0 Operating System:  Any

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Tue 15 May 2018 08:05:01 PM UTC, original submission:

Section 36.1 of the Octave manual should describe the TZ environment variable. I suggest something like the following:

The TZ environment variable can be used within a process to override the system's timezone. Octave functions such as localtime that return the dates and times in local time use the timezone specified in the TZ environment variable. Specification of TZ can be found here: https://www.gnu.org/software/libc/manual/html_node/TZ-Variable.html#TZ-Variable.

Functions affected
localtime, mktime and lstat functions (and possibly others??) are affected by the TZ environment variable.

Note that the Octave interpreter and GUI are not affected by the TZ variable. Time and date are not directly displayed, except by scripts and where dates and times are used internally for example in timestamp comparisons UTC is used.

Windows/Unix differences

The TZ feature IS NOT present in Microsoft Windows, and the posix layer shipped with Octave for Microsoft Windows only partially emulates TZ, for example on Windows calls to the underlying operating system that display local times eg system('dir'), these do not return times in the TZ-specified the timezone whereas (I assume??) the equivalents on unix do. This is unlikely to be a problem in practice.

Ian McCallion <ianmcc>


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