This week we saw many smaller bugfixes and improvements. One of these changes was to ensure timezones in phpBB 3.1 can be translated correctly. So I picked an explanation of our timezone handling for this week’s blog post.
In phpBB Olympus 3.0 we provide the user with a list of UTC offsets and a corresponding timezone name. In addition to the timezone a user can select whether DST (Daylight Saving Time) or Summer Time, as it is called in other places, currently affects them. If the DST option is selected the UTC offset is increased by one hour. I live in Germany so I select “[UTC + 1] Central European Time, West African Time”. In the spring I have to check the DST box and in the fall I deselect it. This results in UTC+2 in the summer and UTC+1 in the winter.
Clearly it is annoying for users to have to switch their timezone settings twice every year. Most users will probably not bother to change DST if they are even aware of the option to begin with. Users may also be unfamiliar with the name of their timezone or the corresponding UTC offset. So back in 2010 Chris Smith (ToonArmy) proposed an alternative approach to handling timezones in the Switch to PHP timezone handling RFC on our Area51 development community.
Further pull request 1812 added a new type of notification which informs administrators of newly registered users if the community requires admin activation. This makes use of our new notification system, so the notification will be appear in the forum’s header and be available via email and/or XMPP.