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kaobase says GMT but engine uses "PDT"?

Posted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:02 am
by Hannibal
Hi Lardy, trewqh, Hryll and Chris,

I shared a glitch with Chris by e-mail the other day in one of the lobo games I'm GMing, and asked whether my way past it would work, and went on to suggest a correction/change. (I realise, now, that Chris is away this weekend, no problem).

As it's a suggested change, I then remembered that I'd better use this new, better way of proposing changes and getting views and a vote. Good idea.

The kaobase allows you to adjust the deadline under a heading titled "Next Turn (GMT)". I used it, but the turn ran 7 or 8 hours early, way ahead of what I'd told the players, and only 3 out of 8 had orders in yet ... So I'm having the nightmare of re-running a turn ...

I suspect that the title says GMT, but the engine uses PDT, whatever that is (Silicone Valley?).

My proposal is that we make the two match. And that they match on GMT rather than PDT. I guess THAT is therefore the big proposal: that we switch all to be consistent on GMT. At least for now, while most active players are UK-based, or at least not using PDT, which probably helps no-one, not even the Americans we have, who are maybe on EST rather than this PDT?

Not absolutely vital - I could go back to always using PAUSE and pressing RUN TURN when the right deadline is reached, but this means repeating to the players to IGNORE anything it says at the bottom of the gamepage as to when the next turn is due, and ignore any autogm reminders that say a turn is due to run in the next 24 hours, etc.

Below is the text of my mail to Chris.

Hi Chris,

How are you?

Turn 6 of my Water-Crossing (#433) ran 8 hours early, and only a couple of players had orders in. I think I can sort it, but would like to check:

I immediately went to Edit-Province Data, and turned every prov to 0, so that the map would show blank, and copied and deleted the commentary, so that no-one would be misled into using the map from T6. And told them to ignore their TR.

Now, when players DO have their orders in, I want to re-run T6 as if this wrong T6 run never happened.

1) If I press Re-Run, the engine will run T6 again, yes? It will go back to use the start-of-turn data from after T5, yes? Just as if the wrong T6 hadn't ever run? And it won't matter that I just changed the "wrong" T6 prov-data into all-neutrals, I don't need to switch them back, since they are edits of the "wrong" T6 that will be over-written?

2) And, for nap-counting purposes, it will therefore obviously call this new turn "T6", right?

3) The kaobase next-turn-time-setter is headed "Next Turn (GMT)". I suspect the problem is that it actually uses PDT...
Can we make it use GMT? And I think that then, bottom of game page will be in GMT? So should have its text changed to say so, to match? After all, the current players are about 30 brits, incl you, me, Lardy, Hryll, Bloodaxe, Kryptus ... and Soma and misiolak and another recent sign-up are also via LBGC and therefore London. Plus a Norwegian, a Pole, a couple of Australians, a couple of Americans and a few I have no idea. So GMT would be easier for most people most of the time? As it says in the kaobase?

PS, can you let me know asap on (1), even if you want to think about (3), so that I can run the T6 on time?

Posted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 11:00 am
by korexus
Obviously, I'm a Brit so GMT works fine for me.

The Kaomaris servers are in America (hosting is cheaper there, hence the timezone difference. I can add or subtract a fixed amount from the server time easily enough, the only possible issue is then daylight savings time. Does anyone know if the changes happen at the same time round the world (I have no idea.)

On a more long term note, I know that the forums allow users to choose their timezone. So something similar should be possible for games.


Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:18 pm
by Lardmaster
Different areas change at different times I'm afraid.

Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:34 pm
by Hannibal
Lardmaster wrote:Different areas change at different times I'm afraid.
These timings of posts, eg this post by LM appears as posted 12.18 pm today, Wed. What time-zone are they based on?

And, even if the summer-time switch-overs happen at different times, what does that mean we decide?
a) forget it, live with "PDT"
b) do it anyway
c) do it and spot and amend (or pre-program?) when the +/- vs PDT needs to be altered to fit GMT? Or even to fit GMT and BST when it applies in UK?
d) Find some other way than +/- PDT to fix it to GMT?

My vote would be in the order of d), c), b), and only then a).

Needs more on what's possible before we can all vote.

Phew. This had to be an easy one to achieve AGREEMENT on, but perhaps a difficult one to effect.


Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:37 pm
by korexus
Hannibal wrote:
Lardmaster wrote:Different areas change at different times I'm afraid.
These timings of posts, eg this post by LM appears as posted 12.18 pm today, Wed. What time-zone are they based on?
The post I just made on the redesign thread has a time stamp of 6.26 pm, as it's now 7.28 I'm going with GMT for me (it is BST right now after all, hence the 1 hour difference).

However, for the forums this is adjustable in your account settings. This is my preferred method for a turn due message, if we can get it user friendly.

I've tried to avoid the issue wherever possible by talking in terms of hours and minutes left until the turn runs. This could be clarified further by being given as days, hours and minutes. Sidestepping the time zone issue neatly.

My gut feeling here is that swapping to a specific time or user defined time zone will be doable, but allowing for daylight savings will be very tricky. (Although in a user defined situation, they could just switch settings whenever the change happens for them...)


Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:52 pm
by korexus
After quite some fiddling, I can confirm that timezone preferences can be taken from a user's forum preferences. This means anyone who takes the time to tell the server what timezone they are in can see post and turn times in their own language. :)

I have included this within the game page of the new site. However there is no native way to allow for daylight savings time. People can of course update their settings manually if need be...


Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:46 am
by Hannibal
I agree that each individuals setting their own time-zone preference might be logically "perfect". But in the real world it ain't ever gonna happen? Not for more than half of players, and especially not for new ones who have a lot else to master?

Now that you've explored and found that it works by hrs and minutes since X in 1970 ... so we do NOT have to worry about "PDT" having its OWN daylight saving .... I suggest that chris just cleverly switch everything to GMT as the default, and a few can then re-specify to their own TZ if they wish. Doing so this Sunday or Monday would be sweet, just as UK switches to GMT.

If we remain predominantly UK, then we might all switch it to BST next March, or might not. We can decide then.

Oh, and I like Chris's idea of switching the countdown to days, hours, minutes (as GM, I have to do the math each time I extend ...). If you used abbreviations, eg "2 days 3hr 14 min" (17 characters), it takes no more characters than the existing "51 hours and 14 minutes" (23 characters), so it should still not spill over into a second line on the "tight" overview page of Running Games.

Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 9:50 am
by korexus
No no no, you misunderstand,

It's always been #seconds since 1970 in the database as that is the standard way of getting around issues about when a job should be run on the server. I knew that when making my previous post and it was factored into my reasoning. The problem is that, converting this number into a date is something which happens through a black-box operation over which I have little control.

It basically goes

Code: Select all

#seconds --> [==] --> date/time
with the [==] bit containing all the information about the time zone and daylight savings time on the server.

My discovery about user timezones simply means that any option which works along the lines of "shift by 8" can now be read as "shift by X". Issues about DST changing at different times will still be there.

It's not unlikely that users will enter their timezone information. It's done on the same page as the forum profile. (Where you change things like your avatar and quote.) You probably just never noticed it because you didn't need to change it...

Time until the next turn runs is going to be the only option guaranteed to be right in all circumstances. That's how Al had the original kaobase set up, probably for the same reasons.