fd.o trash specification - DeletionDate timezone

Karl Chen quarl at cs.berkeley.edu
Tue Apr 8 07:22:02 PDT 2008

Hi, this is a comment about
http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Specifications/trash-spec .

The current Trash spec (version 0.7) says:
* The key "DeletionDate" contains the date and time when the
  file/directory was trashed. The date and time are to be in the
  YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ss format (see RFC 3339). The time zone should
  be the user's (or filesystem's) local time.

I applaud the choice of YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ss over the despicable
ctime() format.

One suggestion I have: use UTC and/or specify the timezone. 

Files may live in the trash can across daylight savings changes.
A laptop or filesystem's local timezone can change as the user
moves his laptop or removable media across timezone boundaries.
Network file systems can be in different timezones from the

I believe that using the local timezone without specifying the
timezone may cause problems.

In the language of RFC 3339, the current format of the
DeletionDate field is "4.4. Unqualified Local Time".  I propose
that the format of DeletionDate be changed to "4.2. Local Offsets"
(e.g. 1996-12-19T16:39:57-08:00) or "4.1. Coordinated Universal
Time" (e.g. 1996-12-20T00:39:57Z), i.e. standard RFC 3339.


More information about the xdg mailing list