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The description of a scheduled chat event, on the room schedule page, displays the event UTC date and the amount of time left before the event starts in a “human-friendly” way. A mouse-over tip shows the precise time in UTC.

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On the event listing page, there's the approximate amount of time before the event, and that's it.

But if I'm planning to attend an event, knowing that it's “Wednesday at 9pm” is a lot more helpful than “in 19 hours”.

Please display a more helpful time. I suggest:

  • “on <date> at <time>” if the event is not on the same calendar day in local time.
  • at <time> if the event is today (local time).
  • in N minutes if the event is in less than an hour.

(Keep the UTC date as the mouse-over text.)

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

scheduled chat event with local time

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I'm assuming that it still uses 24-hour time regardless of time zone? – Grace Note May 31 '11 at 13:41
@GraceNote: Yes. Jeff and I debated that, but since it's the same in the live chat, it made sense to stay consistent. – balpha May 31 '11 at 13:46

This implies we know your local time zone, which we don't.

All our times are in UTC.

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Any reason why you can't use Javascript to convert from UTC to local time in the browser? – Kyle Cronin May 18 '11 at 3:50
@kyle I don't want to -- I prefer everything in relative times and UTC. Probably the same reason the iPhone has one button and not, say, a back button.. – Jeff Atwood May 18 '11 at 3:56
But the timestamps in the actual chat rooms seem to be in local time, no? Not when you browse the archives, only when you participate in the chat. – Jan Fabry May 18 '11 at 6:24
@jan that's a fair point – Jeff Atwood May 18 '11 at 7:02

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