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Time of bug entry, why the server's?

I noticed that when I enter a new bug it uses the time on the FogBugz server. Why is that?
I noticed this because the time on my server was off, but I can imagine teams across timezones finding this incorrect. Incorrect because it might confuse me when I look back and find the time not to correspond with my recollection. It's a small thing, but it might be confusing.

Was it implemented on purpose, or by ommission? If on purpose, what is the justification?

Friday, November 15, 2002

We're planning to fix that soon.

Joel Spolsky
Friday, November 15, 2002

Err, correction, we're hoping to fix that soon, but it's harder than one might think :-)

Long story short: we could calculate the time difference between the client and the server and offset all times by that amount, but this might be confusing if someone's personal clock is off. Also, we rely on the server to format the date and time in the appropriate language, and client-side JavaScript isn't powerful enough to do this. For example, a German company might set up FogBUGZ to use German formatted date and times worldwide; if a client is in the US using English Windows, they will still get their FogBUGZ dates in German if this is the way the FogBUGZ administrator wants it. And client-side JavaScript isn't sophisticated enough to format arbitrary date/times in *any* locale.

So the next best solution would be for each user to configure their time zone manually in the "Prefs" screen. This is a lot of work for us, doesn't work if the user travels, and many users will not bother doing this resulting in confusing results.

Another issue is that teams that work in multiple geographical locations traditionally use source code control systems based on a common clock, such as GMT, and are used to working with a single time zone even when the humans are in different time zones.

This is probably more information than you wanted :)

Joel Spolsky
Monday, November 18, 2002

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