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Mechanism for Time Zone Translation of Instant Messaging Time of Day Text

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000109231D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Mar-23
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-23
Document File: 3 page(s) / 64K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Mechanism for time zone translation of instant messaging time of day text

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Mechanism for Time Zone Translation of Instant Messaging Time of Day Text

Imagine two software developers, Randy and Tim, collaborating on a project. Randy resides in the EST time zone and Tim resides in the CDT time zone. A large majority of their communication is done via instant messaging because it is effective and convenient. The time of day is often used in their instant messaging collaboration when referring to events that the other developer needs to be aware, such as meetings and deadlines. However, because these developers live and work in different time zones, it is often confusing to which time zone the time of day entered in the text conversations is actually referring to if it is not followed by a time zone abbreviation such as CDT or EST. Furthermore, it is still the responsibility of the message receiver to figure out the time difference between the time zone that he is in and the time zone being referred to. This can seem somewhat trivial in the case involving CDT and EST times because it's a well-known fact that CDT is one hour earlier than EST, but this time zone calculation can be much more complicated when communicating with a messaging partner across the world and not knowing the time difference between time zones in order to perform the quick internal calculation.

The problem in the above example is that Tim and Randy do not know the local relative time being referred to unless the time is followed by a time zone identifier such as CDT, EST, or GMT. However, if the time zone following the time of day text is different from the local time zone of the receiver, the messaging client user has to perform a calculation between the time zone following the time of day text and user's current time zone.

The solution outlined below will describe how the sender could input the time of day value based on his local time zone, and the time of day would be calculated to the relative time of day when the message text arrives to the receiver's client if the two clients reside in different time zones, thus relieving the receiving messaging partner the duty of figuring out what time zone is being referred to and how to calculate the difference between the sending time zone and local time zone. Just as an 'emoticon' can be translated by instant messaging client when a user inputs a ': -)' to a smiley face, the idea with this disclosure is to provide instant messaging clients with the ability to perform a relative time zone ca...