Discourse local dates need better presentation in emails

The Discourse local time displays wonderful dates in the web UI. However in emails it can be very very confusing.

For example: May 18, 2018 11:03 PM will display as May 19, 2018 9:03 AM in an emails which leaves recipients very confused.

I propose a multi step approach to improving this.

  • Immediate change… just display time zone with the time in emails so we would have May 19, 2018 9:03 AM Australia/Sydney

  • Longer term change, start storing local time zone in the user profile table (detect via JS and hand to server with a header). Then in emails we can send the times in the “last know local timezone”

  • Longer Longer term, allow users to control preferred timezone in user profile (automatic vs manually set to something)

13 Likes

Hmm we need to get that immediate fix in #1 for the 2.0 release at least cc @joffreyjaffeux

2 Likes

Working on it, but I still don’t understand why you say that it will display as May 19, 2018 9:03 AM in an email. This is not what will happen, it will display:

May 19, 2018 09:03 AM (Australia: Sidney)

The issue is that it will display all timezones set when configuring the date, and you might end up with something very verbose. So yes we will need step2, to have something cool here, so you say send this email to this user living in Australia/Sidney timezone

This is now done. We need to work on step 2 in the future, it will really make it very cool.

6 Likes

I am not clear why “all” time zones need to be shown? Why not simply default to UTC in emails for now as a short term 2.0 fix?

2 Likes

Im showing only one now, honestly we can just put UTC if you want, if we are moving soon to something else I don’t have strong opinions on this.

2 Likes

Ok one is fine that works for me!

Will be fixed by:

https://github.com/discourse/discourse/pull/6805

5 Likes

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It is an idea on how to improve this

  1. Email timezone to be based on the original timezone set in the post
    If I set my timezone value as
    [date=2019-12-15 time=23:59:00 timezone="EST"]
    It should be sent out via email as such.

  2. Allow better formatting of the timezone within this forum setting:
    image
    Currently it is a bit limited:
    image
    (just in case we would like to display the full name of the timezone or some other fancy formatting)

    Currently it is a bit limited:
    image

  3. Alternatively, allow the admin to choose the timezone they want to send the emails with in the setting, maybe a toggle such as:
    discourse local dates email format timezone

2 Likes