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How to tell (in advance) if a date-time is ambiguous?

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July 10, 2017 18:03
How to tell (in advance) if a date-time is ambiguous?
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Dear experts,

a few days ago I have got great help from this list, so I hope I may ask
another (probably stupid) question (I am now having the opposite problem
than back then):

Using DateTime, is it possible to tell in advance if a certain date-time
which is given in a certain locale will be ambiguous due to switching
from DST to standard time?

Example (taken from DateTime's documentation):

  my $dt = DateTime->new(
      year      => 2003,
      month     => 10,
      day       => 26,
      hour      => 1,
      minute    => 30,
      second    => 0,
      time_zone => 'America/Chicago',

Now $dt is ambiguous: The clock has been turned back to 01:00:00 h at
02:00:00 that night, so the time 01:30:00 h has occurred twice.

Even after thinking many hours about it, I haven't found a reasonable
general method to determine if an arbitrary date-time is ambiguous in
the sense above.

Possibly, I could subtract different time spans from the date-time in
question and check if the result is the expected one and use that to
find out if it is ambiguous, but this would cost much CPU time.

So I would like to ask if somebody knows a general, reasonable method
for solving that problem, given the following conditions:

1) We don't know the time span the clock is turned back when switching
from DST to standard time. It might be one hour in most time zones /
countries, but after all, some weird person could decide that it is 18
minutes and 13 seconds or 5 hours, 53 minutes and 42 seconds.

2) We don't know whether the point in time when the switch occurs is
exactly at an hour's end / begin. Again, some weird person could decide
that the switch happens at 08:48:27 am.

I know that there are not many persons on the world that are *that*
weird, but on the other hand, I don't want to implement an algorithm
which uses assumptions which are not safe.

As a last resort, there is at least one other module (AFAIK) which I
could use to extract the daylight saving switching times and time spans
from the time zone database, and I could use that information to solve
my problem. But this would probably mean to reinvent the wheel, so I'd
like to avoid it.

Thank you very much in advance,


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