Besides that, its a nice app.
EDIT: Since I got downvoted for this, let me rephrase in terms of a bug report: My local time is Dublin, Ireland (so UTC) and I entered 9:30 AM as the local time. Then I changed Greenwich to Dubai. The updating was pretty slow, so before it completed, I changed the local time to 9:31 and the output I got was NaN:aN PM. I'm able to reproduce it by following the same steps (though the actual local time entered doesn't seem to matter - just that its changed before the "updating..." text disappears).
Worth logging all the things people type that get zero auto-completions.
Otherwise spot on.
Nothing gets by the HN crowd. :)
Here it is - http://thebus.ws/about/
For those not familiar with Hawaii... try some street names like King, Queen, Bishop, Kapiolani. If you're on island the locate button will find your location thru browser api's and then load stops near you. Stops right by my place would be 2088, 306, and 405 (you can search for those numbers).
BTW, I really like what you did :) It's very simple and looks pretty good to boot. I have a client in Sweden right now, so this comes in handy!
So while I see the simplifying assumption that says "I could do that in one weekend" and that it's really not that simple. There's the other side of the coin. Maybe some ideas don't need to be so complicated. We evolved our game idea three times that weekend as we completed something we saw what was boring or was failing and modified it.
In both our case and the guy above, we aren't planning to continue the game. I know I tend to sit and idle on ideas for months or years at a time. This is a terrible thing to do. Why not, for the cost of one weekend decide to throw it in the trash and never think of it again. One weekend is way less than months and months of planning and task lists and bug trackers and code repositories... etc etc.
Edit: In case anyone is interested you can find our game on http://globalgamejam.com called "Maid of Dishonor" or on our site, http://tosos.com under the "Unity Games" page.
Small feature request: It would be nice to enter IATA airport code instead of city name.
Though really, I'm surprised Google hasn't added timezone conversion to their various measurement converters. I really just want a single text field that takes input in the format "[time/date] in [location/timezone]." For example, "1:30am PST in UTC" or "Tuesday 5pm in Paris."
Otherwise this is immensely useful!
I think "smart parsing textboxes" are the best things ever. I really like the one on letsfreckle.com for time interval entry. Letting users just type in a format that is comfortable to them is so nice.
A shorter domain name would have been nice though.
Also - does it automatically take daylight savings time into account?
The domain name was optimized for Google queries where it's important to have exact search terms in the name itself. Agreed that it's annoyingly long but I expect people to find it through Google with something close to that query.
- But it wasn't obvious that it would autocomplete - nice to have a drop-down even before typing, just to show the user. Or maybe just a couple of e.gs. (like google calendar's "breakfast at tiffany's").
- Also not obvious that you can change both times (I mean, it should work that way, but software never does, apart from languages - and I think that it wouldn't even occur to ordinary folk that it might).
Might be worth doing some user-testing (where you watch them, like "Step 2. Validate" in http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1132980).
You can probably get some adwords revenue. And without spoiling it, by doing what the chatoulette guy said he did - just 4 words at the bottom.
A big gripe (I didn't mention in the blog) of the other sites were massive amounts of confusing AdSense, so I was almost thinking a single cleanly branded "sponsor" to pay for the server costs if it gets enough traffic.
$> env TZ=US/Eastern date
Thu Feb 18 11:15:01 EST 2010
$> env TZ=GMT date
Thu Feb 18 16:15:41 GMT 2010
Can you give it some "add another city" ability? I've had much more grief trying to do the mental arithmetic scheduling phone conferences involving people in Sydney, London, and Dallas than I've ever had working out just one other city in my head...
Just two additional ideas:
For the problem you specified I did find a interface which gives you a day view of both destinations with the corresponding times on both sides, and colored backgrounds (green for good meeting times, yellow for too early or too late or midday and red for night) so that you can easily find out an optimal meeting time (I guess it was possible to add more timezones to it), however I cannot remember the site.
For the interface you created I guess it would be nice to add an analog clock over the input, which can be changed via dragging the hands to the specified time and the other clock updates it's time in real-time.
I've been looking for a fun graphic or animation to jazz up the UI (I believe in making products "fun") so maybe the analog clock idea is it.
Very useful app, when you have people in several timezones.
I actually had the exact same problem and I was recently speaking to a friend from google and asked him to implement this as part of their search engine (i.e. just like the calculator, but for time zones) -- he didn't see the need for such a thing.
Here is my use case which doesn't work: conference deadlines. Please tell me what this:
Thursday, February 4, 2010, 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time (GMT −5:00)
translates to in my local time. Note that entering the date in your app does nothing, even if you split EST from the rest.
Say you're in PST: put on the right hand side 11:59pm and EST --> 8:59pm that same day.
Say you're in, oh I don't know, Nagoya: same thing on the right hand side --> 1:59pm the next day (the 5th)
I want to think carefully about how to add dates because I'm trying to keep it simple and quick.
I agree more with your tab ordering point. As far as JS execution (deciding which time to update when city changes) I saw arguments both ways and in the end decided to copy the behavior of a unit conversion dashboard widget from Apple. Not a good reason but it served as my starting point.
This obviously is only for the current time, and you'll find that it doesn't work for everywhere. Also I've encountered occasional 'outages' where the time results for reliable locations aren't posted in your search results. I guess the applet gets disengaged occasionally due to back-end business.
* Multiple equivalent GMTs (GMT, GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), GMT + 0)...
* GMT+n would ideally be in numeric order [but alpha sort doesn't make this easy, just something to think about]
* Include country name for cities: "Seattle (USA)" ... just gives you that warm fuzzy that you're in the right country.
* Instead of "next day" it might be nice to say "next morning/afternoon/evening/night" or whatever it happens to be. Less mental parsing ("12:30am next day... means really early in the morning right?")
Anyway, great job!
* support for alternate names (e.g. The Hague vs. Den Haag)
* some way of knowing when a city wasn't found - right now if I type the name of an unrecognised place then it isn't clear that the time displayed is no longer valid
* optional vertical layout for phones, and (to go with that) offline support? Perhaps not quite so minor, I'll admit ;)
Oh, and re. the "programmer-friendly" comment in your article - I'm one and I don't find those sites at all friendly...
I second this. I tried to type in Zurich at first but the time didn't change and there was no error message either.
Great job though. Very useful tool. Bookmarked.
I think he means the "easy to program" kind of programmer-friendly, not the "easy to use" kind of programmer-friendly.
I think that the problem is that we skipped the "Daylight saving time" this year (2009-2010), so we are at GMT-03:00.
Like you mentioned in your announcement, this tool seems like it's primarily useful for (important) business. Is there anything you can do that would make me feel assured that the conversion is accurate? I'm 90% sure that everything is perfect, but that's not really good enough. I'd be much more inclined to use the tool if I knew I could trust it.
Using it all the time because I've had similar problems. And it allows to calculate the differences for more than 2 cities.
One suggestion would be to have the colon automatically inserted at the third position from the right. I'd like to be able to type 930 or 1425 without having to take my hand off of the number pad.
Looking more closely now... Zurich at least should have made the cutoff. I'll take a look. Thanks.
But once again, building a widget in a weekend is very different than building a full product, in particular if you include an actual business model or community surrounding that product.
But ... tables? Really? Just kidding. Whatever works ^-^
b) Dates. These are redundant, but they can be shown if different in chosen TZ (or maybe just show something along the lines "already the next day/still yesterday" :)
I need to update the blog screenshot, but (b) is incorporated almost exactly as you were thinking (see the light gray "next day" / "previous day" text).
I'm commenting here because I'm very interested in how this small project works out for you.
But I could probably find it on a map. So that would help.
Alternately, simply showing a world map graphic would work quite simply. There aren't that many time zones.
I'd agree that you definitely need to take into account date/time adjustments like British Summer Time etc.