FutureQuest, Inc. FutureQuest, Inc. FutureQuest, Inc.
Time is incorrect when receiving email from form?
Posted on 15 January 2004 10:40 PM
Question:

I have a mail form on my web site that sends me a notification email when someone fills out my form. When I receive these notifications, the time stamped on the email is wrong. It appears to be off by exactly 8 hours. It is 8 hours fast.

In testing the form, I receive the emails immediately, but the time stamps shown are always 8 hours ahead. When I send emails directly from my email client, the time stamps are correct. Only the emails from the form appear with the incorrect time, so I'm assuming it is an issue with your server.

Can you please check into this and correct it ASAP? It's important for us to see the correct time each email is received for business reasons.

Answer:

When an email is sent directly from an email client application, it will be sent with the time/date setting of that particular computer or ISP (depending on local settings).

However, when sending an email from a web based form, the server is actually sending the email and thus the time/date stamp will be that of the server.

When mail is sent through the server, qmail uses UTC time or better known as GMT. This makes FutureQuest internationally compliant, as not everyone lives in the US Eastern time zone (where the servers are located). Using UTC is the defacto standard for timestamps on email. Note that you can retrieve the current time and timezone settings on the server by simply typing 'date' from the command line (i.e., via SSH).

Converting from GMT to your local time is a function of your email client. The email reader should properly convert the header timestamp to the local time zone of the user's machine. If it does not convert to your time zone, then your email client is misconfigured and we would suggest viewing the help file or contacting the support department of the application for guidance.

Hope this helps to clarify the situation.