Continents in tz database? (was: Cyprus)

Janis.Papanagnou at Janis.Papanagnou at
Fri Sep 15 14:31:13 UTC 2000

What is the practical necessity to support continent information with the
tz database entries ?  Are there any ambiguities otherwise, or is it just
a historical convention ?  Is it continent information at all ?  Besides
the continents you find also tags like Pacific and Atlantic in it, so I
assume the main reason is to have some impression where this zone is.
Inspecting the tz files it seems to me that this information is not
necessarily needed, because the entries can be distinguished by the city
name unambiguously. If that would not be the case I'd add the country.
My understanding is that timezones are bound to countries and their
legislation, while continents are mainly geologically defined. Removing
continent information would remove the somewhat political question with

If continent information is considered necessary in the tz database, then,
from a practical point of view, I assume Cyprus would better fit in the
European/EU sector - occasionally the same for Turkey in the future -,
because of the orientation towards the EU. With the political, religious,
social and cultural background of Cyprus, it would never come to my mind
to search for Cyprus in Asia, Africa, or elsewhere. But that's just me :-)

Janis Papanagnou
Janis.P at

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