Alternative place names?

Paul Hill phill at
Wed Sep 27 17:35:02 UTC 2000

Garrett Wollman wrote:
> Many time-zone regions do not have a `capital' of any sort.  To give
> just one example, the time zone `America/Los_Angeles' has three
> `capitals': Sacramento, Salem, and Olympia.  None of these are obvious
> choices.  `America/Chicago' has even more possibilities.  In both
> cases, choosing the largest city resolves the ambiguity.  (Of course,
> neither one is particularly ``natural'' -- the legal names are
> ``Pacific'' and ``Central'', respectively.)

You were quicker than I with a reply. I was even going to use the 
same 'West Coast of North America Time'.

By the way, there is also Vancouver (B.C. Canada), Yellowknife -
the capital of the Yukon, and capital of the Mexican State of Baja Norte -
Encenada, to add to that list.

Also, keep in mind that "Central" and "Pacific" are not the official
names of the timezones, they may be the official names in the USA,
but you must consider Canada, Mexico, various parts of the Caribbean,
Central America, and any coutnry in the mix that officially has two
languages (i.e. Canada) in the mix just for the two examples you gave.
This assumes they use exactly the same TZ rules, some parts do.

There is no one official name for the set of rules, even if various places
use the same name ("Eastern Time" and EST).  As I understand it, this is one of
the reasons the TZdata files uses city names.

Someone said there is the rule: every country gets at least one entry.
Is this implemented in practice?  Every country including all small
countries that share zones (like the Caribbean)?

Does this apply to Canada?  Are there really redundant entries for Pacific,
Mountain, Central and Eastern for Canada?  I thought only those locations
with alternative TZ histories are listed under a different town/city name.
Maybe that is why all of Canada would get its onw list, what with War Time
and differing parliamentary history etc.


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