America/Edmonton and other zone naming issues

Oscar van Vlijmen ovv at
Thu Feb 9 22:24:06 UTC 2006

The zone naming is not consistent.
Of course, some reasoning lies behind it, but just looking at the names:
they are not of database quality. That's a hurdle to a non-TZ developer.

America/Boise refers to a county and a city in the USA.
America/Edmonton refers to a city not in the USA but in Canada.
America/Sao_Paulo refers to a city in Brazil.
America/Costa_Rica refers to a country.

If this works for you, then it works. Don't change it!
And don't discuss it either!

In reply to: Paul Eggert:
>> single zone name (e.g. Georgia) being a valid zone name (instead of
>> Asia/Tbilisi).
> That's another bad example.  The vast majority of uses of the name
> "Georgia" in English refer to the USA state, not to the nation of
> Georgia.
For USA residents a USA-centric approach is obvious, for others probably a
more global, it est country-like, approach serves logic better.
But, if it works for you... &c.

> Here's a sample 'tzselect' interaction to show
> how this might work for your example user in Boise.
> $ tzselect
> Please identify a location so that time zone rules can be set correctly.
> Please select a continent or ocean.
> Please select a country.
> Please select one of the following time zone regions.
Ah, that is nice! I want to know what time it is in Boise Idaho, but I first
have to tell you what (general) time it is over there. I don't know, that's
why I asked you.....

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