Localization of timezones from zone.tab

Andy Lipscomb AndyLipscomb at decosimo.com
Tue Jul 10 17:34:11 UTC 2007

Currently, the main effort to localize time-zone information is in the Common Language Data Repository (I think that's what it's called, I know it's CLDR for initials), hosted at http://www.unicode.org/cldr; for each zone, there is the option to localize two names (DST and standard), the initials for those names, and the example city.

J Andrew Lipscomb, CPA*ABV, ASA

Decosimo Corporate Finance

900 Tallan Building
2 Union Square
Chattanooga, TN 37402
Fax 423.266.6671

-----Original Message-----
From: Olson, Arthur David (NIH/NCI) [E] [mailto:olsona at dc37a.nci.nih.gov] 
Sent: Tue 10 July 2007 13:26
To: tz at lecserver.nci.nih.gov
Cc: vuntz at gnome.org
Subject: FW: Localization of timezones from zone.tab

I'm forwarding this message from Vincent Untz, who is not on the time zone mailing list.

Those of you who are on the time zone mailing list should direct replies appropriately.


-----Original Message-----
From: Vincent Untz [mailto:vuntz at gnome.org]
Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2007 1:24 PM
To: tz at lecserver.nci.nih.gov
Subject: Localization of timezones from zone.tab


[please keep me cc'ed since I'm not subscribed to this list]

I know that, at least in GNOME, there are now three places where we parse zone.tab to get a list of timezones supported by the OS. I suppose other projects are also doing this. This list is then presented to the user to let him choose the timezone.

The problem here is that we let the user choose strings which look like "Antarctica/South_Pole". This is not really good for non-english-speaking people ;-)

Of course, we can add all the timezones to our list of strings to translate, but this means all projects needing to do so will duplicate this work and the translations.

I'd like the tz database to ship translations in po files. This would imply the following:

 + create a small script to generate a POT file from zone.tab (easy)  + submit the POT file to the translation project [1] (or any other
   place that helps with translation)
 + add the po files for translation to the tz database  + choose a gettext domain

(Of course, I'm quite probably forgetting about a step :-))

I've seen that this topic has been discussed before [2], but the proposition there was really more ambitious, so I'm hoping a simple approach would be welcomed.

What do you think?


[1] http://translationproject.org/
[2] http://osdir.com/ml/time.tz/2004-09/msg00000.html


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