Vietnam: Saigon is deprecated, should use capital Hanoi

Robert Elz kre at munnari.OZ.AU
Wed Jul 11 13:15:33 UTC 2007

    Date:        Tue, 10 Jul 2007 15:12:44 -0700
    From:        "Paul Schauble" <Paul.Schauble at>
    Message-ID:  <0165EECEBB4CF745ACF095E1176B03EA12C7FFE3 at SUNCA-EXB-AV1.ticketmaster.corp>

  | I suggested some time ago that zones should be named according to the
  | authority that declared the zone.

Does that work in the US, where all zones are under the authority of
the Dept of Transport (or something like that) - you'd still need
additional names to determine just which of the multiple different zones
they meant - and even then dealing with historical names would mean that
you can't just use the names the relevant dept assign, as they don't
usually bother to provide names for things which are no longer current,
but we need them.

Just stop arguing about this silly issue - it doesn't really matter what
the zones are called.   City names are a fairly good choice, as it is
very unlikely that a single city doesn't have a single timezone history
and rules.   Further, the biggest city is a good choice, as it is unlikely
that people aren't going to know if the local time is different than whatever
is the biggest regional city.

Definitions of cities don't need to be precise - nothing really important
depends upon the results - we aren't specifying the time that applies in
that city, just using its name as the label for a time zone (where any
unique label would do just as well - which is why when the city that would
normally be selected doesn't have a unique enough name, we just pick another.)

A "city" is just what some outsider would consider to be that city,
so as far as I'm concerned, if I arrive at Heathrowe (or Gatwick) I'm in 
London.   On the other hand, if I'm in Essen, I'm in Essen, the city,
Ruhrgebiet, or Rhein-Ruhr is a region name, not a city, so they're not
really options for us to choose.

Stability is not too much of an issue either, nothing depends upon "biggest"
that's just a convenient way to (try to) pick cities without having these
endless absurd arguments.  That's why "most important" is never going to
work - all that would ever do is cause arguments, never settle any.   Once
picked, we retain the same city name, even if something else becomes
bigger - at least until it is clear that some other city is substantially
larger and going to remain that way.

Whether we should be using Rome or Milan in Italy, I'll leave to someone
who understands Italian geography and politics - if it should be Milan,
we can just fix it (and of course, keep Rome as an alias).   That is,
if everyone who knows enough to have an opinion on this (which certainly
excludes me) agrees that Milan is substantially bigger than Rome, and
that isn't likely to change.   If the issue is debatable enough for
anyone to argue (reasonably) about, then we should just stick with what
we have.    The same for Calcutta/Mumbai and Karachi/Lahor.   We already
had the Beijing/Shanghai discussion, and while it may alter in the
future, things don't yet seem clear cut enough to make a change there.


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