Renaming Saigon to TP Ho Chi Minh

Robert Elz kre at munnari.OZ.AU
Fri Mar 21 04:56:51 UTC 2008

    Date:        Fri, 21 Mar 2008 03:25:00 +0000 (UTC)
    From:        Progfou <jean-christophe.andre at>
    Message-ID:  <loom.20080321T030037-405 at>

  | The "most populous" rule is totally arbitrary and a moving target.

Arbitrary yes, any rule would be.  And yes, it is a moving target, but
in practice, changes because of this are very rare (Capital cities are also 
not fixed, they've been known to move from one place to another occasionally.)

  | Anyway, I propose a better rule specifically for simple case like a country
  | being in only one timezone: just use the name of the Capital City.

At first glance, that sounds like it would be reasonable, but in practice,
it doesn't work.

For Vietnam there would unlikely ever be a problem, as the chances of Vietnam
ever splitting into two timezones is negligible.   But we're not going to
make special case rules for Vietnam, nor attempt to guess which countries
are such that a rule like that could apply.    The problem is that a rule like
that would (at least currently) apply to countries like India as well.

Currently India has just Asia/Calcutta (which may be Asia/Kolkata after
the next update), but by applying the "single zone" rule, it would have to
be Asia/Delhi instead (maybe Asia/New_Delhi - that doesn't need to concern
us right now).  Then, if India later split into different zones we would be
generating problems for ourselves.  Imagine India split itself vertically
approximately into halves.   Then Asia/Calcutta (or Kolkata) would return
for the eastern half, but the western would probably be Asia/Mumbai (and
Asia/Delhi would vanish - or turn into a compatability link).

The big advantage to the "largest population centre" is that it applies
easily, and without much in the way of arguments, in all zones.

What might be possible would be to support "political" links, as well as
backwards compatability links, and perhaps have a rule that if there is
no zone named for the capital of a country, a political link for it be
created (linked to whatever is the "correct" timezone according to our rules).
But I think we'd need to be firm about that only applying to countries, and
not states/provinces/... within countries.


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