Renaming Saigon to TP Ho Chi Minh

Progfou jean-christophe.andre at
Fri Mar 21 05:01:08 UTC 2008

Dave Rolsky <autarch <at>> writes:
> The "most populous" rule is definitely not arbitrary.

Well... Agreed. I wrote a bit too quickly on this one... I understand
your points and that you won't change the rules just for one country.

So please read my answers below as some constructive criticism,
not as a request to change the rules.

> First of all, in the cases of larger countries with multiple zones,
> you can't pick the capital (the US is a good example, as are many
> other "wide" countries).

Agreed. But "wide" countries are not the most frequent case though...
So we need some rule for them, but why should it be the same for every
other "more common width" countries?

> Also, one of the stated goals of the database is to "be robust in the 
> presence of political changes". I'd assume that the most populous rule 
> falls out from that, because capitols probably change more often than 
> populations move.

Still this rule doesn't catch administrative changes like moving city's
boundaries, which can change the "most populous" result without any
people move. That should be the case for Hanoi soon. Will you change the
zone name accordingly then?

But I agree it's certainly more stable than using the capitol, in case
of political instability, which is sadly still common...

> And arbitrary or not, it's the rule, and there's no good reason _not_
> to stick with it now that it's been in place for so long. Special-casing
> Vietnam would A) cause the maintainers a maintenance hassle; 

For A) it's not our goal, of course.
And as a programmer sometime, I can understand this point very well! ;-)

> and B) invite everyone else to come complain that _their_ capital isn't
> used for the name, but Vietnam's is.

As for B), if everyone else went to complain for using their capitol name,
then I would call this a real reason to make it being a rule! ;-)

But let's come back to our specific problem, keeping the existing rules.
It seems that we can use some kind of "links" between zone names, isn't it?

So I would propose this:
- rename "Saigon" as "Ho_Chi_Minh" (as already proposed, thanks) ;
- make a link from "Hanoi" to "Ho_Chi_Minh".

It would solve three problems at once:
- the "most populous" city name change since 1975 ;
- the request for "Hanoi" being usable as a zone name ;
- the "soon to come" change in the "most populous" result.

Regards, J.C.

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