Renaming Saigon to TP Ho Chi Minh

Robert Elz kre at munnari.OZ.AU
Fri Mar 21 15:56:59 UTC 2008

    Date:        Fri, 21 Mar 2008 08:51:44 -0400
    From:        John Hawkinson <jhawk at>
    Message-ID:  <20080321125144.GU1172 at>

  | If we were to have political links for countries, why make them
  | based on cities at all? We could simply have Asia/Vietnam.

That's more or less how the timezone names started out.  It changed because
that doesn't work in general.   Sure, it would be OK for Vietnam, but what
would America/USA mean?   (Or America/Canada ?   etc...)

There is in general no good way to map between countries and timezones.
Cities on the other hand almost always map to a single timezone, a city
running on two different clock settings would be a nightmare to manage.

Even a rule that single timezone countries use the country name isn't
great, for the same reasons as using the capitol cities as their timezone
names isn't really workable, and also because then we need to deal with
places like China, which today most residents probably think of as a
single timezone, where we have it split into several, because of earlier
differences.  Attempting to explain why there can't be a zone named after
China, where other countries can have one - just because of some variation
30 years (or so) ago, wouldn't be easy for most people to understand
(especially if they're willing to allow Hong Kong to go on being different.)


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