[tz] Adding Asia/Beijing timezone into the database

Guy Harris guy at alum.mit.edu
Fri Dec 9 18:17:35 UTC 2011

On Dec 9, 2011, at 2:37 AM, Daoming Qiu wrote:

> Thanks for all your information.
> The fact that this issue has been discussed so many times reflects
> that what the user prefers,

Who are the "users" of the time zone database?

The time zone names are not intended to be directly presented to users other than UN*X command-line users who are directly setting the TZ environment variable.  

> I browsed through the list archive, and I don't agree with the discussion point.
> - The timezones listed in the tz database are important and directly
> referenced by many kinds of applications.
> Requiring applications to do specific mapping (Asia/Shanghai->
> Beijing)  is not good.

So would the applications instead have to map Shanghai to Asia/Beijing?  In *either* case, they have to map, say, Guangzhou to some other city's name, so there's still mapping.

There should perhaps be a database or databases that can be used to map, say, city names, province/county/etc. names (at least in cases where all of the province/county/etc. is covered by a single tz database entry), latitude/longitude values, etc. to tz database entry names.  Perhaps there should also be a database giving names to tz database entries for human use - to use your earlier example, "Beijing, Chongqing, HongKong, Urumuqi" for Asia/{whatever city is used}, although not all systems would choose the same scheme to describe the region covered by a database entry (Mac OS X has a large list of "nearest cities").

Perhaps we should just assign UUIDs to the tz database entries; that should eliminate any complaints about the wrong name being chosen for a database entry. :-)

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