[tz] [PATCH 0/1] Add Asia/Beijing

James M Leddy james.leddy at canonical.com
Mon Aug 13 20:17:51 UTC 2012

On 08/13/2012 04:00 PM, Paul_Koning at Dell.com wrote:
> On Aug 13, 2012, at 3:49 PM, James M Leddy wrote:
>> I know this is a controversial topic, but I've been asked to submit
>> this, and have decided to do so for a few reasons:
>> * We'll stop getting questions of why Beijing Time is not included.
>> * People that want to ship their own modified version of tzdata can
>>   take this patch.
>> * The common proposed fix is that we should be using "human
>>   presentable" names and have a mapping from these names to the
>>   actual timezones. Since that proposal, indeed since the inception
>>   of desktop Linux/Unix, no one (as far as I know) has actually done
>>   this, leading to continued confusion from users.
>> * I've seen it argued that we have to keep the the database pristine,
>>   yet the bar for entry does not actually seem that high.  For
>>   example, we have a link from the Vatican to Rome, even though it
>>   should be pretty obvious that they're the same time zone. And we
>>   have a Link for people that can't seem to figure out if Nicosia is
>>   in Europe or Asia.
>> * This really does seem to confuse users. "Eastern Time" includes
>>   both Washington, D.C. and New York City. The justification is that
>>   we never added Washington to the list, so we shouldn't add
>>   Beijing. But this is really not a fair comparison. It's called
>>   "Beijing Time". I'm sure if ET was called "Washington Time", it
>>   would at least give me pause to select New York time, even though
>>   I'm a New Yorker. No one gets confused that they have to pick New
>>   York, or Madrid instead of Barcelona, so that argument doesn't hold
>>   water.
> So if we adopt this, how many thousand additional patches like this will we have to adopt as well?

Little to none, as far as I can tell. The criteria are:

* The timezone is named after a city, one that's already not in zone.tab
* The naming confuses users, to the point that they keep trying to
  click on the map closer to Beijing to get the timezone, and
  repeatedly bring it up on mailing-lists/bugzillas.
* The change affects 1.3 billion people [possibly not a valid criterion]

It's interesting that you were the first to respond, because Dell is one
of the OEM's requesting us to change it :)

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