[tz] Comments and mapping of tz zones to the real world

Robert Elz kre at munnari.OZ.AU
Mon May 7 22:16:11 UTC 2012

    Date:        Sun, 6 May 2012 08:03:22 +0200
    From:        Tobias Conradi <tobias.conradi at gmail.com>
    Message-ID:  <CAAGevbUnWXeYuQzE-_6AoUsa+c4S7NX2SOWQ57q-t7B55Gom6A at mail.gmail.com>

  | Of course they do. If one selects timezone Asia/Baku based on a
  | comment that this is the tz zone for Chicago then one would get false
  | offsets and false transitions.

No, they wouldn't, they'd get perfectly good translations for Asia/Baku
which is what they asked for (if those translations were incorrect, that
would be a bug).    That they didn't get what they hoped for is their
(or someone else's) problem, not ours, as deciding what timezone people
should use is just outside the scope of this project.

Somewhere there just have to be boundaries on what we do, and this is one
of them that's always been there.

  | Can you tell a way of how a user determines the correct zone for a
  | random location in Indiana,

No, no idea, not my problem.   The general process is that they select
whichever of those towns (or locations) has (and has had) clocks showing
the same time as their local clock, and use that one - if they are local,
they probably will simply know that.   For outsiders who have some reason
to need to know Indiana time translations they would need to be told which
timezone applies (or depending upon the application, the actual offset that
applies to a particular timestamp).

If the user in question happened to be me, I can assure you, giving lists
of county names wouldn't help in the slightest.

Note I am not saying that the problem you're posing isn't a real problem,
nor that it shouldn't have work done on it.   It is just that it is not
our problem.   The world has zillions of problems that we don't pretend to
be attempting to solve, some of those are even related to time, and/or
timezones - our job is limited to just making sure that we have all the
zones that are needed (so there is a correct answer for that user to
select an appropriate zone for their random Indiana location).   Beyond
that, someone else can work on it (perhaps with overlap from members of
this list.)


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