[tz] Theory - proposal to delete the reference to population

Paul Eggert eggert at cs.ucla.edu
Sat May 12 02:57:30 UTC 2012

On 05/11/2012 06:37 PM, Tobias Conradi wrote:

> It is out of the scope of the tzdb as defined in the Theory file ...
> 1b) there is no definition of "uninhabited" ...
> 1c) There is no evidence that local time is not defined if a
> population is absent.

The Theory file is not a formal definition; it's an attempt
to write down common-sense rules about what's in the
database.  I suppose it might help to clarify it somewhat --
thus, for example, perhaps "uninhabited" might be clarified
to have its common interpretation "no permanent inhabitants".
I imagine it's possible to haggle over any such definition
indefinitely, but we do have limited resources, and to be
honest I'd rather leave it alone than haggle about it.

Another way to think of it is that we have enough trouble
worrying about locations containing permanent inhabitants,
without also having to worry about transitory populations
where data are even harder to come by and are more likely to
be incorrect or in conflict.  We're better off spending our
limited resources in areas where the need is real and where
we have real data.

> German WP reports a team of people has been there after the 1970-01-01

There's a similar discussion in the English Wikipedia
But this was a temporary visit by a Norwegian research team,
which doesn't count as permanent inhabitants.

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