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

Paul Goyette pgoyette at juniper.net
Sat May 19 00:15:13 UTC 2012

I personally _have_ been captain of a ship crossing the Pacific
Ocean several years ago.  Shipboard clocks were always set to
reflect local time when entering territorial waters.

And, while we were in international waters, as captain I ordered
clocks to be adjusted as we crossed each "natural" longitude-based
tz border.  Ship-board watches followed official ship's time as
ordered by me.

(If anyone actually cares, I do have a mini-blog of the trip on-
line at http://www.sailblogs.com/member/gentle-wind/ )

> -----Original Message-----
> From: tz-bounces at iana.org [mailto:tz-bounces at iana.org] On Behalf Of
> Russ Allbery
> Sent: Friday, May 18, 2012 5:04 PM
> To: tz at iana.org
> Subject: Re: [tz] Theory - proposal to delete the reference to
> population
> Tobias Conradi <tobias.conradi at gmail.com> writes:
> > "If two ships enter territorial waters of HM would the Olson-Eggert-
> > time zone database give them advice for how to set their clocks?"
> This is not a sufficiently specified scenario to be analyzable.
> Missing
> data includes why they're setting their clocks and what they're trying
> to
> coordinate with each other.
> Have you been captaining a ship entering those territorial waters and
> had
> a specific problem around time zones?  If so, please do explain; that
> would be useful information to have in deciding what the database
> should
> do.
> If not, I would suggest that this is an artificial, invented problem
> that
> may never have occurred and may never become real, at which point the
> standard best practices of software development kick in.  Adding
> prospective, theoretical database entries to solve problems that we
> don't
> fully understand and that have never been specified by someone who is
> attempting to solve that problem is a bad idea.  Such code or data is
> almost guaranteed to be buggy and wrong when the situation actually
> arises, since the real world rarely behaves like our preliminary
> guesses.
> Of equal or greater importance as completeness is to decline to state a
> rule when there is no known rule to state.  Artificial accuracy can
> cause
> as many problems as missing data.
> --
> Russ Allbery (rra at stanford.edu)
> <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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