[tz] Proposal to deprecate "." and "-" in zone names

Ian Abbott abbotti at mev.co.uk
Fri May 25 08:01:07 UTC 2012

On 25/05/12 00:27, Tobias Conradi wrote:
> I am here to improve usability of the IANA time zone database.
> Other people already invent new names because in their systems the
> IANA time zone names are not sufficient.
> E.g. CLDR has created UN/LOCODE based codes:
> http://cldr.unicode.org/development/development-process/design-proposals/bcp47-mapping
> Some of these insufficiencies can be easily removed.
> http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-CSS2-20080411/syndata.html#q4 says
> "In CSS2, identifiers (including element names, classes, and IDs in
> selectors) can contain only the characters [A-Za-z0-9] and ISO 10646
> characters 161 and higher, plus the hyphen (-); they cannot start with
> a hyphen or a digit. They can also contain escaped characters and any
> ISO 10646 character as a numeric code (see next item). For instance,
> the identifier "B&W?" may be written as "B\&W\?" or "B\26 W\3F"."
> To have / or \ in zone names needs escaping in CSS2 according to the
> above, if one wants to use the names for classes or ids in CSS.

I don't know why you'd want to convert timezone IDs to CSS2 IDs, but 
surely you'd have to escape the underscores as well.

> By using only [A-Za-z0-9] in name components and "/" as component
> separator, the IANA time zone database would allow easy transformation
> from IANA time zone names into class names or ids and backward.

A time-zone name would map to an instance of a time-zone class, not to a 
class itself, although you may want to map a time-zone name to a 
variable name or some other identifier such as an enumerated constant.

Different systems have different restrictions, but you can always define 
an escape mechanism to perform a two-way mapping between the system's ID 
naming rules and tzdata time-zone names.  Or you could use the time-zone 
name as a string-type look-up key into a database, which is effectively 
what tzcode does already.

-=( Ian Abbott @ MEV Ltd.    E-mail: <abbotti at mev.co.uk>        )=-
-=( Tel: +44 (0)161 477 1898   FAX: +44 (0)161 718 3587         )=-

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