[tz] Proposal for new rules

Stephen Colebourne scolebourne at joda.org
Thu Aug 29 22:51:10 UTC 2013

On 29 August 2013 21:56, Paul Eggert <eggert at cs.ucla.edu> wrote:
> On 08/29/2013 01:06 PM, Paul Goyette wrote:
>> The new proposal (appears to) restore the recent status-quo
> I'm afraid that's not the case: the proposal would impose
> new political rules that have never been followed in the tz
> database, rules that would require politically-inspired makework.
> For example, it would forbid the longstanding link from
> Europe/Rome to Europe/Vatican.  There is no technical reason
> to forbid that link; the only reason to forbid it would be
> political.  (This is not the only example; I'm picking on
> the Vatican because it's relatively uncontroversial.)

The Vatican and Rome may have exactly the same time-zone rules but
they do not have exactly the same LMT. Now I'll accept that the
discrepancy is likely to be irrelevant to pretty much everybody, but
it is a necessary effect of the two rules.

The real aim of rule #2 is to stop things which are politically
charged like Belgrade vs Zagreb. It also handles things like
Aruba/Anguilla/PuetoRico which may not be politically charged now but
could be in the future.

If it were to ease things for others, I would be happy with rule #2
being should rather than must, although I personally feel its a step
backward. Similarly, I would be OK with a city (zone ID) linking to
two different ISO3166 regions if time is and always has been the same
in both parts of the disputed city - I just think that scenario won't
actually ever occur.

The two rules do, unquestionably, make zone IDs a function of regions.
I think that is a good thing. Note that I said zone ID within region,
not city within region. This distinction is where the separation from
politics can occur for the few that complain.

In addition, the number of controversial IDs is very, very small. They
can and should be sidestepped via an "avoid controversial zone ID
names" rule - ie. use Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem. Specifically, no one
can complain that Tel Aviv is in Israel and that Israel has an ISO3166
code. Politics sorted.


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