[tz] Non-ASCII outside comments?

Alan Barrett apb at cequrux.com
Wed Jun 25 18:03:15 UTC 2014

On Wed, 25 Jun 2014, Arthur David Olson wrote:
>Should zic permit non-ASCII characters in zone names? In time zone
>If they are permitted, should zic warn about them?

Please don't permit characters outside the portable subset of 
ASCII in zone names.

Comments in text files are non-critical, and if they appear 
mangled due to incorrect settings (such as disagreement between 
different software layers about what locale is in use), or 
due to absence of support in my display font, or if they are 
incomprehensible due to my unfamilarity with the language or 
character set involved, then it doesn't matter too much.  On the 
other hand, if I am unable to enter a zone name due to incorrect 
settings, or due to missing support in my keyboard driver, or 
merely due to personal unfamiliarity with the "foreign" characters 
involved, then I won't be able to select the correct zone.  This 
problem gets worse, for me, as character sets get larger: I might 
be able to figure out how to coerce my keyboard driver into 
emitting the codes for <latin small letter e with grave>, but I 
have very little chance of telling whether two somewhat-similar 
glyphs are different renderings of the same Chinese character, or 
different characters entirely, and I certainly don't know how to 
make my keyboard emit the right codes for them.

This attitude is unfair to people for whom the letters A to Z and 
the digits 0 to 9 are foreign, unfamiliar, difficult to read, or 
difficult to input.  I recognise that unfairness, but do not have 
a solution for them.

--apb (Alan Barrett)

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