[tz] Belarus is listed in MSK timezone

Dzmitry Kazimirchyk dkazimirchyk at gmail.com
Fri Apr 3 21:28:52 UTC 2015

Sorry, but let me put in my two cents...

On 04/03/2015 10:51 PM, Lester Caine wrote:
> This is a debate we had on the tzdist workgroup. A rule set can be used
> by many timezones, and as such is generic to the TZ database, not a
> specific tz identifier. CET for example is used by numerous central
> European identifiers, as are many of the American rule sets. In the
> American example, states may switch between one rule set and another
> over time resulting in a complex set of timezone data, but the rule set
> itself does not change.

The key concept here is that "the rule itself doesn't change". I don't 
believe MSK can be considered a rule set in that sense (and hence a 
generic rule set) like CET and American time zones are, since it has a 
history of changing its rules directly following change of time keeping 
policies in certain region of a certain country. And I am strongly 
convinced that everyone understands that it will be changed again should 
the region it denotes in its name change its time keeping policies yet 
again. I also believe that a rule set to be considered generic should 
not be named after a place in one particular country of the region it 
represents and should be a neutral term without bias towards any country 
in that region and that its name or usage shouldn't spark any political 
debates or be completely denied by any of the countries it is considered 
to be observed in.

Please correct me if I'm being wrong here.

Belarus is currently using the same rule set it
> was using pre-1970? We do not need to duplicate that rule set and create
> a new identifier for it ... we just use the generic rule set that works.

Technically, there was no such country as Belarus pre 1991, hence 
Belarus couldn't have used MSK, the record of Minsk using MSK pre 1990 
merely represents the fact that it was part of a "Moscow time" using 
region of the Soviet Union which now and for the last 25 years it isn't. 
Moreover there was no need to create anything since Belarus already had 
its UTC+3 time zone abbreviation before MSK rule was changed from UTC+4 
to UTC+3. And above is my explanation why I believe that MSK can not be 
considered a generic rule set.

I would agree with one rule set - one name policy if it was strictly 
observed by the TZ database. However I can see numerous instances of 
using different abbreviations for the exact same rules in neighbouring 
regions in different countries and here are just couple examples of the 
countries used to be part of the Soviet Union like Belarus did:

  * [UTC+5 all year round] Russia("Asia/Yekaterinburg") uses YEKT and 
neighbouring Kazakhstan("Asia/Oral") uses ORAT and another neighbour 
Turkmenistan("Asia/Ashgabat") uses TMT;
  * [UTC+6 all year round] Russia("Asia/Novosibirsk"): NOVT, 
Kazakhstan("Asia/Almaty"): ALMT

I just don't see why Belarus is denied (and even deprived of) its own 
time zone name in similar situation.

Dzmitry Kazimirchyk

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