[tz] Belarus is listed in MSK timezone

Paul Eggert eggert at cs.ucla.edu
Sat Apr 4 21:32:52 UTC 2015

Dzmitry Kazimirchyk wrote:
> I think AST (a.k.a Arabia Standard Time) in its both full and abbreviated forms
> is used to denote time in Iraq  both locally and internationally and it was not
> the TZ database who first introduced this tradition.

No, I introduced the abbreviation "AST" for Arabia Standard Time in the 1990s, 
as part of my contributions to the tz database.  As far as I know it was not 
part of any local or international convention.  It seemed like a good idea at 
the time.  Given the controversy over what "MSK" stands for, though, ...

> there is a wide agreement that "Minsk time" and "Moscow time" are not the same terms


> community should have picked the abbreviation as per standard procedure

The dispute here is over what the "standard procedure" is.  The guidelines 
mainly attempt to record the informal thought processes I used while 
contributing to the tz database since the early 1990s.  These processes produced 
many abbreviations that I invented purely because the database format required 
*something* even though no abbreviations were actually in common use.

Here's an example of what these thought processes produced: since 1998 in the tz 
database the abbreviation MMT has stood for both "Minsk Mean Time" (in use 
1924-1930) and "Moscow Mean Time" (1916-1918).  The analogy to MSK should be 

> 3. I've brought up  an example of Kazakhstan

Sure, and Kazakhstan uses (for lack of a better term) an "Asiatic" style, which 
I invented only because *something* is required there, and which has never 
really caught on in English-language usage.  It's better not to invent more 
abbreviations like that if we don't have to, as seems to be the case here. 
(Plus, we wouldn't want to confuse non-expert users into thinking that Minsk is 
in Asia....)

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