[tz] Belarus is listed in MSK timezone

Hank W. hankw1 at austin.rr.com
Mon Apr 13 21:45:52 UTC 2015

Peter Ilieve <peter <at> aldie.co.uk> writes:

> Remember that we are descriptive rather than prescriptive. I can’t
> speak for the Irish, but you would have a hard job trying to get
> GMT and BST (another ambiguous abbreviation signifying UTC+1)
> changed to GBT and GBST or GBDT.

I did not suggest changing GMT or changing BST as the abbreviation for
British Summer Time, nor did I have any intention to suggest it.  When you
have one code with two meanings, it is not necessary to replace both codes
to get to where every code has no more than one meaning.  If Bougainville
Standard Time is given a different abbreviation, BST will be left with only
one meaning:  UTC+1 (British Summer Time).  And it makes a lot more sense to
change the one that's been in use for just under 4 months rather than the
one that's been in use for just under 99 years.

> And, of course, change the other version of this ambiguous CST
> abbreviation to USST.

Same story:  If we get to where CST means only UTC-6 and CDT means only
UTC-5, we no longer have a problem.  Besides, if we were to change C%sT to
US%sT in the ten different North American countries where UTC-6 is
represented in the tzdb as "CST", we would be doing exactly the same thing
that Mr. Kazimirchyk would like to see undone to Belarus, the very issue
that started this thread.

I actually prefer the style used in North America, Europe and Africa of
multiple countries using the same name for the same UTC offset rather than
the style of South America and Asia of the same time offset having a
different name in each country.  It's neater and easier to handle, and it's
easier to remember what the names stand for.  For example, it's easier to
remember that Central European Time is between Western European Time and
Eastern European Time than it is to remember that Myanmar Time is UTC+6:30.

Out of curiosity, I recently decided to figure out which of the world's 41
different UTC offsets currently has the most names.  The winner (or loser?)
is UTC-3, which currently has 13 different names (Amazon Summer Time,
Argentina Time, Atlantic Daylight Saving Time, Brasilia Time, Chile Summer
Time, Falkland Islands Summer Time, French Guiana Time, Paraguay Summer
Time, Pierre-et-Miquelon Standard Time, Rothera Time, Suriname Time, Uruguay
Time and Western Greenland Time).  I'm not suggesting that something be done
to change this fact; I'm just sharing an interesting bit of trivia.

One thing I had intended to include in my previous message but forgot to is
that I don't see anything wrong with ambiguous tz abbreviations that do not
represent more than one UTC offset.  PST is cool because Pacific Standard
Time and Pitcairn Standard Time are both UTC-8, and AQTT is cool because
Aqtobe Time and Aqtau Time are both UTC+5.

Hank Wisniewski, Austin, Texas, U.S.A.

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