[tz] Belarus is listed in MSK timezone

Paul Ganssle pganssle at gmail.com
Fri Apr 24 21:25:20 UTC 2015

I have to say, I was originally very skeptical about this proposal because
it seems like it would be political, but if MSK really isn't used locally,
it probably shouldn't be in the DB regardless of the political
implications, particularly if a identical abbreviation is used elsewhere.

I think that dropping out entirely could work, or alternately it seemed
there was a strong case for BYT or MINT. My preference between those two
would be BYT if there has to be a three letter abbreviation.
On Apr 24, 2015 3:29 PM, "Dzmitry Kazimirchyk" <dkazimirchyk at gmail.com>

> On 4/23/15 10:23 PM, Paul Eggert wrote:
>> On 04/23/2015 11:34 AM, Dzmitry Kazimirchyk wrote:
>>> I can't see how it is TZ database's mission to confuse (or even
>>> offend) locals by telling them that they are using foreign "Moscow time"
>> It's not.  And this is why the current version of the tz database says
>> that MSK stands for either Minsk or Moscow time.  It's true that the
>> abbreviation is ambiguous and that this can cause confusion, but there
>> are lots of ambiguous abbreviations in the tz database (AST, BST, CST,
>> ...) and the resulting confusion is a normal and expected aspect of
>> these abbreviations.  It's long been recommended to use numeric offsets
>> like "+0300" to avoid this confusion, and this recommendation applies
>> here as well.
> Sorry, but I have already explained why I think it is wrong to compare MSK
> to AST, BST, CST, etc. To repeat myself, MSK is not a natural abbreviation
> for "Minsk time" but rather is an attempt to stick already existing foreign
> abbreviation to it. I can't see any logical explanation in picking first
> and two last letters of the first word of the term to construct an
> abbreviation for it, why not use MIN, MNS or MNK then. Neither I see any
> point in introducing ambiguity where there is no logical background for one
> to appear.
> Moreover, as I've previously explained, MSK is known and widely used both
> locally and internationally as abbreviation to denote "Moscow time" and I
> don't see how a commentary in TZ database can change this conception, so
> the confusion and misinformation is inevitable and in fact is happening now
> with software picking MSK for Minsk from TZ database and disambiguating it
> as "Moscow Standard Time". I really don't think that TZ database is meant
> to introduce confusion and claim it as a normal practice when there are
> numerous reasons to avoid it.
> On 4/23/15 11:59 PM, Lester Caine wrote:
>> If one was to start again, then the software would probably not be
>> designed around abbreviations, but it is probably that most early users
>> were more interested in daylight saving changes and ignored the static
>> tz offsets at all. If anything needs 'fixing' it's the need for an
>> abbreviation at all when a location only has a fixed time offset. It IS
>> only you who is trying to read more into the situation than actually
>> exists ... in the absence of a documented answer we just use something
>> to fill the hole, and MSK was correct at a point in history.
> But it isn't correct at present. From what I understand the decision was
> indeed made in the absence of all the facts and answers, but I don't
> understand why now when the facts and answers are available there is such a
> strong opposition to reconsidering this decision taking them into account.
> I don't think reasoning about hypothetical TZ database's future without
> time zone abbreviations is particularly good argument in this case. It has
> abbreviations now, software and people see and use them, so unless
> abbreviations are abolished altogether there is not much point in making
> parallels to this case, since TZ database has lots of examples of using
> different abbreviations for the similar time zone offsets.
> On 4/24/15 2:51 AM, Paul_Koning at dell.com wrote:>
>> I think what he’s doing is refusing to make any changes whose reasoning
>> is political, which makes sense.
> I don't see why political reasoning is brought up over and over again when
> there is completely apolitical and logical explanation:
>  * MSK is abbreviation for "Moscow time" with a strong history and is
> commonly used both locally and internationally;
>  * MSK is not tied to a time offset like EST, EEST, etc., but is tied to
> time zone policies at specific geographical region and changes its offset
> rules following that region's practices (Minsk (and Belarus) is not part of
> the region MSK represents);
>  * Minsk (Belarus) time zone is commonly referred to as "Minsk time" (not
> "Moscow time") both by people and in official sources and media;
>  * MSK is neither natural nor historical or habitual abbreviation for
> "Minsk time";
>  * Due to the above, usage of MSK for "Minsk time" is confusing and
> misleading, hence the abbreviation should be changed.
> --
> Dzmitry Kazimirchyk
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