[tz] Asia/Tomsk

Paul Eggert eggert at cs.ucla.edu
Thu Jun 2 20:54:05 UTC 2016

On 06/02/2016 01:16 PM, Pavel V. Rochnyack wrote:
> I suppose what this argument, together with the previously listed 
> arguments, is enough to set abbreviations in 'Asia/Tomsk' to NOVT/KRAT 
> like already done in 'Asia/Novokuznetsk'.

This is the sort of thing we're trying to move away from. Abbreviations 
like NOVT are our inventions and are rarely used outside the tzdata 
context; we really can't defend them.

Another problem with abbreviations like NOVT is that their meanings 
change with time. For example, NOVT stands for +06 now, but it stands 
for +07 before October 2014, for +06 again before March 2011, etc. The 
ambiguity of "NOVT" is atypical for English-language time zone 
abbreviations, and this unexpected aspect of our invented abbreviations 
can easily confuse non-experts.

In contrast, abbreviations like +06 and +07 are unambiguous.

> So remove the feature entirely.

That's not a practical option, as time zone abbreviations are a standard 
part of ISO C, of POSIX, and of many programming systems that use a 
tzcode-like interface, so we need to put *something* in there. Numeric 
abbreviations are reasonable placeholders for zones lacking 
well-supported English-language time zone abbreviations.

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