[tz] Asia/Tomsk

Paul Eggert eggert at cs.ucla.edu
Fri Jun 3 15:58:52 UTC 2016

On 06/03/2016 07:16 AM, Random832 wrote:
> the*intent*
> seems quite clearly to be to favor English-speaking countries

Quite true; tzdata itself has always been English-language, and this 
favors English-speaking countries. That is why Europe/Berlin uses CEST 
(the English-language abbreviation for Central European Summer Time) and 
not MESZ (the German abbreviation for Mitteleuropäische Sommerzeit) for 
its abbreviation now. Users who want a German translation are encouraged 
to use CLDR, which addresses that sort of thing.

This bias for English in general and a North American time zone 
abbreviation style in particular comes the API's original design. 7th 
Edition Unix (1979) supported only English and as shipped ran in US 
Eastern time with US daylight-saving rules hard-coded in C; if you 
wanted to run in a different time zone you had to change some code and 
recompile the system. The 7th Edition 'date' program used the format of 
"Sat Jan 15 19:23:42 EST 1977" because it was easy in those 
circumstances. Had the 'date' program not bothered to output the time 
zone abbreviation, tz and POSIX and ISO C quite probably wouldn't have 
tried to specify how abbreviations are generated, and we wouldn't have 
the abbreviation mess we have now.

In 7th Edition Unix the "EST" in the above example came from a 
hard-coded table that had only the five main North American zones 
(standard and daylight) plus GMT. For what it's worth, if you change 7th 
Edition's TIMEZONE to Tomsk's time zone and its DSTFLAG to 0 and 
recompile everything, the 7th Edition 'date' command outputs "Sun Jan 16 
07:23:42 GMT+7:00 1977", which is similar in spirit to the "Sun Jan 16 
07:23:42 +07 1977" that is output by tzdata 2016d's 'date' command when 

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