[tz] tzdb timezone names/identifiers and links

Martin Burnicki martin.burnicki at meinberg.de
Tue Feb 26 08:50:44 UTC 2019

Paul Eggert wrote:
> On 2/25/19 2:32 AM, Martin Burnicki wrote:
>> If the current time zone names should indeed just be taken as IDs rather
>> than real names then IMO it would be very helpful if there also was a
>> list of mappings provided that links readable display names to TZDB ID
>> names.
> tzdb provides this in its combination of the files zone1970.tab and
> iso3166.tab, the latter useful if the former simply lists country codes.
> For example, zone1970.tab maps America/Porto_Velho to "Rondônia" (since
> the country of Brazil has multiple timezones), and maps Europe/Prague to
> CZ,SK which iso3166.tab in turn maps to "Czech Republic" and "Slovakia"
> (since this timezone has multiple countries).
> The tzdb files support only American English; as Tony mentioned, for
> other locales CLDR is the way to go.

OK, but for "normal" users or even developers this may still be
confusing enough. ;-)

>> For example, the zone "Europe/Macedonia" is displayed as
>> "Europa/Makedonien" on my Linux/KDE system set to German language.
> That's odd, as tzdb has no zone named "Europe/Macedonia". North
> Macedonia is currently represented by Europe/Belgrade. If tzdb had a
> timezone named "Europe/Macedonia", we'd have to worry about renaming it
> to "Europe/North_Macedonia" now.

While "Europa/Makedonien" is shown in KDE, "Europe/Macedonia" comes from

$ tzselect
Please identify a location so that time zone rules can be set correctly.
Please select a continent or ocean.
 1) Africa
 2) Americas
 3) Antarctica
 4) Arctic Ocean
 5) Asia
 6) Atlantic Ocean
 7) Australia
 8) Europe
 9) Indian Ocean
10) Pacific Ocean
11) none - I want to specify the time zone using the Posix TZ format.
#? 8
Please select a country.
 1) Aaland Islands        18) Greece                35) Norway
 2) Albania               19) Guernsey              36) Poland
 3) Andorra               20) Hungary               37) Portugal
 4) Austria               21) Ireland               38) Romania
 5) Belarus               22) Isle of Man           39) Russia
 6) Belgium               23) Italy                 40) San Marino
 7) Bosnia & Herzegovina  24) Jersey                41) Serbia
 8) Britain (UK)          25) Latvia                42) Slovakia
 9) Bulgaria              26) Liechtenstein         43) Slovenia
10) Croatia               27) Lithuania             44) Spain
11) Czech Republic        28) Luxembourg            45) Sweden
12) Denmark               29) Macedonia             46) Switzerland
13) Estonia               30) Malta                 47) Turkey
14) Finland               31) Moldova               48) Ukraine
15) France                32) Monaco                49) Vatican City
16) Germany               33) Montenegro
17) Gibraltar             34) Netherlands
#? 29

The following information has been given:


Therefore TZ='Europe/Skopje' will be used.
Local time is now:      Tue Feb 26 09:18:33 CET 2019.
Universal Time is now:  Tue Feb 26 08:18:33 UTC 2019.

> Perhaps the strings "Europe/Macedonia" and "Europa/Makedonien" are part
> of the KDE user interface to tzdb; if so, KDE will need to deal with the
> country's recent renaming.

I'm not sure if KDE uses CLDR or whatever, but from a pure
user/developer's point of view I think there is still room for
improvement to yield consistent information presented in the user

That would also avoid discussions as with the ID name for Ukraine, or
the new liberland time just requested by a user.

I'm aware that is really complex stuff, though.

Martin Burnicki

Senior Software Engineer

MEINBERG Funkuhren GmbH & Co. KG
Email: martin.burnicki at meinberg.de
Phone: +49 5281 9309-414
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/martinburnicki/

Lange Wand 9, 31812 Bad Pyrmont, Germany
Amtsgericht Hannover 17HRA 100322
Geschäftsführer/Managing Directors: Günter Meinberg, Werner Meinberg,
Andre Hartmann, Heiko Gerstung
Websites: https://www.meinberg.de  https://www.meinbergglobal.com
Training: https://www.meinberg.academy

More information about the tz mailing list