[tz] tzdb timezone names/identifiers and links

Martin Burnicki martin.burnicki at meinberg.de
Tue Feb 26 09:18:46 UTC 2019

Guy Harris wrote:
> On Feb 26, 2019, at 12:32 AM, Martin Burnicki <martin.burnicki at meinberg.de> wrote:
>> Tony Finch wrote:
>>> Martin Burnicki <martin.burnicki at meinberg.de> wrote:
>>> ... though it seems to map
>>> from TZ names to translated exemplar cities, which is slightly different
>>> than a direct translation of the TZ name.
>> In my original email I tried to distinguish between the TZDB ID name
>> (which of course doesn't have to be translated), and the names that are
>> actually presented to the user when they select a time zone for their
>> system, or add a calendar event with a time for a specific zone. The
>> latter should be localized, IMO.
> The latter are not supplied by the tzdb, so they can't be localized by the tzdb developers.

OK, I've learned that this is handled by CLDR and similar projects, but
anyway it would be good to have more consistent information.

> For example. there *is* no tzdb ID Europe/Macedonia.  *That* was cooked up by somebody involved in the development of your Linux distribution or somebody, *other* than the tzdb developers, upstream of them.  *They're* the ones who would need to localize the name.

As shown in my reply to Paul this is listed by the tzselect utility
which is part of the "timezone" package of my Linux system. I have to
admit, though, that the package is somewhat older. Anyway, I just picked
this up as an example.

> And what they really should be doing is:
> 	1) ideally, trying to find out where your machine is, and picking the appropriate tzdb ID based on that (as my iPhone and Mac both do, by default - and, yes, they update the tzdb region when you move across zone boundaries, even updating the current tzdb regions for dumb UN*X programs that don't know that the region *can* change out from under them);
> 	2) if they have no mechanism to find the machine's current coordinates (GPS, geolocation by looking at what known wireless networks are nearby, geolocation by finding the location of the nearest cell tower, etc.), either providing a map where the user can select a location, or by providing the name of the city or other locale they're in (as both the macOS tzdb region selector and the Ubuntu 18.04 tzdb region selector do);
> rather than just throwing an arbitrary list of *some* location names at the user.

Agreed, but in any case there needs to be some mapping so that a normal
user can see that the correct timezone is proposed by default, or can be
selected for the region where he's living.

This can be hard for regions like Ukraine or Liberland, as I mentioned
in one of my other emails.

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