[tz] tzdb timezone names/identifiers and links

Guy Harris guy at alum.mit.edu
Tue Feb 26 18:50:27 UTC 2019

On Feb 26, 2019, at 1:53 AM, Martin Burnicki <martin.burnicki at meinberg.de> wrote:

> I just saw that the time zone and time zone name handling in different
> user interfaces is sometimes very different, and if you select a
> specific setting on different systems you can't even be sure that you
> get the same results, e.g. regarding DST settings.

The right way to do the UI is the way Apple and Ubuntu do it - *no* UI, if possible (selection based on location, although I don't know whether Ubuntu does that), and, in situations where that's not possible, a UI that lets you either pick locations on a map, if your system has a GUI, or mention a name for your location, such as a city/town/village or, if you're in a location that has no cities/towns/villages, some other name such as "Liberland".  The latter is what should be done even for the command line, e.g.

	$ `tzenv München` date
	Tue Feb 26 19:46:08 CET 2019 # or with translated day and month names, and zone abbreviation


	# setzone Paris


	# setzone "Paris, Texas"

if you're *not* in the City of Light.  (Whether disambiguation is needed even for the best-known instance of a city name is an issue for discussion.)
> So I thought this might be a way to make the handling more consistent
> and less confusing for users with even less experience with tzdb than I
> have myself. ;-)

Ultimately, the vast majority of users should have no more experience with tzdb than with compilers for the programming languages in which their OS is written or with the circuit design of the processors their system uses, i.e. none.  tzdb shouldn't be part of the UI, it should be, for most users, a hidden implementation detail.

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