[tz] Names of Areas

Guy Harris gharris at sonic.net
Wed Feb 3 19:30:27 UTC 2021

On Feb 2, 2021, at 12:41 PM, Andrea Boyle <andrea0099 at gmail.com> wrote:

> I am writing to you to request a small but significant change to the area options that are currently listed in the database.  Recently I used software that uses the database for the area and location information and I was initially very puzzled when trying to find Canada.

If the software shows you the tzdb region names, it doesn't have a very good interface for selecting a tzdb region.

The best interface I've seen for that is the interface in macOS, where you have a map from which you can select a region (a vertical band on the map), and an editable combo box that offers a choice of "nearest cities" and lets you enter a city to search for it.  It does *not* show the tzdb region names - it determines the appropriate region based on the chosen city.  (It also offers the option to let the system automatically choose the tzdb region based on where your system is located - and to update that as your system moves.  For Macs, the system location is generally determined from Wi-Fi access points found nearby.)

At a minimum, software should use the exemplar cities from the Unicode CLDR:


If they can find additional cities in the tzdb regions, that's even better.

(And, as Paul noted, the *negative* effects of that change wouldn't necessarily be as small as the change might appear to be.)

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