[tz] Request for change to the tz database

Paul Eggert eggert at cs.ucla.edu
Mon Feb 8 22:24:39 UTC 2021

On 2/8/21 1:19 PM, John Hawkinson wrote:
> If we were getting 1 inquiry from a new person about Kyiv each week, or each day, that would be telling us something.
> (Something which, I would argue, we should listen to).
> As it is, we're barely hitting one per month, on the average.

Recently we've been getting more than that. The email archives currently 
say 20 of this month's 26 messages have been about Kyiv vs Kiev. (This 
email will make it 21 out of 27. :-) And I recall plenty more messages 
in recent months. Even if we get only three inquiries per month, if 
their threads mushroom into three dozen emails per month then it's 
causing significant disruption.

The compromise proposal I made in November (see URL below) received only 
one comment 
<https://mm.icann.org/pipermail/tz/2020-November/029568.html>, which 
suggested to not bother with a compromise and to just rename the entry 
then. Although I installed neither suggestion so tzdb still uses 
"Europe/Kiev", I still view the compromise or some variant as being on 
the table.

For now, I propose that moderators respond to routine Kyiv-vs-Kiev 
requests with the following newly-edited boilerplate.


Thanks, we're aware of the renaming effort, and this has been a periodic 
source of discussion on the tz mailing list. A transition plan for 
Europe/Kiev → Europe/Kyiv was proposed here:


and you can review that email thread. There's no rush; tzdb tends to 
move slowly about these things, due to compatibility concerns.

The choice of spelling should not be important to end users, as the tzdb 
spelling is not intended to be visible to them. End users should see 
their preferred spelling which would typically be Київ, but could also 
be Kyiv, Kænugarður, Κίεβο, 基輔, or whatever else is appropriate for 
the user's locale. The Unicode Common Locale Data Repository (CLDR) is a 
good source for these localized names; see <http://cldr.unicode.org/>. 
Admittedly it is all too common for software applications to expose 
strings like "Europe/Kiev" to users who prefer a different name; if this 
occurs in an application that you use, please send a bug report 
mentioning CLDR to the application's developers. Thanks.

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