[tz] Request for change to the tz database

Philip Paeps philip at trouble.is
Tue Feb 9 01:40:13 UTC 2021

On 2021-02-09 08:36:31 (+0800), Brian Inglis wrote:
> On 2021-02-08 16:06, Philip Paeps wrote:
>> On 2021-02-09 06:31:22 (+0800), John Hawkinson wrote:
>>> Paul Eggert <eggert at cs.ucla.edu> wrote on Mon,  8 Feb 2021
>>> at 17:24:39 EST in 
>>> <5428025b-2f3c-3e09-7594-37d8e135fbd7 at cs.ucla.edu>:
>>>> 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.
>>> I did not reply to your compromise proposal because I thought it was 
>>> clear from my prior input that I agreed with the idea that an 
>>> interim compromise was pointless and summary renaming was 
>>> appropriate. I suspect many others who expressed themselves before 
>>> similarly did not offer their opinion, because it would feel like 
>>> repetition.
>> (It was I who posted the only comment on Paul's proposal in November 
>> expressing a preference for summary renaming.)
>> Note that I am not opposed to the compromise proposal Paul suggested. 
>> Though my preference for summary renaming stands.  It is clear that 
>> we will eventually have a Europe/Kyiv.  We might as well get it over 
>> with. We have an established and reasonably exercised backward 
>> compatibility mechanism for people who need it.  Trying out forward 
>> compatibility seems to provide few benefits.
> I doubt any of these posters actually use software that displays Kiev: 
> they have made no mention of products or projects, and have been told 
> to spam this address! They could also be Russian provocateurs.
> How can we know they are Ukrainian, as it is useful if Russian 
> controlled systems can maintain or masquerade as Ukrainian identities, 
> used in media campaigns to their own ends?

This is clutching at straws.  One of the most recent posts actually 
included a screenshot.  As John Hawkinson pointed out elsewhere in this 
thread: we shouldn't merely dismiss these discussions simply because 
they happen so regularly.

> Mumbai vs Bombay is the only name change I would consider commonly 
> recognized by most English speakers, but Kolkata, Kyiv, etc. are not, 
> and neither are most country and city renamings in recent decades, nor 
> are they widely used when they appear in the press, often requiring 
> their previous names to provide relevancy.

That may just be because Mumbai is much more likely to appear in the 
media most English speakers consume than Kolkata...  Mumbai is the 
financial capital of India.  It also has one of the largest 
international airports in the country.  You're not very likely to 
encounter Kolkata in English-language press (or advertising) outside 
India unless there's big bad news.

> [I still see widely recognized names such as Burma and Rangoon used in 
> the popular press to explain what's going on in what's now called 
> Myanmar, as few recognize the latter; people have no interest or care 
> about what happens in countries whose names they no longer recognize. 
> Languages and names are about communication and comprehension: change 
> names if you want to hinder communication and comprehension, and 
> interest and caring as consequences.]

While there may be some confusion about Burma/Myanmar and 
Rangoon/Yangon, the mental gap between Kiev and Kyiv is a lot narrower.  
Note that the most recent Godthab/Nuuk was a much more substantial 
burden on the Anglophone eye.

The identifiers are largely an internal phenomenon.  The only English 
speakers who really have to care are the maintainers of the tz database 
and the maintainers of software that consumes the tz database.  One 
would hope that these folks can cope with the very occasional rename.  I 
don't think anyone will accuse us of being cavalier about the stability 
of our identifiers.


Philip Paeps
Senior Reality Engineer
Alternative Enterprises

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