[tz] "official" zone name alternatives via Link records

Alois Treindl alois at astro.ch
Fri Feb 12 14:32:50 UTC 2021

I think everybody could be satisfied by a small semantic redefinition of 
the meaning of Link records.

The current practice seems to be:

1. Link records in the main files indicate that a given zone's data are 
also used for an area in another country.
Example in file europe

Link Europe/Belgrade Europe/Ljubljana   # Slovenia
Link Europe/Belgrade Europe/Podgorica   # Montenegro
Link Europe/Belgrade Europe/Sarajevo    # Bosnia and Herzegovina
Link Europe/Belgrade Europe/Skopje      # North Macedonia
Link Europe/Belgrade Europe/Zagreb      # Croatia

Example in file Africa
Link Africa/Abidjan Africa/Bamako       # Mali
Link Africa/Abidjan Africa/Banjul       # Gambia
Link Africa/Abidjan Africa/Conakry      # Guinea
Link Africa/Abidjan Africa/Dakar        # Senegal
Link Africa/Abidjan Africa/Freetown     # Sierra Leone
Link Africa/Abidjan Africa/Lome         # Togo
Link Africa/Abidjan Africa/Nouakchott   # Mauritania
Link Africa/Abidjan Africa/Ouagadougou  # Burkina Faso
Link Africa/Abidjan Atlantic/St_Helena  # St Helena

2. Link records in file backward
# This file provides links between current names for timezones
# and their old names.  Many names changed in late 1993.
Link    Asia/Kolkata            Asia/Calcutta

If the meaning of Link records in the main files were expanded to also 
alternative zone names, then an entry in file europe

# alternative zone name Europe/Kyiv
Link    Europe/Kiev        Europe/Kyiv
would satisfy the Ukrainian requests.

Such a link results automatically in the creation of a zoneinfo file
Europe/Kyiv which is identical to Europe/Kiev

On 12.02.21 11:14, Paul Eggert wrote:
> On 2/11/21 4:20 PM, Brian Park wrote:
>> I don't still don't understand why there is reluctance to add
>> LINK entries. Wouldn't that resolve most of these requests?
> We'd keep getting requests, though, if word got out that one could 
> plant political flags into tzdb simply by asking. Suppose North Korea 
> started calling Seoul "Kim Il-sung City" on the grounds that it's 
> their city and they can call it what they want? And that is not a 
> fanciful supposition: North Koreans seriously suggested doing exactly 
> that in the 1990s after Kim Il-sung died.
> At some point we need to say that tzdb is about civil time, not about 
> settling or documenting other political disputes. We might as well say 
> it now rather than later.
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