[tz] New IANA-timezone support date/time library

Kerry Shetline kshetline at gmail.com
Mon Feb 22 21:55:22 UTC 2021

On 2021-02-22, at 14:25, Paul Gilmartin <PaulGBoulder at AIM.com> wrote:
> But the "Help" link (<https://skyviewcafe.com/help/>) fails with 404.

The “Help” link is working now, so I’m not sure what the issue was at the time you clicked on it.

> I don't know whether you've followed the "Kiev"/"Kyiv" debate on tz at iana.org.
> But I was curious what skyviewcafe.com does about it.

I read a little of that, but haven’t followed it. At least the pronunciation of Kyiv isn’t an issue! ;)

My geographic data base finds the Ukrainian capital by either spelling, so that’s not a problem. I’m not sure if showing “Europe/Kyiv” in my interface would be confusing or not, since that’s not the existing IANA name for the associated timezone.

Users are generally expected to click “Find”, and find cities by name, thus getting longitude, latitude, and timezone automatically without fussing with a manual selection, so the IANA names aren’t quite so important.

I also intend to update my manual interface to make timezone selections by standard UTC offset, and then a list of zones in that offset, as the default way to make a manual timezone selection, with region/zone being a secondary option.

> I tried to enter
> "50°25'N 30°31'E".  I learned:
> o It's tedious to enter such coordinates digit-by-digit.
> o I found no way to refresh the page with the coordinates entered.

It’s definitely tedious compared to just looking up a city and getting lat/long automatically. But if one wants to enter info manually, I’m curious what you’d prefer as a means of input. The manual entry field also supports rolling digits up and down, which is a fun way to explore how the sky changes as you change latitude and longitude.

> Tz, trying to pivot away from the debate, says that internal directory
> and filenames should not be obvious to users.  Thus, applications should
> not show me "America", "Denver", or "Kiev”.

I hadn’t really thought of those names like “America/New_York” as file names, but as names for timezones as abstract timezone entities. In fact, there is no “America/New_York” file in the tzdb. There’s a file named “northamerica”, and inside that file, a zone entry named "America/New_York”. Perhaps that’s still something a bit too rawly technical to be considered user-friendly, however.


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