[tz] Pre-1970 data

dpatte dpatte at relativedata.com
Sat Nov 6 18:55:27 UTC 2021

Actually this Canadian is quite ok with CA for the country code. We are familiar with it as our domain name extensionCA/ON/Ottawa works.Sent from my Galaxy
-------- Original message --------From: Brian Park via tz <tz at iana.org> Date: 2021-11-05  17:54  (GMT-05:00) To: Ken Murchison <murch at fastmail.com> Cc: IANA TZ Database <tz at iana.org> Subject: Re: [tz] Pre-1970 data On Fri, Nov 5, 2021 at 12:01 PM Brian Park <brian at xparks.net> wrote:I agree that it is conceptually cleaner if the Core TZDB identifiers were internal only.  But I understand that some people would consider ISO-country identifiers to be  out of scope of this project, although there are many ad hoc ones currently in the database. I think a file like 'countryzone' should be added only if there are people willing to maintain such a list. It may need to be a separate project, to avoid forcing the TZ Coordinator to pick up the slack  if those maintainers drop off.Following up my own post, I took  an initial stab at what this 'countryzone' file would look like, and immediately ran into problems that convinces me that this does *not* belong in the TZDB project. The scope seems too large, so it seems better as a separate project.I started from an ISO-3166 CSV file (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ISO_3166_country_codes for a human readable version), and I found: 1) Many country names are too long to fit into 14 characters. Let's say we relax that constraint because we deprecate support for any old Unix system that cannot support these longer file names. But there are countries like "Heard Island and McDonald Islands", "South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands", and "United States Minor Outlying Islands", and "British Indian Ocean Territory". Just from an ergonomics perspective, we should find a way to shorten these very long names.2) If we shorten some countries, like "Bosnia and Herzegovina" to just "Bosnia" for convenience, are we going to offend people? I don't know anyone from Bosnia and Herzegovina, so I have no idea. Each country that we shorten needs to be researched carefully.3) At least 5 countries  have non-ASCII characters in their ISO names: "Côte d'Ivoire ", "Curaçao", "Åland Islands", "Saint Barthélemy", "Réunion". Personally, I would like to use only ASCII characters because they are the lowest common denominator that is guaranteed to work, outside of mainframes using EBCDIC. If we remove these non-ASCII characters, are we going to offend the people of those countries, even though these are supposed to be English versions of their country names?4) So maybe the solution is to use 2-letter or 3-letter ISO codes, instead of the shortened, quasi-English versions of the country names. So we get things like "CA/Eastern" or "CAN/Eastern", instead of "Canada/Eastern". Not very satisfying for Canadians or many other countries (except for Americans whose ISO codes "US" and "USA" match their colloquial usage perfectly).All this before we even get to the work of mapping various ISO countries (and their subregions  if needed) to their corresponding canonical TZDB identifiers.With regards to pre-1970 data in 'backzone', I'll see if I can do some exploratory work on the 'backzone'/'mergedzone' pairing next week, and determine if there are any major problems with the idea.Brian

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