[tz] Moving more zones to 'backzone'

Robert Elz kre at munnari.OZ.AU
Wed Aug 17 21:22:32 UTC 2022

    Date:        Wed, 17 Aug 2022 18:39:27 +0100
    From:        "Clive D.W. Feather" <clive at davros.org>
    Message-ID:  <Yv0nzw98wLr7M5m+ at davros.org>

  | It's my point.

Not much of a point, there are lots of places, including places with
their own timezones, that I've never heard of, and other than the
region prefix of the timezone identifier, I have no clue where they are.
Express any of that in the local languages (whether encoded in latin script
or not) and there would be lots more.

  | Kernow is the Cornish name for Cornwall, another part of the UK that has an
  | independence movement.

OK, but having an independence movement isn't relevant.   Achieving
independence (whether recognised as legitimate by other bodies or not)
would.   Otherwise it would require explicit granting of power to set
the time, or obviously possessing that power, or actually doing it (and
that means changing the zone, not just saying "I could do it if I wanted to,
but it happens I don't").

  | But define "authority". My authority starts and ends when people accept
  | what I say.

Sure.   But you need to demonstrate that it exists, not just claim it.
And once again, that can be by demonstrating the legal chain of grants
of power from some body already accepted to have it (for you, that would
be the British Parliament, or maybe the Crown in some bizarre circumstance)
or by demonstrating your influence by actually having your street run their
clocks at some different time offset than they're supposed to legally.

  | > That's why my
  | > version of the guidelines (which would still need more precision) specify
  | > having the authority, or having actually set a timezone.
  | Chicken and egg. If I set a timezone, just as how you suggested, then do I
  | get my own zone name?

If you really create a different timezone, then yes.   I think that is
already accepted.   But just saying that your street runs on High Street
Time (HST) rather than UTC/GMT/BST and it happens that HST is the same as
UTC during winter, and UTC+0100 during summer, and just by coincidence the
changes happen at just the same time as the EU (and Britain) say they happen
is not creating a timezone.   That's just grandstanding.

So you have two possibilities, you actually get a big enough set of people
(at the very least a majority in the area) to actually live and work (which
includes post office opening/closing times, bus timetables, parking
restrictions, ... everything else which uses the time) to use your different
offset from UTC, which would demonstrate your ability to control the time
in your area, or you have the British Parliament pass an act delegating
control of the time in High Street wherever to Clive Feather (or the High
Street Timelords, of which you're president, or whatever) so you can show
you have the legal ability to set the time, should you desire to.   Or I
guess as a third choice, you could take up arms against Britain, and win
control of your street (and some surrounds, so there are people involved,
not just asphalt) set up border control posts, and start issuing your own
passports, collecting taxes, ... - and remain in that position long enough
that anyone might take a breath long enough to consider timezone issues.

  | Wales has an Assembly which has less powers than Scotland.

That's about what I thought.   I assume Cornwall has even less.

  | Neither, I think, has time zones in its official remit.

That surprises me a little about Scotland, but I'm in no position to know.

But in that case, to get an entry in tzdb they'd need to change the time.
I can almost imagine Scotland doing that, they're almost too far north for
summer time to make a lot of sense I think (too high, or too low, a latitude
and the idea is silly - it really works well only in the middle latitudes).
So, Scotland could cancel summer time, and England retain it, then there
would need to be a Europe/Glasgow (I'm assuming Glasgow is bigger than
Edinburgh, not claiming that to be true).

  | What about counties? There are apparently 3006 counties and 137 county
  | equivalents. How do you fancy 3143 new zones?

If necessary, and if someone gives them the authority to set their own
times, then why not?   We already know from the Indiana examples that if
they actually run with a different offset they're going to get a different
zone, and that if some parts of Mountain time decide to adopt "permanent
DST" (which is a ludicrous concept as a name) and others don't, that there
will be a new zone created (there must be).   There's nothing we can do
to limit this.

Simply refusing to give someone with the obvious ability to change the time,
a tzdb entry if they want one will only serve to have them change the time
in their area for the sole purpose of getting an entry.   After all, all
that's required for that is to begin, or end, summer time an hour earlier
or later than others do, for one year, and you're different.   Or perhaps
gradually work into summer time, by putting the clocks forward 15 minutes
at 01:00, another 15 minutes at 02:00, a further 15 minutes at 03:00,
and finish the process at 04:00 (all times local wallclock time in the 
zone).   That is, the periods 01:00:00..01:14:59 would not exist, nor would
02:00:00..02:14:59 (etc) - and this they only need to try for one year, to
see if it works.   New zone.   I don't think it is a good idea to encourage
that kind of idiocy, do you?    The current rules do.

  | Is Eucla a state or a territory? What authority did it have?

Eucla is a town (quite a small town) in Western Australia, not far from
the border with South Australia (which makes it a long way from anywhere).
Its authority is its demonstrated ability to run its time as it sees fit.

But if you're implying that most people in Aust wouldn't expect Eucla to
have its own timezone, then I think you're right.   I suspect most people
in Australia have never heard of Eucla.   Yet they do have a timezone (and

  | What about China? What authority was Asia/Urumqi created under? Or is it
  | just common usage?

I don't know details, but I'd assume similar to Eucla - a long way from
anywhere, and far enough away from what is the legal timezone (further
than Eucla I believe) that using it would be inconvenient - so they use
something else.   Whether they have some organisation which decided that,
or it is just the way it always has been, and the local people simply
ignore the demands of the central govt to change I have no idea.   Nor does
it matter, what matters is that people there (not necessarily all, but enough,
apparently, though I have no knowledge nor sources to confirm that) actually
use a different time than is used in Shanghai (and Beijing, Guangzhou, etc).

If your street does that (if you can convince your neighbours, and local
shops, to run their clocks differently - apply parking, banking, ... hours
according to your own vision of how things should be) then you should be
able to get a zone as well.

Similarly if you show you have the legal ability to mandate such a change,
should you desire it ... just so if that happens, your neighbours' clocks
(the intelligent ones anyway - clocks I mean, not neighbours) will adjust
all by themselves, without needing manual intervention.


More information about the tz mailing list