[tz] Europe/Kiev update for 1992-1995

Doug Ewell doug at ewellic.org
Fri Jun 24 18:20:58 UTC 2022

Євген Доманський пише:

> I have found  _quickly_ released version 2014b on 25-th of March 2014,
> 9 (nine) days after unlawful annexation of Crimea by ruzzia and 5
> (five) days before announced time shift, just to force feed this act
> and assist terrorist state in "de-facto" occupation. Only a "hint"
> from rushist Alexander Krivenyshev was enough at that time for Paul to
> do this. 
> I'm sorry that you support russia but be brave and do the right thing
> now!!!

Apologies for length.

This thread is taking the wrong approach and tone.

The purpose of the tz database is to provide accurate time zone information. It allows primarily computers, and incidentally human readers, to determine local time adjustments. It is NOT maintained as either a political tool OR a primary source of user-interface information.

Time zone identifiers are meant to be stable, and to uniquely identify time zones. There is an additional attempt to make the names reflect the most common English name for each location, to help human users. The identifiers are NOT meant to be user-interface strings (although many systems use them that way) and they are NOT normative references to the "correct" spelling of a name, especially one transliterated from another writing system.

People have engaged for years (long before January 2022) in a campaign to get the identifier "Europe/Kiev" changed to "Europe/Kyiv". Most have stated or implied that "Kyiv" is a better spelling because it is closer to the Ukrainian name than to the Russian name. This campaign has intensified since the invasion of Ukraine and has become more focused on the "legitimacy" of using a Russian name for a Ukrainian city which is now threatened by Russia. All of these considerations are political and are NOT within the scope of the tz database. The name is being changed now because the "most common English version" has changed, largely due to media coverage of the invasion.

To clarify, the previous spelling "Kiev" was chosen quite intentionally, to reflect the name most commonly used in English-language contexts. It is not a "mistake" or a "bug," and it is not being "corrected." It is being updated to reflect changes in common usage.

Many have pointed out that although the change has not yet made its way to a released version, it will be present when the next version is released. That explanation, thankfully, is replacing earlier curt notes that "we've already made this change," which were confusing and unhelpful to people who looked at the latest released version and didn't see it.

By contrast, as Paul noted, the change in 2014 was due to an actual change in time reckoning: the local time in Crimea did change. Whether this was due to an illegal occupation of Crimea by Russia is NOT relevant. The purpose of the tz database is to provide accurate time zone information.

As can be seen from other comments in the 'europe' data file, Alexander Krivenyshev has provided several other helpful contributions to the accuracy of the database. His contributions have been applied to the database on the strength of their verifiable accuracy, not because of his nationality.

Accusing valued, experience, volunteer maintainers of a public resource of unfairness, favoritism, cowardice, etc. is a great way to drive those volunteers to become discouraged and leave the project, which would benefit nobody. Please do not do this.

Doug Ewell, CC, ALB | Lakewood, CO, US | ewellic.org

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