[tz] Austin Group POSIX TZ changes and Time Zone Taxonomy

Steffen Nurpmeso steffen at sdaoden.eu
Thu Feb 23 16:50:48 UTC 2023

Time zone mailing list wrote in
 <07fb0dba-622e-4d46-7f0f-7618a014621e at Shaw.ca>:
 |On 2023-02-22 15:48, Paul Eggert wrote:
 |> On 2/22/23 11:19, Brian Inglis via tz wrote:
 |>>      https://www.austingroupbugs.net/view.php?id=1619    TZ=Area\
 |>> /Location
 |I see problems with their terminology, why I am suggesting a taxonomy \
 |for time 
 |zone categories that we could develop, for them to use to communicate \
 |in terms 
 |common to us both.

I think you are over-nitpicky here.

 |> Nothing in the proposed wording would prohibit other legacy names \
 |> like TZ="CET" 
 |> or TZ="Japan" as extensions, any more than the current POSIX wording \
 |> does.
 |They only allow Area/Location, and I have issues with that wording, \

The text reads 

  If TZ is of the third format (that is, if the first character is
  not a <colon> and the value does not match the syntax for the
  second format), the value indicates either a geographical
  timezone or a special timezone from an implementation-defined
  timezone database. Typically these take the form


  as in the IANA timezone database

as well as

  Implementations are encouraged to incorporate the IANA timezone
  database into the timezone database used for TZ values
  specifying geographical and special timezones, and to provide
  a method to allow it to be updated in accordance with RFC 6557.

Given other standards, i feel this is very forgiving.
Note the word "typically".

 |They do not take account of the fact that a system may not use UTC, \

The UNIX epoch based on UTC is basically all it knows.  Even
furthermore, with the last issue parts were changed like so

  The DESCRIPTION is updated to refer to "seconds since the Epoch"
  rather than "seconds since 00:00:00 UTC (Coordinated Universal
  Time), January 1 1970" for consistency with other time functions.

I would rather have liked to see a future where TAI is distributed
in conjunction with a current leap second offset.  (And i mean,
you know, have another 8-bit for a 127 hours counter and
a positive / negative indicator bit should be doable, if you want
good time keeping.)

Instead some empowered ones have voted to change civil time
keeping aka UTC a decade into the future, and most likely after
a negative leap is applied, causing havoc (here and there), for
nothing but the purpose of software which does not deal with leap
seconds (in the timespace outside of 1970 to ~2035, where leap
seconds of course exist), loosing the only remaining affiliation
that the western white man has to nature, the relation to the sun.
Maybe i am also exaggerating (as the relation to the sun basically
always ever meant you can piss without shadow in Greenwhich, at
noon, maybe).
In short -- i feel the complain on UTC is a bit excessive.

 |and POSIX 
 |apps which do, may have to accomodate that, and that the zone identifier \
 |have three levels below that.
 |That wording is also questionable - if they mean time zone identifiers or 
 |abbreviations they should say so, not talk about geography which may \
 |be unrelated.

They follow due established identifiers as used by Olson then
IANA, to which they explicitly refer, no?
If i would feel the spur in my side then all the many threads
about identifiers that were battered on this list could be quoted.
My personal opinion leads towards UN/LOCODE, because trade and
business is anyway all you are interested in, and they are well
received and widely known under normal citizens like myself.
And under 42000 options almost everybody will find one to accept
in peace.

 |They also need to know that their model is inadequate and four transitions \

And also, all the western timekeeping will fail if states like
China would really use their very own native sun-directed time,
instead of some friendly western-fitted one.
And IETF to cement internet times like

   zone            = ("+" / "-") 4DIGIT
                       ; Signed four-digit value of hhmm representing
                       ; hours and minutes east of Greenwich (that is,
                       ; the amount that the given time differs from
                       ; Universal Time).  Subtracting the timezone
                       ; from the given time will give the UT form.
                       ; The Universal Time zone is "+0000".

And on IETF an old hand said we need more [named] zones [thus].
But that is surely off-topic for POSIX.

|Der Kragenbaer,                The moon bear,
|der holt sich munter           he cheerfully and one by one
|einen nach dem anderen runter  wa.ks himself off
|(By Robert Gernhardt)

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