[tz] Split America into North America and South America

Wolfgang Keller wolfgangkeller at gmail.com
Fri Jan 6 21:20:50 UTC 2023

let us consider what conventions for the number and separations of
continents exist. According to
> https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Continent&oldid=1131827063#Number
there exist (at least) five common conventions for the number and
separation of continents:

a) 4 continents (Afro-Eurasia (Old World), America (New World),
Australia, Antarctica
b) 5 continents (Africa, Eurasia, America, Antarctica, Australia)
c) 6 continents, combined-Eurasia (Africa, Eurasia, North America,
South America, Antarctica, Australia)
d) 6 continents, combined-America (Africa, Asia, Europe, America,
Antarctica, Australia)
e) 7 continents (Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America,
Antarctica, Australia)

For the prevalence of these separations (prevalence of c)-e) taken
from the linked section of the Wikipedia article)
a) is to my knowledge motivated by geology
c) is is mostly used in Russia and some parts of Eastern Europe.
d) is taught in some countries where Romance languages are spoken and in Greece
e) is the model taught in most English-speaking countries

So the central question that the problem reduces to is: which
separation of continents should tzdata implicitly endorse by its data
structures? If I were to ask, I would immediately say a) because this
is the only convention of this list that is motivated by science
(geology) and not by politics or history, but this is just my personal

Wolfgang Keller

On Fri, Jan 6, 2023 at 9:52 PM Benjamin Drung via tz <tz at iana.org> wrote:
> Hi,
> debconf [1] for the tzdata Debian/Ubuntu package ask for the geographic
> area (e.g. Europe, Asia, etc) and then for the city inside this area.
> The resulting timezone is $area/$city. While working on the debconf
> template, I noticed that the America directory is the biggest with 157
> cities. Having to find the correct city in that big list can take some
> time. The second biggest area is Asia with 90 countries.
> The timezones are split by continent/ocean. The Afro-Eurasia continent
> is split into Africa, Asia, Europe, but America is not split into North
> America and South America. For consistency I suggest to split America
> into North America and South America to have all seven continents
> present [2].
> The git repository already separate northamerica and southamerica files.
> [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debian_configuration_system
> [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continent
> --
> Benjamin Drung
> Debian & Ubuntu Developer

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