[tz] Split America into North America and South America

Benjamin Drung benjamin.drung at canonical.com
Sat Jan 7 00:16:23 UTC 2023

On Fri, 2023-01-06 at 13:28 -0800, Paul Eggert wrote:
> I chose "America/" in the 1990s to keep names shorter and avoid worrying 
> about borderline cases - e.g., should it be 
> "North_America/Port_of_Spain" or "South_America/Port_of_Spain"?
> Now that we've moved borderline cases like America/Curacao, 
> America/Grenada, and America/Port_of_Spain to 'backward' the second 
> justification has less force, at least until the southern Caribbean 
> starts messing with its clocks. However, this also means America/* is 
> less populated by unique entries identified by zone1970.tab.  Currently 
> zone1970.tab lists 95 Zones directly under America and 75 under Asia, 
> hardly the order-of-magnitude difference that might necessitate the 
> disruption of a great renaming.
> As Guy notes, users should not do 'ls /usr/share/zoneinfo/America' 
> anyway; they should use a timezone chooser. Even the primitive chooser 
> tzselect lists at most 54 names at once (all the countries in Asia, 
> which as it happens outnumbers all the countries in North and South 
> America combined). And commonly used timezone choosers let you point at 
> a map, or figure things out from your location, or whatever. If we want 
> to simplify timezone choosing we should be focusing our efforts there.

tzselect was a nice pointer since it is a command line tool. Compared to
the tzdata debconf it has three steps: continent -> country -> city. I
consider changing the debconf structure to that as well.

tzselect is using zone1970.tab and iso3166.tab to construct the
questions? How is the mapping of continents -> countries generated?

I am CCing Aurelien for his opinion.

Benjamin Drung
Debian & Ubuntu Developer

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