Time Zone Localizations

Garrett Wollman wollman at khavrinen.lcs.mit.edu
Fri Jun 11 19:41:52 UTC 2004

<<On Fri, 11 Jun 2004 11:49:03 -0700, "Mark Davis" <mark.davis at jtcsv.com> said:

[Text formatting recovered.]
> Many (I would dare say the vast majority) of end users just don't
> care now that there was once a difference between Dawson, Whitehorse
> and Los Angeles. When they pick a timezone in some preferences
> dialog (on their machine, in a website preferences page, etc) they
> just want to see one choice for that zone, not three

There are really very few cases where you might give people multiple
choices, having already selected a particular country or national
region.  In the tzsetup(8) user interface which I wrote, users must
first select a region and then a "country" (scare quotes because they
are actually selecting a 3166-2 code behind the scenes, but the
interface doesn't tell them that).  The US probably provides most of
the complicated cases once you've gotten that far; few other countries
have more than one historic zone for each existing modern zone.  In
any event, if the user has already selected a locale, then you should
default to presenting only the time zones associated with the country
or region identified by the locale, with an option to "see all".
There is no need to identify "equivalent" time zones when most of them
are already known to be largely irrelevant.

There is a separate localization issue that comes up when trying to
answer the question, "What time is it in _____?".  I don't know if
the scope of your project extends to that question.


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