Time Zone Localizations

Mark Davis mark.davis at jtcsv.com
Fri Jun 11 22:01:15 UTC 2004

There are 29 countries that have multiple zones. If you show only modern zones,
you have 99 different zones for those countries; if you show historic zones, you
have 164, a considerable increase. For example, for the US you have the
following, with a ';' between zones that are the same nowadays, and ';' between
ones that are different. It clutters up the UI and adds more translation
requirements if you need to distinguish non-modern zones.

America/Anchorage,     America/Nome, America/Juneau, America/Yakutat;
America/Denver,     America/Boise;
America/Chicago,     America/North_Dakota/Center, America/Menominee;
America/Indianapolis,     America/Indiana/Knox, America/Indiana/Vevay,
America/New_York,     America/Kentucky/Monticello, America/Detroit,

Note: we're not saying the modern equivalents must be identified; this is more a
matter of setting priorities for translation.

► शिष्यादिच्छेत्पराजयम् ◄

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Garrett Wollman" <wollman at khavrinen.lcs.mit.edu>
To: "Mark Davis" <mark.davis at jtcsv.com>
Cc: <tz at lecserver.nci.nih.gov>
Sent: Fri, 2004 Jun 11 12:41
Subject: Re: Time Zone Localizations

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

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