Time Zone Localizations

Paul Eggert eggert at CS.UCLA.EDU
Sat Jun 12 02:09:06 UTC 2004

"Mark Davis" <mark.davis at jtcsv.com> writes:

>> Arctic/Longyearbyen // or Atlantic/Jan_Mayen, don't care which

I'd suggest Longyearbyen over Jan Mayen, as its population
is much larger.

> 3. And if the database had unique TZIDs corresponding to the 'missing' ISO
> country codes BV, HM

I think someone else has already addressed this issue, but those
"countries" are uninhabited.  The TZ database attempts to record the
clock values that people actually use, so if there are no people then
the local time is undefined.

More generally: as the number of people (at a location) shrinks, the
question "what is the local time?" becomes more and more arbitrary.
In some Antarctic locations it seems that the answer really and truly
depends on who you're talking to.  When the number of people equals
zero, the value is undefined, so it doesn't make sense to put it into
the database.

To give another instance of this problem: the uninhabited island of
Clipperton is officially in the PF country code, but it doesn't
correspond to any of the TZIDs for PF (Pacific/Tahiti,
Pacific/Marquesas, Pacific/Gambier).  If Clipperton ever becomes
inhabited, it'd undoubtedly have a UTC offset that differed from those
three entries (and quite possibly it would no longer belong to PF).

>From the TZ database point of view, Clipperton is just like Bouvet:
it's a small patch of land without any inhabitants, so it doesn't get
an entry, even though it would deserve one if it were inhabited.

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