Localization Facilitation

Paul Eggert eggert at CS.UCLA.EDU
Thu Sep 9 20:33:46 UTC 2004

Chuck Soper <chucks at lmi.net> writes:

> I suggest that two new columns be added to zone.tab, location (city)
> and sub-division (state/province). The sub-division would be for the
> city not the entire time zone region. For example, Illinois for
> America/Chicago.

But America/Chicago identifies a fairly large chunk of the United
States, including Iowa, Missouri, most of (but not all of) Kansas,

The main idea behind the "America/Chicago" and the current
latitude/longitude is to identify a single point in the region, a
point that will continue to be identified if the region splits (an
event that occurs from time to time).  The latitude/longitude is a
quite-inadequate substitute for what is really needed (namely, the
entire region boundary), but it's the best we've got right now.  I
worry that adding a column with data like "Illinois" would be a step
in the wrong direction, and would cause more confusion than it would
cure, since "Illinois" is an attribute of Chicago, and is not a direct
attribute of the America/Chicago TZID.

What we really need are the region boundaries (ideally hooked up to
GPS :-), or some data that will let us derive the region boundaries
from other databases.  The current "comments" column is an informal
attempt in that direction, and I'd rather focus our efforts there.

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