Time zone: the next generation

Paul Eggert eggert at CS.UCLA.EDU
Mon Mar 7 07:04:47 UTC 2005

Deborah Goldsmith <goldsmit at apple.com> writes:

> On Mar 6, 2005, at 1:45 AM, Paul Eggert wrote:
>> (6)  Do we add support to represent time zone abbreviations in other
>>      locales, e.g., HNE for Eastern Standard Time for French writers?
> That data is already in CLDR [1].

Some of the data is there, but as far as I can tell there's no
programmatic way to generate the proper information from the union of
CLDR and the tz database.

To take an extreme example, the abbreviation "LMT" can mean either
"Local Mean Time" or "Lisbon Mean Time", and as far as I can see the
CLDR infrastructure provides no way to tell which is which for
Europe/Lisbon time stamps.  The tz data currently show that Portuguese
time stamps before 1884 used local mean time, and that from 1884-1911
they used Lisbon Mean Time, but the only think you'll find in the tz
database proper, outside of comments, is "LMT" for both.  This sort of
thing is why I think it advisable to add better support for time zone

Caveat: the CLDR database
currently doesn't have any entries either for Lisbon or for local mean
time, so to some extent I'm guessing about how the CLDR would actually
operate once it became complete enough to handle the Portuguese situation.

> doing so would require adding a lot of infrastructure to handle
> localization.

Yes.  It would be nice if we could simply point people at CLDR, and
address the problem mentioned above.  Ideally we could point them to a
complete reference implementation (such as already exists for tz), one
that would handle the combined tz+CLDR problem.

More information about the tz mailing list