FW: Pacific-New

Olson, Arthur David (NIH/NCI) [E] olsona at dc37a.nci.nih.gov
Sun Feb 22 23:43:03 UTC 2009

I'm forwarding this message from Bill Unruh, who is not on the time zone
mailing list.
Those of you who are on the list, please direct replies appropriately.


-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Unruh [mailto:unruh at physics.ubc.ca] 
Sent: Sunday, February 22, 2009 6:35
To: Olson, Arthur David (NIH/NCI) [E]
Cc: tz at lecserver.nci.nih.gov
Subject: RE: Pacific-New

On Sun, 22 Feb 2009, Olson, Arthur David (NIH/NCI) [E] wrote:

> The "pacificnew" file includes information about legislation that was
> introduced (but not passed) in the United States Congress; it serves
> explain why a "Pacific-New" time zone was created in the first place.
> Note that the last line of the file is a "Link America/Los_Angeles
> US/Pacific-New" line, meaning that using either name now has the same
> effect.

I guess I object strongly to including legislative proposals into the
files. If we introduce a new file and a new timezone everytime some
official makes some silly comment about time, the whole edifice will
under the weight of that garbage. While the tzdata file is not an
publication it is regarded as pretty authoritiative by most people using
computers in the world. It should therefore strive to be accurate and
authoritative, and not get bogged down with irrelevancies, and political
commentary or jokes (which is the only thing I can imagine that the
Pacific-New timezone  to be).

> As to jokes and idiocy: there used to be an obscure bit of word play
> an strftime.c comment;
> it was eliminated in version 7.40.-)

Never saw it. I am not above jokes and wordplay but not when it extends
introducing new time zones in at least semi-authoritative publications. 
Are we going to get an Okeefenokie time zone because someone likes
Pogo-- or a
US/BUSH timezone (constantly set to midnight) as political commentary on
last president? That an ill-considered proposal popped up in Congress 20
ago  but was never passed should not be memorialised by a new time zone
in tzdata.

My response was triggered when a Suse user said his distro assigned
Pacific-New to him. Having never seen it before (Mandriva wisely does
not have it), 
I looked at the tzdata file and found it. Please please remove it.

>        --ado

William G. Unruh   |  Canadian Institute for|     Tel: +1(604)822-3273
Physics&Astronomy  |     Advanced Research  |     Fax: +1(604)822-5324
UBC, Vancouver,BC  |   Program in Cosmology |     unruh at physics.ubc.ca
Canada V6T 1Z1     |      and Gravity       |

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