[tz] Proposal for a modern 'Collapsed' Namespace

Walter walter.stanish at gmail.com
Fri Oct 12 11:39:04 UTC 2012

> In my opinion, this does not belong in the timezone database, but rather
> in a convenience layer within your project - or the Unicode's
> Consortiums CLDR (http://cldr.unicode.org/). The CLDR already as a large
> number of those user-friendly names in many languages already too. F.e.:
> http://unicode.org/repos/cldr-tmp/trunk/charts/supplemental/zone_tzid.html

First, thanks for your response, which is the first that has actually
dealt with the contents of the proposal.

I was not aware of the page you mentioned and indeed this is an
interesting dataset. It is apparently a mapping between the Windows
timezone database (copyright status?) and the tz data set.

It is particularly interesting because it appears to promote the
effective grouping of the historical China-related timezones present
in the tz data in to a single modern entity, precisely as proposed as
appropriate for normal, modern use.

Unfortunately, it does not appear to resolve some of the issues
mentioned, in particular:
 - It appears to simply relate Windows timezones to the tz database,
and not to provide any additional information
 - It appears to lacks Xinjiang time
 - It appears to lack any human language string featuring the term
'Beijing time', the dominant verbal timezone identifier for 1.4
billion+ mainland Chinese people
 - It appears to be only provided in English

The update process seems unclear but it seems that the table in
question is not intended to be extended and/or maintained separately
to the apparent purpose of providing direct Windows/tz timezone record

Owing to the above I do not believe that this resource either (1)
addresses the problems identified, or (2) is the appropriate vehicle
with which to do so.

However, thank you very much for pointing it out as an interesting and
potentially relevant resource.

> And in the common/main/<country>.xml files that you can download off
> http://unicode.org/Public/cldr/22/

The 'core.zip' file at that location (the only one that appeared to be
relevant) seems to include a repeat of the above information in
'supplemental/windowsZones.xml' -- the only place where the word
'Beijing' occurs throughout the entire archive.

The word 'Shanghai' appears sporadically throughout some, but not all,
of the language files throughout the 'main' subdirectory, however the
contents of the appropriate sections appear to be simply translations
of the geographic name of the 'exemplar city' (most populous city,
from what I understand) that is used to represent the lat/long
coordinates for a tz database time zone within the 'zone.tab' file.
Geographic nomenclature translation is not the issue here.

Critically, no file within the archive appears to address the
establishment of either timezones themselves (Xinjiang time) or common
names for modern time zones that span multiple tz entries (Beijing
time). Instead, it appears that the only relevant data is a repeat of
the above URL, ie. a table intended to equate Windows and tz timezone

Walter Stanish

More information about the tz mailing list