[tz] McMurdo/South Pole

Paul Eggert eggert at cs.ucla.edu
Sun Sep 22 06:40:20 UTC 2013

Stephen Colebourne wrote:
> An uninhabited location would effectively be on LMT

That's not been the usual practice with the tz database.
LMT has been a standin for "there were clocks here, and they
were on local mean time or solar time or something like that,
and users who care about the details are barking up the
wrong tree".  It's not just the LMT offsets; even the
transition times from LMT to standard time are mostly standins
that should not be taken seriously, for reasons already discussed.

And even if we were to change the tz database to agree with
this new interpretation, the old McMurdo data would still be
incorrect, because it did not say that McMurdo was
on LMT while uninhabited.

More generally, the tz database isn't designed to answer questions
about which parts of the Earth were inhabited when, and it's
implausible that actual users would use it that way,
not merely because it's an odd question for them to ask,
but also because they'd get typically get the wrong answer
regardless of which version of the tz data they used.

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