[tz] Astrakhan region got approval to change its time zone

Brian Inglis Brian.Inglis at systematicsw.ab.ca
Sun Feb 14 22:03:12 UTC 2016

On 2016-02-13 19:02, Paul Eggert wrote:
> Brian Inglis wrote:
>> I just know a bunch of people out there are cluelessly checking this string is
>> upper case alpha.
> We crossed that bridge many years ago, so we shouldn't be giving any such people much more grief than we're already giving them.
> There have been non-upper-case-alpha abbreviations in the tz database since nearly day one. For example, in our repository the very first version of the 'europe' file (dated 1986) had spaces in some abbreviations, and spaces are much harder to parse than digits or plus signs are. In the current release, Pacific/Guam uses abbreviations that are not upper case alpha.
> Also, POSIX has blessed digits and plus signs in the abbreviations for quite some time; see <https://mm.icann.org/pipermail/tz/2001-January/011305.html>.

Never saw much benefit in innovating meaningless abbreviations to be less ambiguous.
Localization requires knowing the language, territory, script, character set, and zone to be useful.

It is not immediately apparent this is a zone "abbreviation", could be some kind of correction or a lat/long. Without at least minutes and possibly also a colon, this does not look like a zone value. Signed numbers could be either US/POSIX or ISO signs. With more characters this may not fit within TZNAME_MAX limits, although looking around implementations there seems favour for 6. The intent would be more obvious with a UTC or MSK prefix, and that may have been what POSIX wanted to allow.
Take care. Thanks, Brian Inglis, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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