[tz] Suggestion for addition of America/Brasilia entry to time zone database

Gabriel Gaspar ggaspar at protonmail.ch
Mon Oct 17 03:55:06 UTC 2016

Hello there, and sorry for the intrusion.

I presently write to this list with a suggestion for addition of an entry in the time zone
database, America/Brasilia, or at least for a clarification on why there may not be one.
Being the standard official time in Brazil, I firmly believe there should be one such
entry (unless, of course, matters of greater power disallow it).

The official time used in Brazil is called "the Brasilia official time" (UTC -3:00),
Brasilia being the capital of Brazil. Note that the official country name is Brasil,
with an 's', and the official capital name is Brasília, with an acute on the first 'i'.
I am writing the country name with 'z' and leaving the aforementioned acute out
for internationalization purposes. Inside Brazilian territory, the remainder time zones
are usually referred and adjusted having Brasilia time as a referential base, e.g.
"Brasilia time +1", "Brasilia time -1" etc. Even more, event times in Brazil (games, DST
start/end, official announcements) are all informed, be it via government official
channels or mass media, in Brasilia's official time, further evidencing the importance
of Brasilia as a reference for setting times inside country territory.

That being said, I have always wondered why it is that Brasilia is not listed as one
of the time zones in the data base for South America. It is the official time for Brazil
and the name does not clash with any other name in the database (America/Brasilia).
Instead, it is relegated to an indirect mention, (Brasilia is located inside Distrito Federal
(DF)), in a comment for the time zone America/Sao_Paulo. São Paulo is a major city in
Brazil, but by no means the capital itself, nor does it retain any authoritative power in
setting or representing the official time, which Brasilia does. Actually, the
America/Sao_Paulo time zone entry seems to be doing what an America/Brasilia
time zone entry should be doing.

Thus, my suggestion would be either for the addition of something such as
America/Brasilia to the time zone database, or for the renaming of
America/Sao_Paulo to America/Brasilia in order to more accurately represent what that
time zone entry stands for. The former suggestion would add more information to the
database, but other than occupying more space I fail to see further problems with that
addition. The latter suggestion could break some scripts that rely on the time zone
name for correct operation, although I currently have no knowledge of one such script nor
how crucial its operation could be.

Without further ado, I thank you for the time to read this, and appreciate the time for
such considerations.

Gabriel G. Gaspar
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