[tz] Reason for removal of several TZ

David Patte ₯ dpatte at relativedata.com
Mon Dec 4 05:07:34 UTC 2017

Clearly if the tz maintainers don't want to invent designations, and 
don't want to use the official political designations, that all the 
designations should be only for timekeeping purposes, and should be 
replaced by numbers.

But instead I believe that the db should record the official political 
designations (perhaps translated to English), as designated by the 
political entities themselves. This also includes using the English 
equivalent of the country names the people within these political 
regions designate for themselves. We could start with Palestine, which 
is recognized as a nation by 80% of countries, and 90% of the world 

On 2017-12-03 23:40, David Patte ₯ wrote:
> I believe that most people consider that the tz designations are in 
> fact the official 'American' equivalents for the official local 
> designations - which they are not. There are no official 'American' 
> designations, and the tz maintainers repeatedly state that their 
> designations are not made by political bodies.
> At the same time they certainly are not the local designations 
> preferred by the locals, otherwise they wouldn't use English for 
> Beijing, and numbers for Greenland.
> In effect, they are designations currently seem to be decided at whim 
> by the tz maintainers according to their belief of what the most 
> locals would use if they spoke English, or by using numbers if they 
> don't know. This is their right, as it is their database.
> But clearly, as a tz database is required internationally and is of 
> great significance, there should be clear rules stating how 
> designations in the db are chosen or changed, or failing that, a 
> database of internationally approved designations should be developed 
> perhaps through an arm of the UN, and used separately.
> David Patte
> On 2017-12-03 21:24, Tim Parenti wrote:
>> On 3 December 2017 at 21:13, <Paul.Koning at dell.com 
>> <mailto:Paul.Koning at dell.com>> wrote:
>>     It seems to me the notion of "official" doesn't always work. 
>>     Sometimes a particular term is established merely by enough
>>     usage.  In fact, that's how the English language works.
>> Indeed.  The standard isn't "official", merely "widely accepted".
>>     So perhaps the same thinking should be applied here: it doesn't
>>     really matter where TZ names come from.  Even if they were
>>     originally just an acronym thought up by PE or ADO, they become
>>     "real" if enough people use them as such.
>>     Now if you're dealing with invented names that haven't gotten any
>>     significant currency, that's different, then deleting them makes
>>     sense.  But if the pushback is "wait a minute, everyone around
>>     here has been using that designation for at least a decade" then
>>     that makes it real enough to be preserved.  That assumes there
>>     isn't contrary input from an actual "official" source, of course.
>> Oh, certainly.  Obviously official government documents would meet 
>> that standard, but other things could, too, hence the requests for 
>> use by newspapers and media outlets, for example.  It's a big part of 
>> why the Australian abbreviations were changed to reflect common usage 
>> <https://github.com/eggert/tz/commit/62df86e10cb45ed931850f7298fa063ffea07544> 
>> a few years back.  If it's indeed true that "everyone…has been using 
>> that designation", then it's generally easy to point to prominent 
>> examples.
>> Unfortunately, most online compendia of world time zones — like those 
>> Thomas linked — tend to source their data, knowingly or unknowingly, 
>> from tz or its derivations, so they don't really count for these 
>> purposes.
>> --
>> Tim Parenti
> -- 


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