[tz] Opaque tz names (was: Re: Reason for removal of several TZ)

Guy Harris guy at alum.mit.edu
Tue Dec 5 08:33:19 UTC 2017

On Dec 4, 2017, at 10:22 PM, Philip Paeps <philip at trouble.is> wrote:

> What problem are we trying to solve here?
> Every couple of weeks someone asks on tz@ why their timezone is called City X instead of City Y or why City Z is not in the tzdb.  Every now and again that turns into a lengthy discussion on politics.  That problem is easily solved with a polite, terse reply pointing at the theory.

How about the problem of "the questions keep being asked", a solution to which would have to prevent the question from being asked, or, at least, reduce the frequency with which it's asked and, if that's not possible, at *least* arrange that people don't argue back once we've pointed them at the theory.

> While the list of names in tzdb isn't great, it's better to have one list of seemingly arbitrary cities and one mailing list where the (let's be honest: not all that many) questions about them go.

Better to have that than, say, one list of either 1) *definitely* arbitrary 4-character identifiers (from Clive Feather's proposal) or 2) longitude/latitude values for a location that happens to be within the city, plus one mailing list where questions about them go?

> Externalising this problem will only make maintaining the tzdb more difficult and needlessly confuse people.

How does using something other than city names constitute "externalizing this problem"?

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