[tz] Request for Standardization of Kyiv Time Zone Naming

Brian Inglis Brian.Inglis at Shaw.ca
Sat Nov 11 19:56:34 UTC 2023

On 2023-11-10 01:47, Dmytro Shynkarenko via tz wrote:
> I'm reaching out on behalf of our team at Tutorpeers (Tutorpeers.com)
> I'm reaching out to address a significant concern related to the naming of 
> Ukraine's capital in time zone databases. At present, there are two spellings in 
> use: "Kiev" and "Kyiv." The latter, "Kyiv," is the correct Ukrainian spelling 
> and pronunciation, which honors the country's sovereignty and the preferences of 
> its people.
> The use of "Kiev," which is derived from the Russian language, has become 
> increasingly problematic, especially considering Russia's ongoing aggression 
> against Ukraine. This issue hits close to home for me, not only because of my 
> Ukrainian roots but also due to the feedback we've received from our Ukrainian 
> user base. Numerous customers have reached out to us, expressing discomfort and 
> disapproval of the "Kiev" spelling, given the current circumstances.
> Our platform has taken a clear stance on this issue, and we urge IANA to 
> consider the implications of language and to update its time zone databases 
> accordingly. By standardizing the "Kyiv" spelling, we can collectively show 
> support for the Ukrainian community and respect their cultural and national 
> identity.
> After speaking to your colleague Candice Montoya I was pleased to learn that the 
> spelling change to "Europe/Kyiv" has already been implemented in the Time Zone 
> Database as of August 2022. This update is much appreciated and reflects a 
> positive and respectful acknowledgment of the correct naming convention.
> However, I've noticed that the previous spelling, "Kiev" still appears in some 
> instances. Please confirm if this is intended for backward compatibility with 
> existing systems. And if so, is there a planned timeline for its eventual 
> deprecation in favor of the updated "Kyiv" spelling?
> Understanding the strategy for phasing out the old spelling would be incredibly 
> helpful for our team and user community as we navigate these changes and ensure 
> we provide the most current and accurate information.

The tz project provides mechanism, but does not set policy, which is decided by 
each downstream system and software package, which includes their own selection 
from this *public domain* software and data.

That includes almost every single OS, DB, programming language, communication, 
or date/time using software, from almost every vendor and organization, on 
almost every system, on almost every device, on the planet.

Most software vendors and organizations favour consistency, familiarity, and 
stability for their users, which includes not breaking whatever they currently 
have running on their systems, whether it is a super-computer cluster, server, 
desktop, laptop, phone, watch, or credit card sized computer.

There are also forks of this project data, for which that is paramount, skipping 
changes made over the years, as do some downstream distributors of the software 
and data, which is freely available to all to download over the internet.

Each OS distribution, edition, and flavour of each OS and software package using 
the tz data may set different policies depending on their goals.

It is likely that the backward compatibility link or zone for Kiev will remain 
on many systems and in much software for the conceivable future, and will never 
disappear from systems and software which prize backward compatibility.

It is also likely that many Ukrainian organizations will retain the well known 
English spelling for a long time, for the practical reason that they may become 
inaccessible or invisible if they change it, as most English speakers and 
businesses have no awareness of, desire, or need to comply with Ukrainian wishes 
regarding transliteration, as they have a perfectly good spelling they have been 
using for centuries.

See for example the global public suffix list, and the Ukrainian CC TLD
	https://cctld.ua/ -> https://www.hostmaster.ua/
shows kyiv.ua gaining popularity on par with kiev.ua, but the CC TLD and 
registrars still support domains and registration under kiev.ua, and many with 
other legacy spellings, see also policy links from 2LD web page
which are owned by registrars for which these are business assets, some worth 
millions of ₴, also some domains registered under these 2LD names are also 
likely worth ₴ millions, unlikely to be changed or thrown away for the exercise 
of eliminating old spellings to favour newer Ukrainian transliterations.

Take care. Thanks, Brian Inglis              Calgary, Alberta, Canada

La perfection est atteinte                   Perfection is achieved
non pas lorsqu'il n'y a plus rien à ajouter  not when there is no more to add
mais lorsqu'il n'y a plus rien à retirer     but when there is no more to cut
                                 -- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

[Most English speakers similarly do not care what e.g. Italians and other 
nationalities call their countries, regions, or cities, despite substantial 
tourism: they will continue to use the English names for those locations given 
centuries ago for centuries into the future.]

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