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Re: Timezone specification



On Wed, 2008-12-03 at 15:15 -0800, Terry McIntyre wrote:
> We seem to be going backwards. Before the invention of timezones,
> every railroad stop had a different time "zone". Then we divided the
> country into Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific timezones. Since
> then, cities and states and other regions have chosen to balkanize the
> country into ever-smaller divisions. There is disagreement about when
> and whether to advance and retreat with the seasons. Soon, we'll be
> where we started: every railroad stop with a different time. This is
> progress?

Actually, by the time the US DST changes of the Energy Act of 2005 went
into effect, virtually all of North American (with far more rare
exception) is now all on the same.  This includes most (now all?) of the
counties in Indiana, and most (now all?) of the provinces and
territories of Canada, even a few in the Caribbean too.

Now you still have the different Zoneinfo files, for historical
purposes.  I.e., Zoneinfo provides offset for past dates/times as well,
so you still needs those for historical purposes.  But that's
unavoidable in general.  You _must_always_ keep historical information,
but that's hardly the fault of the "solution."

Much of the world (even Israel finally started putting down its logic
more recently IIRC, leaving only a small handful of nations/cities that
still do not) has been steadily reducing the number of variations.  It
was far, far, far worse some 50-60 years ago.  It was _never_ as uniform
as you say it was prior.  ;)

The Region/City pathing has been repeatedly shown to be approach with
least issues.  It does not rely on the names of a country, which may
change or -- worse yet -- not be recognized by some nations (especially
nearby nations using the same offsets), where as continents never and
cities very, very infrequently ever change in name.

I give Olson-Eggert a lot of credit for coming up with a system that
changes the least, and is very effective at addressing regular issues
(notices are regular, due to various changes).  Even Microsoft, let IEEE
POSIX / OpenGroup SUS or even the IETF, never came up with anything
better.


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Bryan J Smith - Senior Consultant - Red Hat GPS SE US
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mailto:b j smith ieee org  (non-RH/ext to Blackberry) 
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