Re: TR35 (was: Standardize TimeZone ID)

Date: Fri May 07 2004 - 16:53:19 CDT

Philippe Verdy scripsit:

> I do agree. The fact that both "Europe/Istanbul" and "Asia/Istanbul"
> are referenced is probably not really political, but it reflects
> the fact that this city is on both continents, and that it's timezone
> covers more than just this city. Someone leaving on the Asian area near
> the city, but not in Istanbul must just wonder why its timezone is not
> defined in the "Asia" subcategory, and why he must select it in Europe
> (the reverse is possible).


> So the database aliases one to the other. Aliases are used for timezones
> that are compeltely equivalent on the whole timeframe considered
> (apparently only starting in the early years of last century).

The cutoff date is 1970-01-01; if two timezones have been the same ever since
then, they are not separately encoded *unless* they are in separate national
jurisdictions (because after all it is the nation-state which sets up the
rules). This date is the Posix zero point.

> when in fact solar time was most frequently used (with lots of
> approximations) rather than official times.

Standard time dates to the 1890s in Europe and North America; basically, its
existence reflected the need for railroads to use a single time zone (or as few
as possible).

> What I don't know is if the Riyadh Solar Time is still in use today in
> Sauda Arabia (the Olson's database only contains rules for 1987-1989).
> in

I believe that it is not. The intention was to set sunset (the beginning of
the Islamic day) to 00:00 local time, but the difficulties in doing so
were simply too great.

> As well the "" script is quite bogous if used to determine
> leap years (is it useful or correct for US election years?).

It is (the U.S. elects presidents in years that are divisible by 4
and greater than 1787, when the present constitution came into effect).
No actual time zone depends on whether the year is a presidential election
year, though the idea was proposed at one time.

"But the next day there came no dawn,           John Cowan
and the Grey Company passed on into the
darkness of the Storm of Mordor and were
lost to mortal sight; but the Dead    
followed them.          --"The Passing of the Grey Company"

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