Re: [Tzdist] Next step

Tim Parenti <tim@timtimeonline.com> Tue, 20 October 2015 18:28 UTC

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Date: Tue, 20 Oct 2015 14:27:30 -0400
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From: Tim Parenti <tim@timtimeonline.com>
To: Lester Caine <lester@lsces.co.uk>
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Subject: Re: [Tzdist] Next step
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On 20 October 2015 at 02:34, Lester Caine <lester@lsces.co.uk>; wrote:

> areas do move from one timezone to another outside of the TZ
> framework
>

Yes, normal borders and border disputes aside, this type of thing is
particularly non-obvious.  For example, when India and Bangladesh exchanged
several enclaves
<https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/08/01/say-goodbye-to-the-weirdest-border-dispute-in-the-world/>
this past August, nominally, the borders between Asia/Kolkata (UTC+5:30)
and Asia/Dhaka (UTC+6:00) moved.  Did the clocks in those areas change?
Technically, it would seem so, but the truth on the ground is probably much
more complicated, and it's nominally outside the scope of tz.

In a different type of case, the presence of historical zones could cause
needless complications in calendaring.  For example, my main calendars here
in Pittsburgh all use America/New_York, but for some reason my mobile
provider tells my phone that it's in America/Detroit.  So when I view any
events created on my phone from a web interface, I'm warned to be cautious
since I'm viewing an event in a different time zone, which although
technically true, is mildly annoying considering that there haven't been
any differences between those two zones since 1975.  I'd imagine for
someone, e.g., in Toledo, Ohio using a lot of locations near the border
between America/New_York and America/Detroit, this would be similarly
aggravating, especially since they probably don't think about that as a
time zone border.

Implementations in this area might endeavor to distinguish between "borders
that potentially matter" and "borders that definitely don't matter", which
seems a tenuous distinction.

--
Tim Parenti