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Re: [PATCH] Remove locale timezone information

On Wed, Aug 05, 2015 at 10:56:44PM -0400, Mike Frysinger wrote:
> On 05 Aug 2015 09:20, Paul Eggert wrote:
> > On 08/05/2015 03:22 AM, wrote:
> > > For countries with more timezones, the locale data helps narrowing down the
> > > choices. And there are not that many countries with more than 1 timezone,
> > > eg USA, Canada, Russia and Greenland. Many big countries like China and India
> > > only have 1 timezone
> > 
> > Actually, China has two time zones: tzdata's Asia/Shanghai and 
> > Asia/Urumqi both reflect officially-kept time.  Even Germany has more 
> > than one tzdata entry, due to the a difference in post-1970 history of 
> > timekeeping in its Swiss enclaves.  So the problem of many time zones 
> > for one locale is bigger than what you're suggesting, even if we ignore 
> > traveling users (which is a pretty big class to ignore).
> a cursory search shows many more countries as well:
> Canada, USA, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan,
> Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Greenland (does that mean Denmark
> too?).  that's at least 16% of the world's population (35% if you count
> China).

I am glad you are now coming forward with actual facts, Mike.
Then we can hopefully find out what the facts are, and probably agree on something.
I have previously done discussion with people were we were intially 
in violent diagreement, but along the road I got a little wiser and probably
my opponent also got a little wiser, and we found some workable solutions. 
That is why I keep responding to almost all of pour posts in a technical
tone, and I hope you could do the same, for the benefit of the glibc project.

I have as you may know been involved with glibc i18n for many years,
and I designed and speced many of the i18n enhancements over POSIX/C,
and also provided lots of data for that purpose to the glibc project.
If I am not corrected with my futurisic ideas, I will probably continue infinitely
on this path - till now it has led us much of the way to where we are now.

Most of these countries I have already mentioned in previous posts.
For Greenland, yes, it is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, but not part
of the State of Denmark. Greenland has its own country code, and
thus its own locales.

I also mentioned in previous posts that narrowing the choice of locales down to
two or three is a big improvement over the current state, even if you cannot 
fully determine a locale for a country. Do you think there is any merit in that
observation, Mike?

My conclusion was then that the only countries that did not benefit 
hugely on the narrow range of plausible locales were the USA, Canada and Russia.
But anyway, having to chose between about a dozen different locales that can be presented 
in one display, is a much nicer option than chosing amongst a long list of all glibc

> and that's just for the current period of time.  as you highlight, if you
> look back historically, there are other countries that spanned timezones.

Yes, the Olson tz database probably has all these data. 
Still, if you order the timezones for a country in some way, eg order of population,
or alphabetically, you could probably find a solution that is useful to most
people. And then you have the option of setting a specific
TZ variable if you have someting really special. This is UNIX, you know,
we can tweek it endlessly.

> locales also are not strictly defined by country borders which means the
> timezone spans are even higher (i'm not counting people who travel).

I doubt this is a big case. And anyway it can be tweeked, as noted above, right?

best regards

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