Windows time zones vs. IANA names?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2015/05/04 09:09 +00:00, original URI:

A birthday present for John O'Conner, who asked me about this....

John O'Conner, an old colleague from Unicode asked me via Facebook for an article on a mapping between Windows defined timezones and IANA names. I was going to do a blog post to explain but then I found it mostly covered by a Stackoverflow article and Noda Time:

I think the article explains most of it, though the article kinda skips over some of the motivation for Microsoft to keep its own timezones in the first place, as well as why it has such mealy mouth language about there being a mostly 1:n mapping between the two.

Luckily, these two points are related to both themselves and to a third unrelated "inside baseball" reason mostly internal to Microsoft: The team that owns Windows Internationalization does *not* own timezones, the various Microsoft subsidiaries collectively own them, since they are the ones that have to explain why cities/states/countries that might professionally or personally dislike each other might not want to be listed together.

Essentially, it becomes a geopolitically sensitive issue to make sure that nobody gets pissed off about either not being given their own time zone or being forced to share a time zone with someone that they don't feel like being good sharers with....

In the end, the International team is a consultant on this issue, just like the Outlook piece of the Microsoft Office folks are, since the latter represents the ones who are arguably the hardest hit by the whole issue anyway.

Everyone has a right to not get along well with others, basically. This is a fancy way of saying that some regions and countries (and their respective government officials) didn't pass the lessons that we're all supposed to learn in school in kindergarten.....

# Michael S. Kaplan on 2015-05-04 01:32:28:

Somehow everyone in the world collectively forgot about the original source for the IANA names: the Olson time zone database, orphaned and then owned by Unicode's CLDR....

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