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Bug#69156: boot-floppies: Timezone selection dialog is confusing

Package: boot-floppies
Version: 2.2.16-2000-07-20
Severity: wishlist

The timezone dialog is one of the most bizarre I've ever seen.
There are two lists: one that seems (at first glance) to contain
continents or country names, and one which lists time zone
abbreviations (among other things).  A logical interpretation is
that choosing a country/continent in the first list should cause
the second list to present the time zones in that
continent/country.  Not so.  The two lists are apparently
completely independent.  Given that, why are they separate?  (By
the way, ``Arctic'', ``Etc'', ``Indian'', and ``SystemV'' are
neither countries nor continents, which means that your initial
impression about the contents of the first list is wrong.)

Once you choose something that seems like a possibility from one
of the lists and hit OK, you get a screen showing choices within
that group (which I expected to see in the second list on the
first page).

Why not let the user choose their continent, then present them
with a list of countries on that continent, then with a list of
cities/time zones in that country?  Or even just present a list of
cities and let people choose one that they know is in their time
zone.  (That's pretty much what the Mac OS does.)  Experts who
wanted one of the weirder choices could always change the time
zone later by hand or use an ``expert time-zone-setting'' dialog
that lets them type in whatever they want or presents them with a
more complex set of choices.

System information

Debian Release: potato
Architecture: powerpc
Kernel: Linux diziet 2.2.16-foo #2 Mon Jun 12 17:14:16 PDT 2000 ppc

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