Inconsistent format of data files?

Olson, Arthur David (NIH/NCI) [E] olsona at
Thu Jul 20 20:19:32 UTC 2006

Like the good book (the zic manual page) says...
     Input lines are made up of fields.  Fields are separated
     from one another by any number of white space characters.
     Leading and trailing white space on input lines is ignored.
So, by definition, there can't be "extra" tabs at the beginnings of

While we could make the stuff in the time zone package more consistent,
there are presumably files out in the wild created by other folks that
wouldn't match whatever consistent pattern we settled on. The safest
course for developers is to parse liberally in accordance with the
manual page.



From: Colin Bowern [mailto:Colin.Bowern at] 
Sent: Wednesday, July 19, 2006 1:37 PM
To: tz at
Subject: Inconsistent format of data files?



I'm working on compiling the time zone data into an XML file for easier
handling in a program.  I noticed some inconsistencies in the format of
the files versus the description in zic.8.txt.  For example, in the
latest version in Africa on line 93 there is an extra tab at the
beginning.  Can anyone confirm if this?  I've attached screenshots of
what I am seeing.

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