Does zic currently compile time zone abbreviations correctly?

John B. Morrow jmorrow at
Fri Jul 27 06:28:40 UTC 2007

In the process of extracting time zone information from the zoneinfo
database, I noticed that the abbreviation pointer break for quite a few
time zones including Europe/London, Asia/Dubai, and quite a few others.
The problem seems to be in the compiled time zone files so I spent some
time looking at zic.  What seems to be happening is that zic uses some
criteria to determine of the abbreviation (and other info for types) is
used and won't write it if it thinks it isn't needed.  The problem is
that it doesn't adjust the indexes (tt_abbrind) that reference those
abbreviations, so they'll point to bad data or empty strings.  My quick
(and admittedly heavy handed fix) was to force zic to write all of the
abbreviations, whether they are necessary or not.  If this really is a
problem, it should probably be fixed at some point.  Please note that
the data in our fairly recently updated Linux server has abbreviations
that don't seem to work.

If I'm missing something or there is some other way more correct way to
reference the abbreviations, please let me know.  I'm using tt_abbrind
as per the tzfile man page and the tzcode2007f.tar.gz sources. 

John Morrow

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