[tz] So who is this KRE person, anyway?

David Braverman david at braverman.org
Tue May 8 18:44:38 UTC 2012

A number of posts to the list recently have concerned me greatly. It appears that people new to this list may not know of Robert Elz's contributions, or why we* other contributors generally accord him the deference we do. What follows is my own opinion, though I hope it reflects the consensus view.

Back in September, when Astrolabe sued list coordinators Arthur Olson and Paul Eggert over the time zone database, KRE immediately stepped up to keep the database available. He provided server space and technical support following the database's removal from the National Institutes of Health (where it had lived from its inception); he insulated the list from the U.S. courts; he made sure that the subsequent database updates got published when necessary; and he did myriad other things that showed his commitment to the database and its users.

Now that the lawsuit is gone, and Paul Eggert has officially taken over as coordinator, KRE has less of a formal role than he did as the de facto coordinator during the crisis. But even a casual scan through the list's archives will show he's long been one of the most conscientious and helpful contributors for years. He has earned my respect since I've been contributing to the list; I suspect I'm not alone.

Of course, all of this is evident from the list's archives. I would suggest to anyone new to a mailing list or online community-as people have suggested, no doubt with similar effect, since the ancient days of the WELL, CompuServe, and dial-up BBSs-that reading a list's archives can answer a lot of questions, including about the community's structures and relationships, and can prevent unfortunate misunderstandings from taking over the conversation.

I hope this clarifies why recent posts have generated some, shall I say, strongly-worded responses. I also hope we can now return to our regular discussion of what times the world's clocks are showing.

David Braverman
Inner Drive Technology

* We, in this context, means those of us expressing these opinions. I think I speak for everyone here when I say no one speaks for everyone here.

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