[tz] [PATCH 4/4] yellow flags

Paul Eggert eggert at cs.ucla.edu
Wed Aug 14 19:31:33 UTC 2013

On 08/14/13 08:51, Derick Rethans wrote:

>> Nobody has mentioned any significant problems yet.
> I can think of three already, without doing any further research into
> this.
> 1. Debian's "dpkg-reconfigure tzdata".

This isn't a problem, since dpkg-reconfigure operates by
directly inspecting the tree of installed tz binary files,
so it's unaffected by the proposed changes to zone.tab.

> 2. Debian's/Raspian's "tzselect" lists for "Asia":

Yes, that's the tz package's tzselect program.  With the
proposed changes the resulting TZ setting would work as
before, the only difference being a political difference how
the setting itself is spelled (whether the setting is
spelled TZ='Europe/Zagreb' or TZ='Europe/Belgrade', say).

This objection to this change is essentially political.
Whether one considers the change to be a significant problem
depends on whether one is trying to make the best technical
change independent of politics (as I was) or is trying to
defer to political considerations of users who look at
internal TZ settings and might object to how they're spelled.

> 3. PHP's DateTime support

This is the same issue as the tzselect program.

>    And I can assure you people will get upset by this.

As I think we both agree, people will get upset no matter what,
even if we do nothing; it's more a question of how do we
lessen the amount of future ire and work for everybody.

All this being said, it does seem that the recent proposed
changes to zone.tab do not have consensus, so as described in
I've reverted them in the experimental github version.  I'll
try to think of a gentler way of insulating this project
from future political issues.

> You also need to realise that the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes are *not*
> just for countries anyway. Wikipedia states: "represent countries,
> dependent territories, and special areas of geographical interest." —

Thanks, although that's not enough to insulate us from
politics (it certainly wasn't last time ...), it can't hurt
to mention this in zone.tab and in iso3166.tab, so I added
that to the commentary while reverting the changes.

More information about the tz mailing list