[tz] attic data for the tz database

Stephen Colebourne scolebourne at joda.org
Thu Aug 29 19:33:13 UTC 2013

On 29 August 2013 20:13, Paul Eggert <eggert at cs.ucla.edu> wrote:
>> other applications parse the source files, including Java.
> I don't think we need to change the zic input format, so
> these applications should be OK.

They are not OK if they are relying on pre-1970 data, as Java does.
Unless the new data consists of no more than a new file in the same
format that is to be parsed, then there will be work to do.

>> Until you have a comprehensive solution to the pre-1970 issue
> We are not likely to ever have a comprehensive solution to
> the pre-1970 issue.  Too many data were never recorded or
> were lost, and much of what little we have is fabricated.
> Insisting on a comprehensive solution before making
> improvements would mean we could never make improvements.

Not quite what I meant. I fully accept that we cannot know all
time-zone data before 1970. What I mean is that you need to carry
everyone with you when making changes. You need to explain how the
pre-1970 data that we do have will be retained and accessible. As I've
said before, the users I represent don't care about the accuracy, but
they will care if it is made willfully inaccurate.

A comprehensive solution might be two sets of files, one pre and one
post 1970 with enough notice for everyone to be able to adapt. Or it
might be simply leaving the data as is.

> The changes in the github tz repository are experimental,
> and there needs to be room to experiment.  I plan to restore
> the data you've expressed concern about, along with other
> data that's been discarded over the years.  Please be
> patient while we figure out a good way to go about this.

I want to ensure that we don't see a release from the current set of commits.


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