[tz] Dealing with Pre-1970 Data

Paul Eggert eggert at cs.ucla.edu
Sat Aug 31 11:49:25 UTC 2013

Eliot Lear wrote:
> what problem are we trying to solve
> at this moment?  What is broken that needs fixing?  I seem to have lost
> the plot on that.

As for the LMT issue, the problem there seems to be one
of documenting better what 'LMT' means in the database,
which I've been trying to do.  This stuff has all been
in my head for years, but it's not obvious to newcomers.

As for the changes that discarded some pre-1970 data,
the underlying problem is the unnecessary proliferation of
entries due to political constraints.  These entries
unnecessarily complicate users' lives, add to our
maintenance burden, and prompt endless political disputes.
We can't remove politically-motivated entries due to
backward-compatibility concerns, but we should
not proliferate them further, as this project should be
about timekeeping, not politics.

P.S. I should mention that the politics are in the
guidelines only because of my own mistake when I wrote
them way back when.  I intended to keep politics out
as much as possible (which is partly why
the Zone naming convention is as successful as it is),
but I slipped up when documenting zone.tab.

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