[tz] Large scale changes proposed in 2014f

Alan Barrett apb at cequrux.com
Sat Jul 26 07:30:11 UTC 2014

On Fri, 25 Jul 2014, Stephen Colebourne wrote:
> Is there consensus on the list that all of these changes are 
> better than what went before?

I think that these changes are a bad idea.

As a general rule, I think that existing information should never 
be replaced by other information with the same or worse quality, 
but should only be replaced by information of greater quality. 
In other words, rules should be changed only when the new rules 
are clearly superior to the old rules.  Even if the old rules are 
known to be inaccurate, they should be retained for the sake of 
stability until such time as more accurate information is known.

I also prefer retaining at least one first class zone for each 
ISO3166 country, for ease of menu or map based selection, and to 
allow users to see that the selected zone name contains the name 
of a familiar city in their country.  I think that some users will 
be upset to see a time zone name that contains the name of a city 
in another country, especially if the two countries have a history 
of conflict.

The maintenance burden of making similar changes many times when 
many zones share modern history could be eased by new syntax 
in the input files, such as what was proposed by Andy Lipscomb 
in the "Extended data format" thread in September 2013; see 
<https://mm.icann.org/pipermail/tz/2013-September/019952.html> and 
other messages in the same thread.

--apb (Alan Barrett)

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