[tz] Recent conversions of zones to aliases

Stephen Colebourne scolebourne at joda.org
Thu Oct 2 23:34:06 UTC 2014

Just to note my continued unhappiness with the conversions of zones to aliases.

The recent change to map Harare to Maputo broke a test in Joda-Time
(the most widely used 3rd party library in Java for date/time,
probably used by millions of developers). This means that the many
users of Joda-Time will get errors when they try to recompile the
latest jar file, a process that has worked fine for years. In order to
make the test pass I now have to special case to say that either
Harare or Maputo is a valid value.

This issue occurs because Joda-Time normalises all aliases to the
actual zone as per TZDB data. Thus a request for

DateTimeZone zone = DateTimeZone.forID("Africa/Harare");

which use to return a zone with the ID "Africa/Harare" now returns
"Africa/Maputo". This means that users can no longer get a zone that
represents their country for half of Africa and the Carribean.

I cannot stress enough that these utterly unecessary changes have and
will continue to cause observable differences in end-user
applications. I remain firmly of the opinion that there should be at
least one actual Zone entry for each ISO defined territory/country,
and that these recent changes should not be described as minor


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