[tz] Turkey delays winter time

Paul Eggert eggert at cs.ucla.edu
Mon Sep 21 21:48:18 UTC 2015

On 09/21/2015 01:41 PM, Deborah Goldsmith wrote:

> when you’re pushing bits to hundreds of millions of devices you need 
> to do thorough testing. There are also release cycles, as users don’t 
> like to be bombarded with requests to update their devices too frequently

Red Hat and Ubuntu have tens of millions of users.  This difference in 
scale does not explain why Apple can take over six months to propagate a 
small change to time zone data, whereas Ubuntu can do it in a few 
hours.  More plausibly, the difference comes from Apple bundling time 
zone data into its operating systems and requiring a full test cycle and 
OS upgrade in order to install fixes, whereas Red Hat, Ubuntu, etc. 
treat time zone data separately and routinely issue minor updates for 
just a few small files, which can be tested separately.

The incremental approach is better for end users and for developers and 
for testers, and one way or another Apple needs to change its software 
process to support it.  Any such change is needed regardless of what 
tzdata does, because governments typically don't notify us a year in 
advance.  Of course a development-organization battleship cannot turn on 
a dime, but that's OK; there's no rush, as in the meantime you can 
cherry-pick changes from the experimental version on Github as needed.
> If there is impact on IANA from releasing more frequent updates

There is some impact on IANA, though not much: they are mostly just 
hosting the data.  There is more impact on me, and on development 
organizations downstream from tzdata.  Every time I do a release, I 
check over the distribution; some of this work is automated and some is 
not.  My work is volunteer and my time is limited.  The situation is 
similar for many other downstream developers.  Most do not have the 
resources of Ubuntu or Red Hat, much less Apple or Google.

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