[tz] tzdb timezone names/identifiers and links

Lester Caine lester at lsces.co.uk
Thu Feb 28 08:18:57 UTC 2019

On 28/02/2019 06:03, Michael Douglass wrote:
> Beyond the nuisance aspect of all this the use of such names is a bar to 
> using this information in a number of systems. It may not be the only 
> issue but it is one we can deal with.

And kick the problems of actually providing useful data to ALL systems 
further into the long grass? Many systems simply can't use the TZ data 
currently because there is no way of knowing just what version of data 
is provided with the CURRENT name. Hiding the data even further under 
even more isolated identifiers helps no-one.

At the end of the day there has to be a system that when feed with a 
location can provide a reliable LIST of rules even if those rules 
include 'don't know' for times pre-1970. Pretending the likes of the 
time changes during the second world war never happened is just as 
political a decision as returning the wrong data for EXISTING rule sets 
currently! Any system using TZ currently should NOT return offsets for 
dates prior to 1970 ...

That TZ IS currently only going to produce a subset of the rules and not 
even flag when those rules change seems to be a fact of life, so what IS 
needed now is to get tzdist running properly and for 'interested 
parties' to provide their own providers with their own set of names. The 
current set of rule names can then STILL be managed and provide a 
backward compatible source for current normalised data and more 
importantly flag where a timestamp IS outside of the scope of the data 
set! But there seems to be no interest in anybody providing such a service?

Lester Caine - G8HFL
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