[tz] timezone DB distribution

Juergen Naeckel naeckel at adobe.com
Mon Aug 17 19:01:37 UTC 2020

Hey there,
First of all, I would like to thank you.  I have to implement something in JavaScript that uses timezones.  However, I am using an older JS version that does not have the flexibility like today’s JS.  So I was looking for a repository holding all current timezones and rules for it, rather then me, checking time and again how which timezone is configured 😉  This really could help me.  Reading through the files, it sometimes made me chuckle and I was actually surprised how fluent timezones are handled.  Changes almost every year…
I would like to recommend some improvements.  I know you have pretty stable release by now.  I am aware that changes probably to the structure might affect a lot of people/projects.  However…
First of all, a tar.gz is Linux specific.  True, you could install additional Windows software.  But, that might not go well with customers of mine.  I think a ZIP would be acceptable for both worlds.
Since I was interested in the repository, I downloaded the “Data only distribution”.  I found six files containing the TZ information.  And I found 27 files, containing other stuff. Well, there might be three or four files in a grey zone (calendars, backlist…).  But I definitely do not consider MAKEFILE and .awk file as part of a “data only distribution”.  Maybe move them to a separate folder in the GZ file?

Finally, I got one more recommendation/question.  I had read the readme file but it didn’t explain the data I saw in the files.  It took me a while to understand the concept of the data structure.  Some info of what to see in the file, and how to read it would help.
And I think the first line of the ZONE definition contains some inconsistency (maybe I still didn’t understand it correctly).  Below is a screenshot.  See the first line for the zones?  It looks mismatched with the New York.  The RULE and the [UNTIL] are probably in the wrong column.  Format is probably missing.
[cid:image002.png at 01D674A5.27F71B60]
Then I noticed that the open-end validity.  For rules it is denoted as “max” and for zones it is just a <blank>.  Could we get some consistency here?

And finally here comes my question:  In the rules, I see in the column several times denoted with a tailing “u” or “s”.  I think I read on one occasion that the times are denoted in “standard time”.  I do not recall anymore where that was.  But regardless,

  1.  I don’t understand what that “denoted in standard time” would mean
  2.  I definitely have no clue would the tailing “u”: would imply.
[cid:image003.png at 01D674A6.99550F50]

Can you shed some light on this?

Thank you!  Not only for an answer but also for researching and compiling this list.

Juergen Naeckel
T 617 766 2381 |  C 617 775 3874
naeckel at adobe.com
[cid:image001.png at 01D6749A.D7B33580]

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