[tz] What are the interfaces to the TZDB?

Paul Eggert eggert at cs.ucla.edu
Tue Nov 9 16:28:57 UTC 2021

On 11/9/21 02:23, Eliot Lear wrote:
> Which are we talking about?  There are already the POSIX interfaces. Are 
> we talking about the binary files?  Is this something on which we are 
> likely to gain consensus?

For binary files (the TZif files) we have Internet RFC 8536 and its 
draft successor RFC 8536bis 
<https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-murchison-rfc8536bis/>. Arthur, 
Ken and I drafted this mostly tzdb's tzfile.5, and although the RFC has 
been mentioned occasionally this mailing list has not focused on that 
effort and hasn't helped its progress.  (Occasionally people here have 
suggested using up the spare space in the TZif header for some 
extension, but none of these proposals have seemed to be worth the cost.)

The issues causing controversy on this list have been in areas not 
covered by RFC 8536 (or RFC 6557, for that matter). If we wanted another 
RFC to address these other issues, I suppose one way to do it would be 
to draft one starting with material already in tzdb. It'd take some work 
to draft any such RFC, though, and any drafters would need to be 

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