[tz] Preparing to fork tzdb
eggert at cs.ucla.edu
Mon Sep 20 16:15:58 UTC 2021
On 9/20/21 1:06 AM, Stephen Colebourne via tz wrote:
> The purpose of the fork would
> initially be to maintain the tzdb data set as it was prior to the
Such a fork would arbitrarily discriminate against countries like Angola
and Niger, and in favor of countries like Norway and Sweden.
A primary goal of the recent patches was to avoid racial or national
preferences that were present in the previous setup. Arguably these
preferences were not intentional, or were apparent and not real;
however, that's not an argument I would want to defend.
Although the problem of discrimination could also be fixed in the fork
you suggest, any such fix would take considerable work. It couldn't be
done merely by reverting a patch or two. All this work would be need to
be done before any such fork could be used by an organization that is
committed to equity, diversity and inclusion.
Instead of forking, I suggest that we work together to address the
technical issues raised by the change. I've been attempting to do that
with the recent "Revert May patch to zone.tab" patch, which Almaz today
said fixes the problems Google had with region-timezone mapping. I hope
that we can address remaining technical problems with similar patches.
If the "Revert May patch to zone.tab" patch is not enough, one possible
path forward would be to add a build-time option along the lines that I
suggested to Tom Lane in
<https://mm.icann.org/pipermail/tz/2021-June/030197.html>. This would
let projects like PostgreSQL generate a tzdata.zi file containing
whatever backzone entries they choose, though I would urge these
projects to consider equity, diversity and inclusion issues when they
make their choices. I have drafted a patch along these lines and could
circulate it if there's interest.
The idea is to commit to an approach that accommodates users who need at
least one tzdb entry per country, either via the "Revert May patch to
zone.tab" or by further patches if necessary.
> These have the effect of wiping out historic time-zone
> information on many locations where the data has been in tzdb for many
None of the information has been "wiped out". It has merely moved from
one source file to another, and builds with PACKRATDATA=backzone still
install all the info in question. This disagreement is not about "wiping
out" info; it's about what category the info falls into.
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