[tz] Preparing to fork tzdb

Fred Gleason fredg at paravelsystems.com
Mon Sep 20 21:42:54 UTC 2021

On Sep 20, 2021, at 17:20, Michael H Deckers via tz <tz at iana.org> wrote:

>    I propose not to fork tzdb and instead revoke the proposed
>    changes until we can agree on a *complete* picture of how the
>    changes can be effected without inducing undue burdens on any
>    downstream user. Fixing singular aspects of the proposed
>    change does not seem to suffice in this situation.
>    We know one possible solution, proposed by Stephen Colebourne
>    (but others might be worth considering as well):
>    ∙ the main line data of tzdb should contain all the historical
>      data we have, and SHOULD be maintained as such;
>    ∙ there are options to reduce the amount of historical data by
>      merging timezones with links and/or by stripping old
>      transitions from timezone data; such options MAY be added
>      if necessary;
>    ∙ using zic with the same options on successive versions of
>      tzdb data SHOULD not lead to major changes in the scope
>      and structure of the TZif results;
>    ∙ similarly, for those using the tzdb data directly, the
>      organization of tzdb data into files SHOULD not change
>      significantly across successive versions.

To attempt to summarize succinctly: for tzdb users, changes in data policy should be “opt-in”, not “opt-out”.

This seems to me to be well in keeping with the long-standing "principle of least astonishment”.


| Frederick F. Gleason, Jr. |             Chief Developer             |
|                           |             Paravel Systems             |
|         A room without books is like a body without a soul.         |
|                                                                     |
|                                                         -- Cicero   |
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