[tz] proposal for new tzdb versions

Paul Ganssle paul at ganssle.io
Wed Sep 22 19:18:29 UTC 2021

Yeah, so far I don't see any justification in here for creating this 
short term fork — a reorganization of the historical data does not 
exactly seem to be something that is important in the short term and the 
cost will be quite high.

I'll also note that the proposed version 2021a1 is likely going to cause 
problems all by itself. In the Downloading the tz database 
<https://data.iana.org/time-zones/tz-link.html#download> section of 
tz-link it says:

> Since 1996, each version has been a four-digit year followed by 
> lower-case letter (a through z, then za through zz, then zza through 
> zzz, and so on). Since version 2016h, each release has contained a 
> text file named "version" whose first (and currently only) line is the 
> version.

This is not exactly a guarantee, but 2021a1 does violate that 
nomenclature, which will likely break scripts that rely on it (I have 
scripts that actively assert that the version numbering follows this 
convention, for example).

I have personally been in the camp of giving Paul the strong benefit of 
the doubt on many of these concerns, but I do think it would buy a lot 
of good will to simply cut a release for 2021a + Samoan changes and call 
that 2021b and forestall releasing the controversial changes until 
resolution is reached (ideally with lots of notice, so people have time 
to update their assumptions about the stability of historical data as 


On 9/22/21 15:06, Howard Hinnant via tz wrote:
> On Sep 22, 2021, at 2:30 PM, Paul Eggert via tz<tz at iana.org>  wrote:
>> Although this is effectively a fork in the short term,
> A fork is a big cost.  What is the benefit that outweighs this cost?
> Howard
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