[tz] Some thoughts about the way forward

Paul Eggert eggert at cs.ucla.edu
Fri Sep 24 15:04:43 UTC 2021

On 9/24/21 7:29 AM, Tom Lane wrote:
> why are you so insistent that the only way to improve fairness
> is to make the default contents of tzdb strictly worse?

First, it's not strictly worse. The stuff in 'backzone' is lower 
quality, and adding lower-quality data is not strictly an improvement. 
Accuracy and sourcing has been important for the success of tzdb, and we 
shouldn't lose sight of that by incorporating a bunch of questionable data.

Second, supporting unnecessary pre-1970 data is more work for 
maintainers, repackagers and (most importantly) end users for almost 
zero benefit. The timestamps in question are unimportant for almost 
every use of this database.

Third, the few people who try to use these old timestamps are typically 
doing it wrong. The old data are magnets for errors. For example, the 
very few people who use Europe/Berlin naturally think that Europe/Berlin 
is reliable for old German timestamps. They're quite wrong: 
Europe/Berlin is wrong for most of Germany.

This continued focus on pre-1970 timestamps is unhealthy for tzdb. It's 
taken waaaaayy to much of our time. We really need to tone it down.

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