[tz] Why 2021b needed to be issued

Paul Eggert eggert at cs.ucla.edu
Sun Sep 26 16:51:23 UTC 2021

On 9/25/21 9:40 AM, Stephen Colebourne via tz wrote:

> Equity is not a formal goal of the project.

I have assumed that it was understood that the guidelines were meant to 
be applied fairly. If that's not clear, then we should add something 
about fairness to the guidelines. Eliot has also suggested something 
along these lines. After the dust settles I think it'd be good idea to 
move forward on this.

> Having read hundreds of emails over the past few months, I don't think
> *anyone* expressed the concern of patch size or too many changes.

With so many emails, it's easy to miss all the concerns expressed. (I'm 
sure I missed some too.)

In my reads last week, I saw significant concern over the number of 
changes to pre-1970 timestamps. I was particularly struck by Jon's email 
<https://mm.icann.org/pipermail/tz/2021-September/030684.html> where he 
wrote of my May proposal "I *would* say it's experimental, in that we 
don't genuinely know the impact of a change of *this* scale. I would 
suggest that we've done 'this sort of thing' on a smaller scale." This 
prompted me to scale back the Zone-to-Link changes to be roughly of a 
size that we've successfully done several times before, and that is why 
I installed this smaller changeset in 2021b.
> I would strongly argue that
> places like Norway, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands are much more
> significant to the world economy than Angola and Congo.

That doesn't mean these countries should get preferential treatment in 
tzdb. The tzdb guidelines are (and should be) about timekeeping, not 
about whether a region is rich enough to deserve special status, or is 
entitled to a special status for some other nontechnical reason.
> Later next week I will try to start a positive
> discussion as to what the next steps can be.

I look forward to that discussion.

In particular, I'd like to explore the idea of CLDR taking on some of 
the heavy lifting here. That is, it might be a good idea to delegate 
more-political issues to CLDR, just as we've already effectively 
delegated internationalization. Come to think of it, I suppose I already 
attempted to start this process in my reply yesterday to Mark Davis, 
archived here:


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