[tz] Moving more zones to 'backzone'

Stephen Colebourne scolebourne at joda.org
Thu Aug 4 00:12:15 UTC 2022

On Wed, 3 Aug 2022 at 20:58, Paul Eggert via tz <tz at iana.org> wrote:
> Getting back to your comment, technical workload is not the main reason
> to move data to 'backzone'. Politics are more important. For political
> reasons many people care about data that are practically insignificant,
> and these political concerns are a major long-term hazard to this
> project. We're better off heading off these potential disputes at the
> pass, by maintaining the database via nonpolitical guidelines and being
> consistent about that, even if nobody has yet complained politically
> about a particular data item. Of course we cannot forestall all possible
> political complaints; still, it's a win to be as nonpolitical as we
> reasonably can.
>  From my point of view, the disagreement that caused the fork was a
> tempest in a rather small teapot

It is sad that after many emails exchanged on the topic there is still
no understanding of why these changes are so offensive. It ought to be
obvious that wiping out the time-zone history of Oslo or Stockholm in
favour of Berlin is a political and cultural statement that the
project simply should not be making. As I've said before, I view these
time-zone merges as a form of (US) imperialism against smaller
countries that only have one time-zone. In no way shape or form are
the merges "nonpolitical".

As a reminder, it never has been much about pre-1970 data for me -
removing all pre-1970 data from the main distribution would have been
a logical choice for example.

> In reading through the comments on this thread, nobody expressed an
> opinion on the idea of finishing the move to 'backzone' now instead of
> doing it in dribs and drabs. So I finished the move now by installing
> the attached patches into the development version on GitHub as there
> seemed to be no benefit to delaying this further, given the recently
> added installation options.

Indeed. If the new option can be made to perform acceptably (see other
thread) then it is not unreasonable to perform the additional merges.
ie. I and others disagree with the merges, but there is no mechanism
to stop your decision.

What this does is push the problem to downstream projects. My hope is
that downstream users will understand and appreciate that:

- Iceland's time zone now points at Africa/Abidjan
- Sweden's time zone data now points at Europe/Berlin
- Norway's time zone data now points at Europe/Berlin
- Netherland's time-zone data now points at Europe/Brussels
and many more.

Each downstream project is now on the hook for the political
sensitivity of this choice.

(I'd like to hear from Robert Elz as to whether he views the generated
tarballs as sufficient for NetBSD)


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