[tz] Commentary-only releases - let's not (was: Re: Please Don't Feed the Trolls (was Kyiv not Kiev))

Philip Paeps philip at trouble.is
Wed Jun 29 07:51:26 UTC 2022

On 2022-06-28 20:54:13 (+0800), Martin Burnicki via tz wrote:
> even though usually a new version of the DB is only released if some 
> TZ rule was changed, it should not be too hard to simply release a new 
> version now

I strongly disagree with this view.

While the effort required from the tz coordinator to tag a release may 
be minimal, this is not the case for the many downstream maintainers.  
Every update presents a risk.  Bear in mind that tzdb updates end up 
being pushed to hundreds of millions of end-user devices, if not more.

Downstream maintainers are cranky enough as-is, following the churn in 
2021 (which still has not been completely resolved).  If we start 
tagging tzdb releases without actual tz changes, downstream maintainers 
will be even more likely to diverge from the closely tracking tzdb.  
This is ultimately bad news for end users.

For the avoidance of doubt: I completely agree that renaming Europe/Kiev 
to Europe/Kyiv was the correct thing to do.  My objection is to tagging 
tzdb releases with only commentary changes and no data changes.

Having said that: we should try to do even better to clarify the scope 
of the tzdb project to casual readers.  It is clear that most recent 
first-time contributors to this mailing list are not familiar with the 
theory and pragmatism of the tzdb.  I do not have a solution to this 


Philip Paeps
Senior Reality Engineer
Alternative Enterprises

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