Help on time zone data

Oscar van Vlijmen o.van.vlijmen at
Sun Apr 7 10:17:15 UTC 2002

Two files in the tz-distribution give virtually all information about the
structure of the tz-data:
both in the tzcode directory.

'Theory' is readable even if you don't have a Unix machine or a
reader. 'zic.8' is not easily readable on non-Unix platforms.

In my email dated 2000-04-19 I tried to propose an html format for zic.8.
I even added an html-converted zic.8 to this email.

Only Paul Eggert replied with, amongst others:
"groff -Thtml -man zic.8" would have done it automatically,
though with results that don't look as nice as what you did.
If we were to switch the format of manual, it should be to a format
that is designed for documentation, e.g. Texinfo, DocBook or
linuxdoc-sgml; I think this would be more useful than switching to

Since repeatedly questions are asked about the structure of the tz-data, I
really think it would be very useful to add a universal, platform
independent html file to the tz-data directory.
Just leave everything as it is (Unix people seem to dislike changes!), but
ADD a file called Documentation.html. Put in the file Documentation.html
text of the file Theory and add at least the html converted zic.8 file to
the Documentation.html file.
This would mean less guesswork for strangers to the tz distribution. You
could even put this file into the tzdata directory.
Please don't make it more difficult. Texinfo, DocBook, linuxdoc-sgml, xml,
whatever, are NOT platform independent nor universally readable.

Since the version of the zic.8 file is still 7.19 one could use the html
version, found in my email dated 2000-04-19.


Oscar van Vlijmen

More information about the tz mailing list