FW: New home for time zone stuff by 2012?

Garrett Wollman wollman at csail.mit.edu
Thu Aug 27 15:38:55 UTC 2009

<<On Thu, 27 Aug 2009 10:49:28 -0400, Paul Koning <Paul_Koning at Dell.com> said:

> XML is a nice and flexible interchange format.  It usually isn't very
> efficient but probably efficient enough.  It also is very bulky
> compared to the current format.

It's also horribly unreadable.  Although there is sometimes confusion
about what the current tzdata format means, it's very easy to read,
and the most common types of entries require little explanation to

> A consortium formed for the purpose seems like it would work.  The
> IETF is clearly also qualified to do it, and has a properly open
> process.  The question is whether it would want to do it, or whether
> it would consider it out of charter.

Likewise W3C.  I'd actually be rather concerned about a formal
consortium.  I believe it is very important that any new organization
going forward commits to keeping the fruits of the project in the
public domain, and nearly any consortium is going to have a great deal
getting its owners/members/lawyers to go along with that.  Formal
organizations also tend to develop very formalized processes, and
(even worse) eventually become dominated by professional minders
(representing their employer's interests) rather than by the sort of
people you want maintaining a fundamental bit of infrastructure like
this.  (Viz., ICANN.)  That would be the worst possible outcome.

> A government entity seems like a recipe for disaster.
OK, second-worst.  Having the UN, ISO/IEC, or a national government
try to do this would be even worse.  (And the ISO process, at least,
has bad IPR issues and generally delegates the maintenance to a member
body, which reduces to the previous case.)


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