New home for time zone stuff by 2012?

Russ Allbery rra at
Thu Aug 27 18:55:03 UTC 2009

"Olson, Arthur David (NIH/NCI) [E]" <olsona at> writes:

> I'll be eligible to start drawing a pension in mid-2012. Since I'm
> accustomed to slow-moving Quaker process, that makes it time to get
> serious about finding a new home for time zone stuff.

> There are several pieces of the puzzle (some of which haven't seen much
> work of late):

> 	Data maintenance
> 	Data distribution
> 	Code maintenance
> 	Code distribution
> 	Mailing list maintenance
> 	Mailing list hosting
> 	Standards work (for example, tweaking POSIX TZ environment variables so Godthab can be represented)
> 	Code enhancement (for example, year zero work and Julian calendar work)

Since it's been explicitly mentioned as a suggestion, I guess I'll be one
to stand up and say that I'd really hate to see this work move to
Sourceforge.  The Sourceforge site is riddled with advertising in ways
that have gotten increasingly obnoxious over the years, it's slow, it's
often buggy, and the mailing lists that it hosts have historically also
mangled outgoing messages with even more advertising.

In the name of not complaining about something without offering an

Moving from hosting based on the current maintainer to hosting based on
another individual may not be the best approach, and I certainly
understand if people would prefer something more distributed that makes it
easier to have continuity of access.  However, I'm willing to host the
infrastructure for continuing to distribute and discuss the timezone
database personally, particularly as an alternative to seeing it move to
Sourceforge. is my personal domain, independent of any employment of mine,
and can offer:

* Mailing list hosting (via Mailman)
* Mailing list maintenance (I'm willing to review the moderation queue)
* Data distribution via /
* Code distribution via /

If the number of downloads of the source and data is in excess of a few
GiB a day of network traffic averaged over a month, hosting the
distribution is a bit trickier, but I think it's unlikely that would be
the case.  That's over 10,000 downloads of the tarball a day, and I
suspect nearly all users get it via distributions or other sources.

If whoever is doing the maintenance would like to use a revision control
system, I'm happy to host the repository with the caveat that I would like
to keep the number of people with access small and restricted to people
whose identities I can be reasonably assured about, since I don't have the
distributed hosting facilities of a Sourceforge or the like.  If the
intention is to move to a more open commit model, it would probably be
better to explore an option like GitHub, Savannah, or a similar project
hosting provider.  If the project would stay with a single committer who
just needs a place to upload things, I can certainly provide that.

Russ Allbery (rra at             <>

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