New home for time zone stuff by 2012?

Robert Masters RMasters at
Thu Aug 27 23:48:35 UTC 2009

Thank-you Russ!

That is exactly the sort of response I was hoping for - why NOT to use
my suggestion.

Further, your suggestion has a number of very good points to support it. has been around for a long time by net standards (over 10
years now), and has always been well maintained and resourced. They
provide the same benefits that Sourceforge offer, with none of the
problems that the site currently suffers from. It is independent of a
formal body, providing a separation from bureaucratic controls, and is
likewise separated from an individual's place of employment. 

I do not think that moving the project under the umbrella of a standards
or similar organistation will be of particular benefit, as the point of
the project is to reflect reality as closely as possible, not to try to
enforce a standard on reality. In many ways it requires the exact
opposite of a standards body.

Rob Masters
Unix Systems Administrator
Bunnings Group Limited
126 Pilbara Street, Welshpool WA 6106
Locked Bag 20, Welshpool WA 6986
Phone: (08) 9365-1507
E-mail : rmasters at

-----Original Message-----
From: Russ Allbery [mailto:rra at] 
Sent: Friday, 28 August 2009 2:55 AM
To: tz at
Subject: Re: New home for time zone stuff by 2012?

"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
> 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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