[tz] Astrolabe lawsuit update

Kevin Lyda kevin at ie.suberic.net
Fri Oct 14 19:39:47 UTC 2011

On Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 18:11, Lester Caine <lester at lsces.co.uk> wrote:
> Now that we have a quite complete history of the development of the tz
> database, it would be interesting to see how many of the corrections added
> to the 'olsen' database have subsequently been applied to the later issues
> of the Atlas? And how many 'facts' remain incorrect :)

While I think the code history is important, I read bits and pieces of
the mailing list in the process of building  the historical code repo.
 First its quite interesting to read the discussions about things that
had seemed long decided by the time I entered uni - but were actually
still being decided at that time.

The number of contributors was and is amazing.  It's really a shame
that the email addresses and names have been so stripped from the
archive.  Yet another thing spamming scum have to answer for.  Perhaps
the answer is to bring back UUCP for geeks.

But the critical thing I note is that very often people cited their
sources.  Yes Shanks and ACS are referenced, but so are a host of
other sources.  Old newspapers, radio programmes, other books, old
legislation.  I have no idea how to compile such data.  I've been
using mboxgrep to search the copy of tzarchive I reconstructed from
the iana.org list, but it's hard to find the right phrases.  Unlike
the historical source archive it will take quite some time to
reconstruct all of the sources mentioned in the mailing list and tie
them in to the actual data in the files (and note, I'm not doing it, I
was just curious to see if it was difficult - it is).

The files do contain credits throughout, but the mailing list covers
what sources were consulted and why one was favoured over the other.
Every entry in there was carefully researched and validated from what
I've read - and from time to time pretty much every source was
over-ruled, modified or clarified.

Anything else is speculation, but my personal opinion - regardless of
the legal issues - is that Astrolabe is run by a jerk.  In my mind the
correct end for all this is for him to admit that and apologise.


Kevin Lyda
Dublin, Ireland
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