[tz] Introduction and apology for slamming you "with that TZ is a legal thing" commentary out of the blue.

Guy Harris guy at alum.mit.edu
Thu Oct 20 18:29:20 UTC 2011

On Oct 20, 2011, at 9:41 AM, Todd Glassey wrote:

> That said - the TZ data is used in virtually all commercial and electronic document/instrument processing systems operational today.

Including the ones running on operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows, that don't use the Olson database?

> The problem is that the Time Zone data itself (while created through a standards process)

The daylight savings time rules in various countries are created through various governmental processes in those countries; it might be done by legislative action or executive fiat.  I'm not sure I'd call that a "standards process" of any sort.

The Olson time zone database is created by a process of "people send e-mails to the tz list about changes by various governments, they get discussed on the list, and changes get made and a new release goes out the door".  I'm not sure I'd call that a "standards process" of any sort, either.

> has largely been managed as  an ad-hoc offering and this was accepted everywhere because the party and hosting entity for this were the US Government NIH and Dr. Olson.

Do you have any evidence to show that the fact that Mr. Olson happens to work at the US National Institute of Health, and that the US National Institute of Health lets (or let) him store it on one of their FTP servers (I don't even know whether anybody in a Significant Position of Authority(TM) at the NIH knew about that) made any difference whatsoever?

> But with the good Dr.s retirement there is a need to formalize this process and expand its controls so that the data remains both properly managed and available to all. So the question is how to do that,

I suspect most people here think that "how to do that" is "Keep Calm and Carry On", and are skeptical, based on their experiences with the way the list works and governments work, that any more formal requirements would help, and might even suspect they'd get in the way.

> and I have pushed back that this effort is much more important and needs to be managed outside an IETF process because of the lack of control the IETF has designed into its framework.
> This specific project is one which needs a level of oversight that the IETF process doesnt put in place for changes and content updates to the DB.
> What needs to happen I believe is that this effort should define a process wherein any legal authority can request a IANA update to the data base and have that processed in a fixed timeframe outside of any continued IETF review.

The way they request an update is "send a mail message to the tz list, just like anybody else".

> This is not an excuse to make a new IETF WG to control the world... its about letting the world operate in a manner which doesnt impose the IETF's judgement or political opinions on anyone either.
> That said my proposal is to morph the current I-D by adding an inline update process to the CONTENT RECORDS of the DB and a NEW RECORD Addition Policy and Practice through IANA and not the IETF.

Where in


is significant power over the process assigned to the IETF, to the extent that we need to worry about "IETF review" getting in the way, or "the IETF's judgement or political opinions" becoming significant, short of a couple of mentions of the IESG?

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