[tz] Wikipedia - blocking time zone contributors - massive insertion of errors by AlanM1 - win-win if people cooperate

Alan Mintz Alan_Mintz+TZ_IANA at Earthlink.net
Wed Jun 6 01:34:53 UTC 2012

I apologize to the list. I'll try to keep this brief, and I will _not_ 
engage in a flame war. I have no desire to work with someone who, I've now 
learned, just cannot be worked with. Constructive comments from others are 

At 2012-06-05 17:31, Tobias Conradi wrote:
>In Wikipedia several accounts that added Olson/IANA time zone
>information have been blocked and marked as sock puppets of Tobias
>Conradi. Since User:Tobias Conradi did not edit since years, because a
>handful of people once decided to block him, the only evidence for
>"sock puppeting" is given as "behavioral".
>Behavioral for the User:TimeOfChange is to edit time articles:
>No single talk page edit or anything else.
>Lately User Royaume du Maroc got blocked, who created:

Are you denying that you are "Royaume du Maroc" (RdM)? I've known about you 
for less than a month and it's clear to me that you are he. Give us a break 
and seek help.

Seemingly coincidentally, I did some work on WP at the same time as RdM 
because I realized there were issues after first reporting to this list 
about a minor one. He seems fixated on the order in which things happened. 
I certainly don't care. Take all the credit you want. I simply want to get 
things right, and you can no longer do that, given that your past actions 
have you banned indefinitely.

>BUT NOW THE REAL PROBLEM. AlanM1 is deleting IANA time zone from
>Wikipedia e.g. Shiprock, South_Pole, Longyearbyen, Ljubljana

I've spent a bunch of time on this in the last couple of days. I worked 
with the 2010e release on which the WP data was supposed to be based, and 
found numerous inconsistencies. Today, I decided that, versus correcting 
those, I might as well just use the latest data available - 2012c. The list 
on that page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tz_database_time_zones) 
is now consistent with what comes out of the Perl DateTime::TimeZone 
package, based on the 2012c release, merged with the zone.tab file from the 
same release (to get the coordinates and comments, which are not part of 
the perl package). This is also consistent with the 7 continent files.

I still have to explore the relatively small list of diffs (including those 
you mentioned) to see why they were there before and not now. I suspect 
they are links. Note that the whole thing is a work in progress. I hardly 
had time to go get a burger after finishing hours of work on this before 
your drivel hit the list.

>and at the same time introducing
>| [[ISO_3166-1:|ISO_3166-1:]]
>| [[PST8PDT]]
>into a list that claims to be based on a zone.tab listing. PST8PDT is
>not in the current zone.tab file.

No, it doesn't claim to be based on the zone.tab file. It's based on the 7 
continent files.

>Also the minus signs are changed into hyphen minuses, so that UTC
>offset articles which use the minus sign are now reached via

OMG, the sky is falling! The way I read WP:MOS, I've used the correct 
character. The fact that the individual UTC* articles (which you created) 
use a different character doesn't change that at all. I will, however, 
investigate. What does this nitpicky bit of WP style have to do with the TZ 
mailing list? Is it really the right tone to take?

>Furthermore the order of the elements in that list is not more the
>same as in zone.tab, and the first column that allowed sorting in that
>order got removed by AlanM1.

Why is that order important? They are in order of the TZ identifier, which 
is the primary key of the database, and the logical order one would expect 
a list in, instead of the arbitrary and seemingly purposeless and 
undocumented number that was there.

>Maybe some readers here with an account on Wikipedia can revert the
>introduced errors and explain to AlanM1 what the errors are.

You have yet to report anything that would be considered an error, and 
certainly not in a tone that would make anyone want to continue working 
with you (or at all).

>E.g. due to South_Pole removal in the data templates, at
>there is now "[[ISO 3166-1:IANA time zone id not in
>Template:Tz/country code|IANA time zone id not in Template:Tz/country

As I said, work in progress. Fixing any broken links is next.

>Also due to not using the data templates at
>Wikipedia is now open to inconsistency between this list and data
>display in other places. Before the change the list showed to a wide
>extend the data contained in the templates, so people could easily
>check for correctness.

I did use those templates, and the data in the individual column templates 
are now all in sync. The problem is that I was unable to save the 
template-using version of the "List of tz database time zones" article, 
apparently because of the resulting complexity of all those template 
transclusions. If you had read the change log, or given me time to document 
it on the talk page, you would have seen my note about that:

"(Update to 2012c, data added directly to article because of performance 
problems when templated. This may be a temporary problem - will try again 

You never saw this problem because you didn't use the templates for the 
last 140 or so rows. I spent quite a lot of time on it, trying to reduce 
the number of transclusions and ultimately gave up, hoping that the problem 
was temporary.

I'll note that your last version of the page 
takes almost a _minute_ to appear, while my current version of it (with the 
data in the page instead of transcluded) takes about 3 seconds.

>If the data in the templates is well maintained then it could be used
>in the infoboxes on the city pages, then thousands of articles could
>display information offset information obtain from IANA.

It is. It was just the "List of tz database time zones" that is unable to 
use them (for the moment).

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