[tz] tabs vs spaces

Tobias Conradi mail.2012 at tobiasconradi.com
Thu May 2 21:28:06 UTC 2013

On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 10:56 PM,  <random832 at fastmail.us> wrote:
> On Thu, May 2, 2013, at 16:18, Tobias Conradi wrote:
>> Since that mentions "time zone rule files",
> It uses both names to refer to files such as
> /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/New_York (location of /usr/share/zoneinfo
> may vary) i.e. the binary files (not part of the distribution) that are
> read from at runtime to do time conversions.
> You can infer this from the fact that it talks about them _being named
> after cities_, which no file in the distribution is.
Thank you.

So there are:
A) at least two IANA time zone database file, that some people would
not call timezone file, namely zone.tab and iso3166.tab, for reading
by humans, using a single tab as field separator.
B) time zone files that have any number of white spaces as field
separator, for reading by humans
C) time zone rule files, mentioned in Theory, not for reading by humans

In the distribution are: A+B

In /usr/share/zoneinfo on debian I see A+C.

>> I wonder what these then
>> are, and what the files are that are "are used as inputs to the zic
>> program"
> Why did you put that in quotes? What could POSSIBLY be unclear about
> "used as inputs to the zic program"?
Quotes were only used, because I copied them from your text, no extra
meaning was intended.

> The zic program runs, with a file such as northamerica as its input, and
> files such as America/New_York, America/Los_Angeles, and dozens of
> others are its output.

Tobias Conradi
Rheinsberger Str. 18
10115 Berlin


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