[tz] tabs vs spaces

Guy Harris guy at alum.mit.edu
Fri May 3 01:44:55 UTC 2013

On May 2, 2013, at 5:35 PM, John Hawkinson <jhawk at mit.edu> wrote:

> Why would we want the data files to be standardized rather than
> retaining local control and the ability to alter the format? Is there
> really some compelling reason for standardization that is worth
> the concomitant difficulty in changing the format in the future?
> There are not a lot of non-zic consumers out there.

There's at least one, which triggered this thread in the first place.

In addition, not all zic consumers are the same; were we to change the format, and issued a new tzdata release with files in the new format, a system with an older version of zic that didn't understand the new format would have to either get compiled files built on a system with a new version of zic or would have to build a new version of zic to compile the source files.

We should at least indicate what our policy is there, from "we reserve the right to change the format any time we want, deal with it" to something stricter.

We should also make our current specification of the format a little easier to find, so that people developing consumers other than zic don't write parsers for what they *think* the format is rather than for what we *say* it is.

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