[tz] On merging timezones - a radical proposal.

lennox at cs.columbia.edu lennox at cs.columbia.edu
Thu May 23 00:32:20 UTC 2013

On Thursday, May 23 2013, "Robert Elz" wrote to "random832 at fastmail.us, tz at iana.org list" saying:

> But (again personally) I'd like to gradually push the tzdata reference point
> backwards, there are systems that can represent times before the epoch, and
> it would be good to be able to correctly convert those as well- at least
> back to about the beginnings of standardised time (or the earliest that can
> be represented on the system if that is later than the beginning of
> standardiesd time).

Pushing the reference point earlier than the passage of the U.S. Uniform
Time Act (April 13, 1966) would be a terrible idea.  Prior to that, in the
U.S., Daylight Savings rules were under local control, and were thus
insanely complicated as different municipalities could (and did) make up
their own rules.  Trying to record all this knowledge would be a huge amount
of work, and increase the number of U.S. zones enormously, for (IMO) almost
no practical gain.

Given that, I don't think there's much benefit to pushing the reference
point back less than four years.

Jonathan Lennox
lennox at cs.columbia.edu

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