[tz] [PATCH] Revert recent pre-1970 changes.

Paul Eggert eggert at cs.ucla.edu
Mon Sep 2 08:00:10 UTC 2013

Stephen Colebourne wrote:
> - LMT isn't enough reason for a separate "full" zone

In that case, there's no reason to separate
America/St_Thomas from America/Tortola,
right?  They differ only in LMT, so they
could be links.

> if you remove the "backward" file today

We are not going to remove the "backward" file.
It's part of the database and is not going away.

That being said, perhaps we can discuss why you have
qualms about moving some of the Link directives to
'backward'.  Are you trying to distinguish zone
renaming from other maintenance activities?
We haven't done that systematically in the past,
but perhaps we should start now, if there's a
reason to distinguish them.

> my argument is basically to put back how this
> database has always worked,

First, it didn't always work the way that you
described; second, when we did it that way, it led
to political infighting that was unrelated to
timekeeping, which is why the guideline was changed
slightly.  There are no timekeeping reasons
to change the guideline back, only political reasons;
but changing it back would lead us back into political
minefields that are better avoided.

Here's another way to look at it.  We should insulate
the tz database as much as possible from political instabilities,
and that includes instabilities that entail changes to
ISO 3166.  If we do this, the tz database will be more
stable than if we don't do it.  And stability is good,

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