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

Stephen Colebourne scolebourne at joda.org
Tue Sep 3 09:46:08 UTC 2013

On 3 September 2013 08:01, Paul Eggert <eggert at cs.ucla.edu> wrote:
> Stephen Colebourne wrote:
>> Currently, the zone.tab file has entries for places like Europe/Zagreb
>> that point to the backward file. That is something I object to
> Well, as I said, I view that as purely an internal
> maintenance issue, but I can see your point of view as well.
> Since there are evidently real concerns about this, and
> since it doesn't matter that much from my point of view,
> I'll propose moving those Link directives back to
> 'northamerica' and 'southamerica'.  This should be the next
> proposed-patch email coming from me.

Just to note that Norbert's recent email re ECMAscript locates this
proposed standard:
The section explicitly uses the "backward" file to canonicalize the zone ID.

>> Refactoring isn't helpful for stability and causes
>> unecessary debates like this.
> But this is more than refactoring: it's simplification.  It
> lessens the number of TZ settings that users need to worry
> about, which is a Good Thing.  It lessens our exposure to
> future political hassles, also a Good Thing.  And it shrinks
> the size of the binary tz data a bit, which is another
> win.

Personally I have no problem with changes in zic that shrink the
output binary file. (In JSR-310 I have the entire tzdb in a binary
form of less than 40Kb). Its the source data I'm seeking to look
after. I'm being careful not to say no refactoing at all, but I'm
advising that it seems that change is more of a driver of hassles than

>> ISO-3166 ... is as much a part of the data here as the time-zone data.
> Maybe a bit of history here would be helpful.  By design,
> the time-zone data are primary, and the ISO 3166 data is
> secondary.  Arthur David Olson designed the time-zone data
> format originally.  I designed the zone.tab and iso3166.tab
> formats as add-ons later, purely to help users choose TZ
> values; those tables were deliberately designed to be
> separable from the primary data, and the primary data can
> easily be (and often are) used without them.

Agreed that the ISO-3166 data is additional, although the Theroy rule
was not. However, once something exists for so long (17 years) it
becomes a core item.


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