[tz] [PATCH 2/3] Replace some zones with links when that doesn't lose non-LMT info.

Stephen Colebourne scolebourne at joda.org
Wed Sep 4 20:08:25 UTC 2013

On 4 September 2013 20:19, Russ Allbery <rra at stanford.edu> wrote:
> Stephen Colebourne <scolebourne at joda.org> writes:
> There have been quite a few changes made recently on a trial basis in an
> attempt to address some of the geopolitical concerns.  I have no specific
> comments on that other than to say that I wholeheartedly approve of and
> support the *process* that Paul has been using in trying to reach
> consensus on how to address those problems, including floating trials and
> then backing them out when people disagree with them.  I'm personally
> frustrated by people treating every proposed change as if the world might
> end;

Part of the problem is that commits to the repo form the basis of the
permanent record of the group. IMO, if the commits are experimental,
then they should occur first on a branch, and only be included onto
the master branch once they are accepted. With the current way of
working, someone in 5 years time is going to have to wade through a
lot of rubbish over the past month to see what really happened.

Secondly, I would be less peeved if reversions were actually
reversions. Each reversion that has occurred has been partial rather
than complete, or has included some other unrelated change. A much
better practice would be to revert in full, and then reapply a smaller
change with the hope that may be more acceptable. Again, such an
approach will prove hugely helpful in the future when looking back at
the archive of events.

> by all means, argue your side of this debate if you have strong
> opinions, but some of the comments have bordered on accusing Paul of
> acting in bad faith, and that's not sitting well with me.

The partial reversion described at "revert most" certainly felt like
bad faith to me even if it wasn't intended as such.

> However, apart from that set of changes, from where I sit, you and a small
> number of other people have gone beyond that argument and have now started
> objecting to nearly every change Paul makes for any reason, including
> changes that would have been entirely uncontroversial in previous years.
> And that's what I'm taking exception to.
> The bar that you're setting for "clear enhancement" is not consistent with
> how this project has ever been run in the past.

When the database moved to IANA, I argued that it should have gone to
CLDR. They have a full technical architecture committee and a team of
people used to dealing with complex political and i18n issues backed
by enterprises such as IBM and Oracle. If it had gone there, the
stability that I am calling for would have happened.

For the record, I am not objecting to every change, I am objecting to
every change that actively deletes data in a way that can be observed
by a consumer, unless such a change is a clear enhancement. That may
seem to you to be beyond what has happened in the past, but to me it
is exactly how I expect the pre-eminent source of time-zone data to

In addition, if you read the entire archives of the last month as I
did today, you will find numerous people asking for and expecting a
greater degree of stability than recent events have shown, or has
perhaps been the case in the past. Please don't fall into the mistake
of assuming its just me.

> But from where I sit, the recent
> discussions have felt like more of a hostile takeover than a
> collaboration, particularly when you casually dismiss all the work Paul
> has done over the past several months.

I hope I have highlighted that a greater degree of stability is now a
major concern not just of me, but of others, and I hope that will be
taken into account in the future.

I don't consider a request for stability to be a hostile takeover, but
I do consider some of the proposed commits to be far in excess of what
is acceptable to me. For the record, TZ Coordinator is not a job I
would enjoy.


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