[tz] Proposal: validation text file with releases

Jon Skeet skeet at pobox.com
Sat Jul 18 22:16:57 UTC 2015

On 18 July 2015 at 23:01, Howard Hinnant <howard.hinnant at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Jul 18, 2015, at 3:40 PM, Jon Skeet <skeet at pobox.com> wrote:
> >
> > Next update: I've improved the zdump-based generation of the data, and
> put the data in the current format for all the tz data releases I can find
> (from 1996 onwards) at http://nodatime.org/tzvalidate/
> I’ve generated a version of tzdata2015e-tzvalidate.txt.zip from my code
> here:
> http://howardhinnant.github.io/tzdata2015e-tzvalidate.txt.zip

I saw your earlier message and hoped you were reading this thread too.
Supporting code such as yours is precisely the motivation for this

> There are appear to be two kinds of differences:
> 1.  I appear to start earlier than you, for example I have:
> Africa/Algiers
> 1891-03-14T23:48:48Z +00:09:21 standard PMT
> and you do not.

That much is simple to explain - the format I'm currently generating
explicitly starts in 1905 and ends in 2035. The 1905 part was due to an
earlier version of zdump I was using was limited to 1900.
As per Paul's messages earlier in the thread, eventually we'll want to
expose more data - although it's not clear how *late* it's worth going. (I
doubt that it's worth extending beyond 2100 for example.)

> 2.  This one has me more concerned:  When a zone specifies a rule/date
> combination and the date falls of the beginning of the rule table, I assume
> a “” variable part, where you appear to assume a “S” variable part.  For
> example, I have:
> America/Barbados
> 1924-01-01T03:58:29Z -03:58:29 standard BMT
> 1932-01-01T03:58:29Z -04:00:00 standard AT
> 1977-06-12T06:00:00Z -03:00:00 daylight ADT
> And you have:
> America/Barbados
> 1924-01-01T03:58:29Z -03:58:29 standard BMT
> 1932-01-01T03:58:29Z -04:00:00 standard AST
> 1977-06-12T06:00:00Z -03:00:00 daylight ADT

Just to be clear, this isn't "me" so much as "zic and then zdump". It
happens that Noda Time (which is more "my" code) does the same thing though

> The America/Barbados Zone switches to the Barb Rule on
> 1932-01-01T03:58:29Z, using the format A%sT.  But the first Barb Rule is
> 1977-06-12 2:00.  I looked for documentation for what is supposed to happen
> in a situation like this, but didn’t find anything.

I think AST makes sense here (as it's standard time) but I agree that it's
not clearly documented.

In Noda Time, if I don't find a rule leading "into" the  transition period,
I take the name of the first rule with no daylight savings.
for the code involved.

zic appears to implement equivalent behaviour, although I wouldn't like to
pin down where.

I'd be interested in seeing whether your understanding of the data in
natural language ties in with the comments expressed in DateTimeZoneBuilder
at the link above, by the way.

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