[tz] Lack of "initial" transitions for some zones

Jon Skeet skeet at pobox.com
Tue Jul 21 17:47:05 UTC 2015

I suspect this is just a matter of how the data has been specified, but
it's a little odd...

I'm looking at the output of zic for each zone, and almost all zones start
with a "transition" for some timestamp in the long distant past - including
fixed zones such as UTC and Etc/*.

However, the legacy "root" zones of CET, EET, PST8PDT etc don't have this
initial "transition" in the file - unless I'm misinterpreting it, which is
always a possibility.

Would it make sense to adjust either the data or zic to make all zic output
(in the 8-byte-timestamp format, at least) cover all of time? I realize
that this "extra" data (presumably an insertion of "standard time until the
first transition") may well not be historically accurate - but I doubt that
it would be any less accurate than other zones in a similar situation.

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