[tz] Reason for removal of several TZ

Matthew Donadio matt at mxd120.com
Thu Dec 7 17:31:01 UTC 2017

On Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 9:14 AM, Derick Rethans <tz at derickrethans.nl> wrote:

> On Mon, 4 Dec 2017, Tom Lane wrote:
> > I can positively guarantee that if those names are replaced by
> > meaningless IDs, the very first thing that the Postgres project will
> > do is build a mapping table between those IDs and the old names, and
> > continue to expose the old names in our UI.  I confidently predict
> > that a majority of other consumers of the tz database will do
> > likewise.
> Yes. I would instantly implement that for both PHP and MongoDB.

If this wasn't fixed upstream in PHP first, the Drupal project would have
to do this to maintain its backwards compatibility policy, and would cause
a fair amount of technical debt for that subsystem (I am one of the
maintainers).  It would also probably cause backwards compatibility work
regardless.  I suspect the Wordpress project would be in the same boat.

And to answer some questions that have popped up in this thread(s), from
the perspective of a tzdb consumer.

For better or worse, we expose the raw list of names to let site
administrators and users pick from.  I am well aware that this isn't the
ideal or intended situation, but fixing that portion of the codebase is a
lower priority that other parts right now.  Our issue queue is mostly
English based, so that may skew things, but we only get a handful of "why
isn't my city listed".  I think most have been when names have moved to the
backzone (eg, Montreal).  I think our end users are used to the name list,
as it is pervasive in PHP based projects and has been for years.

Abbreviation changes.  This doesn't come up as a problem with our end users
(I don't recall seeing any issues in our queue).  One of the removals
(think it was the Chile one) caused an automated testing problem, but this
was quickly resolved.

--Matthew Donadio (matt at mxd120.com)
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