[tz] Version in zoneinfo files?

Paul Eggert eggert at cs.ucla.edu
Fri Feb 10 01:37:53 UTC 2017

On 02/09/2017 04:44 PM, Steven R. Loomis wrote:
> Trying to locate
> the actual id of a zone file is itself a huge hassle, as John Layt also
> noted in http://mm.icann.org/pipermail/tz/2015-October/022838.html

Yes, it is a real management hassle that is not trivial to solve. 
Unfortunately nobody has had the time to come up with a practical 
solution, as far as I know.

>>> There are political objections to some of the zone names, so putting
>>> them in the data files might raise a few eyebrows.
> Wouldn't the names have been filenames elsewhere on disk, somewhere in
> the "zoneinfo" directory?

Not in some installations. Android, I think, does not create filenames 
like "America/New_York". More important, these names are not part of the 
format now, and standardizing them in the format would increase the 
likelihood of causing political irritations. And still more important, 
downstream users are free to add to the list of names, and many do so; 
this lessens the utility of using a "standard" name, as these names are 
not as "standard" as one might want.

> Would such a version bump (if needed) require consumers to upgrade?

It seems so -- at least under the proposals I've seen so far, as if 
consumers are running software derived from tzcode, they would need to 
upgrade, as otherwise the code would mishandle some timestamps. I 
haven't looked at non-tzcode-derived libraries but I expect many would 
be similar. We'd rather avoid this, of course.

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