[tz] Recommendations for stable list of timezone ids

Philip Paeps philip at trouble.is
Fri Feb 9 13:54:37 UTC 2018

On 2018-02-09 13:44:03 (+0100), Tobias Lindaaker wrote:
>I am trying to compile a flat list of all tzids in the Time Zone 
>Database in a way such that the position of a tzid remains the same in 
>the list even in the face of future changes to the Time Zone Database.
>I would like to know if anyone could provide me with some insight into 
>how (a prefix of) such a list could be generated from any version of 
>the Time Zone Database. Or would this be something I would have to 
>maintain myself from release to release of the Time Zone Database?

I think this is something you'll have to maintain yourself.  As you 
discovered, timezones sometimes get deleted so you'll need to be aware 
of the data files and the backzone file.

>Finally some background on why (I think) I need to generate this type 
>of list of tzids: I am improving the support for storing timestamp 
>values in a database management system (Neo4j), and would like to avoid 
>having to store the timezone component of zoned timestamps as a 
>(variable length) text component, but rather store it as a fixed size 
>integer offset into a table of tzids. Thus I need such a stable list of 

I wonder why you're storing timezone information in the database?  Is 
there any reason you can't simply store UTC timestamps and show them in 
the correct timezone in the presentation layer?

If you track the tzdb, the presentation will always be as correct as 
whatever version of the tzdb you have.


Philip Paeps
Senior Reality Engineer
Ministry of Information

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