[tz] Converting cities to tz identifiers (tangent)

Philip Paeps philip at trouble.is
Wed Feb 21 03:56:29 UTC 2018

On 2018-02-20 17:30:53 (-0500), Garrett Wollman wrote:
> On Tue, 20 Feb 2018 16:36:55 -0500, John Hawkinson <jhawk at MIT.EDU> said:
>> Paul.Koning at dell.com <Paul.Koning at dell.com> wrote on Tue, 20 Feb 2018:
>>>I would not recommend that.  "backward" exists, as the name suggests, 
>>>only for backward compatibility with old naming conventions.
>>I'm not sure we've made such a statement of deprecation. I think a lot 
>>of people use the US/* style, even though it's not what the tz db 
>>prefers. I think a lot of people would be up-in-arms if those 
>>identifiers were deprecated anytime in foreseeable life of the project 
>>(measured in decades). But perhaps I am wrong (or too conservative).
>When I was the timezone maintainer for FreeBSD, I made a deliberate 
>decision not to use the backward file (unless the user rebuilt their 
>system after changing a make variable).  I believe the current 
>maintainer has continued this policy

I suppose that by the "you touched it last so now you own it" principle, 
the current maintainer is me.

I am indeed continuing your policy.

FreeBSD doesn't use the tzdb build process directly (we have our own 
Makefile) and we only install the current zones.

>so there's at least one downstream platform that does not support the 
>old names and has not done so for about two decades.  The zone.tab file 
>(which FreeBSD's timezone chooser uses) does not reference the 
>"backward" zones as I recall.


I have been thinking about using zone1970.tab instead (which we do not 
currently even install) but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

(I also have some work in progress to bring tzcode up to a more recent 
version but ... turns out "time" is not only difficult to describe but 
also difficult to find!)


Philip Paeps
Senior Reality Engineer
Ministry of Information

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