[tz] Database available in other formats

Sergio Bonfiglio bonfiglio.sergio at gmail.com
Fri May 1 15:49:07 UTC 2020

Dear Paul,

thanks for the reply.
I have found that there could be some versions already available of the TZ
database that could suit my needs.
In order to make a due reply to your suggestions I'd tell something about
your responses and I'd like too to submit you some topics that I need to
confront with.
The first topic is this: the UNIX date that is supported in many compilers
has some limitation in order to the dates preceding Jan 1 1970.

The second topic is that some of the compilers you (greatly) list onto your
page are not updated at the last version of data, like for instance the
Delphi version - right the one I'd like to use - which is - strange to say
- includes the data WITHIN the code, that is something really against the
most simple rules of Information Technology that is to keep data separated
from the code.
So for what this is the solution of this problem I think I will go to some
other resource, that is another that I haven't found listed into your page
(unless I have resoundingly missed it) that is this one:
These great guys provide a MySQL version of the TZ database that seems also
up-to-date (I have to check it out but it is promising) and I think you
should nicely include this resource into your list (unless, I repeat, I
have missed it and this is just in the list already. In this case I
apologize for that).
I have an idea about making a software to keep the TZ database updated. I
will talk you in the future If I decide to carry on this work.

The third issue is what I have with Italian zones listed in the TZ, because
as you correctly state in the description notes of the "europe" file, In
Italy there are 3 zones, not only ROME but also Palermo (Sicily island
complete) and Cagliari (Sardinia island complete), which differ from each
other, also if slightly in time.
How can I add these two zones to the data ?
May I kindly ask you to include these two zones in some the future releases
of the database ?

Thanks again for your great help and your invaluable work.

Sergio Bonfiglio

Il giorno gio 30 apr 2020 alle ore 22:39 Paul Eggert <eggert at cs.ucla.edu>
ha scritto:

> On 4/28/20 8:12 AM, Sergio Bonfiglio wrote:
> > I was overwhelmed by the complexity of your database, because it requires
> > also external pieces of code to be safely read.
> Yes, it's in its own .zi format. Typically I edit it with a text editor so
> I
> suppose that counts as an external piece of code. Most people either do
> that, or
> process it with the code supplied as part of tzdb, or use one of the
> already-written tz compilers
> <https://data.iana.org/time-zones/tz-link.html#compilers>. Perhaps one of
> those
> will work for you.
> > An SQL database could be really "for everyone", because can be queried by
> > everything from everywhere by any language.
> MariaDB, MySQL, and Oracle Database use tzdb in some form; perhaps they're
> already doing something along the lines of what you're asking for.
> > If I may make a humble suggestion, a JD date in floating format that
> equips
> > any record with the initial and final date of the rule/event could be of
> > great help.
> JD should be relatively easy to generate automatically from the existing
> format.
> I doubt whether the source data should have JD directly, though, as JD is
> inconvenient for humans and anyway the .zi format is now read by so many
> programs that any changes to it would need to be carefully considered and
> justified. But JD could be good for database queries, along the lines of
> your
> suggestion.
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