[tz] Proposal to revert 2023b's Lebanon data changes

Andrea Singletary asinglet at epic.com
Tue Mar 28 10:43:54 UTC 2023

Below my email is a message from my colleague Paige Tummons, who works closely with hospitals and clinics in Lebanon. They are of the position that the TZDB update needs to reflect DST in Lebanon beginning on the 30th.

I understand that the goal of TZDB is to reflect the reality on the ground, but the situation on the ground is not as clear-cut as it may seem. Per my colleagues in Lebanon, people ARE still operating on Standard Time, most of them having updated their phones to the Cairo time zone to remain on UTC+2, with a plan to switch back on March 30. In the absence of genuine consensus among the Lebanese people, I argue that it's best for 2023c to codify the government's official position that DST begins on the 30th.


>From Paige Tummons:

I'm reaching out regarding your request for comments<https://mm.icann.org/pipermail/tz/2023-March/032833.html> on the proposal to revert back to 2023a instead of updating 2023c to reflect the Lebanon DST change of 30 March. I've been working closely with medical centers in Lebanon to ensure that their healthcare systems are in continuous legal compliance with the government directives. We have been in close communication with Lebanese government authorities who legally consider the spring forward event to be on 30 March (with the jump being from 11:59:59 PM on 29 March to 01:00:00 AM on 30 March).

We are strongly urging you to reflect this update in the 2023c file, to avoid the published tzdata file being in direct conflict with the government directive of the spring DST event in Lebanon happening on 30 March. The Prime Minister met with the cabinet yesterday, and together they agreed that Lebanon DST happens on the 30thof March. No government authorities consider the 26 March 2023 event to be the "true" DST time for Lebanon.

Paige Tummons

From: Saadallah Itani <sitani at aub.edu.lb>
Sent: Tuesday, March 28, 2023 5:02 AM
To: Paul Eggert <eggert at cs.ucla.edu>; Andrea Singletary <asinglet at epic.com>
Cc: Time zone mailing list <tz at iana.org>; Maher Kassab <maherk at aub.edu.lb>; Mohammad Abbass <mabbass at aub.edu.lb>; Deborah Goldsmith <goldsmit at apple.com>
Subject: [tz] Proposal to revert 2023b's Lebanon data changes

External Mail

Dear Paul,

Its very important to make sure you change on Github the "Asia file- Lebanon
section" and commit the Decision taken by the cabinet of Ministers in
Lebanon Government yesterday March 27 that states the revert to DST will
happen on March 30. As we saw on tz git code that you commented the Rule
and its ineffective for the new file 2023-c.

"As quoted by Andrea from EPIC health systems:

I highly recommend "recording the chaos in more detail in the data" as the
approach here. The Lebanese government has clarified that for them,
DST/summer time in 2023 begins on March 30, with the clocks going from
23:59:59 March 29 to 01:00:00 March 30. (No word on what this means for next
year, but I digress.)

It's important that this be memorialized correctly because the systems that
depend on it include health systems that feed vital records databases. A
baby born in Beirut at 21:30 UTC on March 27 will be born at 23:30 local
Beirut time, and its birthday will be March 27. If we simply revert to
version 2023a, that would not sync up with the government, so the baby's
birthday might be recorded as 00:30 on March 28 in health system records,
which would not align with the government's opinion on the baby's date of

Maybe it's just the historian in me, but I firmly believe we need to
memorialize this blip in the database.


-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Eggert <eggert at cs.ucla.edu>
Sent: Monday, March 27, 2023 1:11 PM
To: Time zone mailing list <tz at iana.org>
Subject: [tz] Proposal to revert 2023b's Lebanon data changes

We need a new release soon to address the time zone chaos in Lebanon.
One option is to revert 2023b's data and go back to 2023a as I suggested
earlier. Another is to record the chaos in more detail in the data. The
attached proposed patch (which I installed into the developmental repository
on GitHub) takes the former approach, as I expect the latter would cause
more problems than it would cure. This follows a similar (although not
identical) precedent in Rio de Janeiro in 1993.

In short, the patch would make 2023c identical to 2023a except for comments,
which do not count as part of the data.
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