On Wed, 07 Nov 2007, in the Usenet newsgroup alt.os.linux.suse, in article
, Unruh wrote:
>email@example.com (Moe Trin) writes:
>> Unruh wrote:
>>> And if the legislatures around the world decide to change things
>>> again, within a week there will be a new tzdata file which
>>> incorporates those changes
Don't forget that while the tzdata files are hosted on a government
server, it's not an official service of the NIH (NIH is part of the
Department of Health and Human Services, while the somewhat more
appropriate NIST - the former NBS - is part of the Department of
Commerce), any more than the writing of Ethernet drivers was a service
of NASA-Goddard (Donald Becker was a _contractor_ employee there, and
NASA allowed him space on the FTP server). Additionally, it seems that
no government entity has the requirement (or even any reason) to keep
the tzdata file maintainers appraised of pending changes. Look in
each of the source files, where you will find
[compton ~]$ head -6 time.2007i/asia
# @(#)asia 8.13
# This data is by no means authoritative; if you think you know better,
# go ahead and edit the file (and please send any changes to
# firstname.lastname@example.org for general use in the future).
>>While it is true that some of those source files are making relatively
>>inconsequential changes, they all effect _someone_ out there. 2006g
>>effected Oz and the US, while 2007h changed Egypt, Iran, Palestine,
>>and Brazil. 2007i only changes Syria and Cuba.
>But tzdata2007i includes all of the changes of the previous 11 files. So
>the distro maintainers just have to put in the latest one. They are
>cumulative, as you know.
True - but in my experience it _seems_ that distribution changes only
get in quickly when that change DIRECTLY effects the maintainers.
Thus, tzdata2007g has been included in a number of distributions, but
not 2007h or 2007i.
>And changes almost always occur with a time lag. Ie, a legislative
>change today, which is probably incorporated in the next tzdata file,
>almost always does not actually change anything for at least a year.
>That is lots of time for the maintainers to get the change out.
I take it you aren't doing 'diff's of the source files.
[compton ~]$ ls -l time.2007i/DIFFS.200*7.* | cut -c35-
7411 Jan 9 2007 time.2007i/DIFFS.2006.p-2007.a
3275 Feb 13 2007 time.2007i/DIFFS.2007.a-b
6858 Feb 27 2007 time.2007i/DIFFS.2007.b-c
10437 Mar 20 2007 time.2007i/DIFFS.2007.c-d
1726 Apr 2 2007 time.2007i/DIFFS.2007.d-e
3483 May 7 2007 time.2007i/DIFFS.2007.e-f
14389 Aug 20 16:54 time.2007i/DIFFS.2007.f-g
6851 Oct 1 16:59 time.2007i/DIFFS.2007.g-h
2607 Nov 1 16:58 time.2007i/DIFFS.2007.h-i
Some of the changes are reported retroactively - the changes to the
'asia' file in the last two are all after-the-fact. The Brazilian
change in 2007h was reported a week before it took effect. That's
when the tzdata maintainers published the change - never mind the
change getting to the various distribution maintainers and actually
being made available to the users.
I repeat - you have a heck of a lot of confidence in the various