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posted ago by WhitePhoenix ago by WhitePhoenix +22 / -0

Someone I know linked me to this mailing list archive thread:

https://mm.icann.org/pipermail/tz/2021-September/thread.html#30503

Seems like they're fucking around with timezone data, but he says it's mostly for muh diversity reasons, but I'm too stupid to follow this thread.

It looks like a sane person is trying to fork the modified time DB away into a separate project and leaving the original alone but I'm having a hard time following this entire thread. Anyone know of what's going on?

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7
Assassin47 7 points ago +7 / -0

Way too complex to untangle from a mailing list thread. I can't tell if there are SJW motivations, but I see references to Kosovo and adopting European standards for all countries instead of keeping each country's timezone. Hopefully someone in the know can chime in.

All I know is, everything woke turns to shit.

10
lgbtqwtfbbq 10 points ago +10 / -0

This is a summary post of the issue written by who appears to be the main objector to the change. It concerns itself with what happens with time zone data prior to 1970, where some city/country specific timezone data was merged in a way that is

  • not backward compatible with previous releases
  • incorrect (eg. someone queries time zone information in 1950 for Oslo but instead gets a result from Berlin because sometime between 1950 and 1970 the time zones merged to be the same)
  • potentially politically sensitive (if you were Norwegian you might be miffed that now you get time for Berlin, especially since you used to get time for Oslo)

On the one hand it doesn't appear to be politically motivated, but on the other hand I don't think it's the sort of change a Norweigan nationalist would make for example.

I'll also say I don't entirely understand some programmers' obsession with making datasets smaller at the expense of accuracy in this modern age. Especially when the datasets are small to begin with. How many people are clamoring for a smaller time zone database?

9
Guyven 9 points ago +9 / -0

I have read the threads and determined that there WAS significant political motivation in the patch that is being contended. It is apparent in the defenders' stances when discussing it, such as this one:

Paul Eggert eggert at cs.ucla.edu Mon Sep 20 16:15:58 UTC 2021

On 9/20/21 1:06 AM, Stephen Colebourne via tz wrote:

The purpose of the fork would initially be to maintain the tzdb data set as it was prior to the dispute.

Such a fork would arbitrarily discriminate against countries like Angola and Niger, and in favor of countries like Norway and Sweden.

A primary goal of the recent patches was to avoid racial or national preferences that were present in the previous setup. Arguably these preferences were not intentional, or were apparent and not real; however, that's not an argument I would want to defend.

Although the problem of discrimination could also be fixed in the fork you suggest, any such fix would take considerable work. It couldn't be done merely by reverting a patch or two. All this work would be need to be done before any such fork could be used by an organization that is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion.

The opponents have stuck to technical issues in their opposition of the changes, but the defenders keep bringing up racism to argue for the changes. That's to be expected in the current political climate, only one side is allowed to attack while the other is required to meander about the margins without giving voice to the real problem.

The same person later warns that a fork better "satisfy equity, diversity, and inclusion concerns" as a parting threat.

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realerfunction 2 points ago +2 / -0

when's the last time niger or angola mattered outside of a single headline?