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14 October 2011, 09:30

Time zone database back online

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Clock The time zone reference database used by all versions of Unix and Linux is back online in an updated version, reports Java developer Stephen Colebourne in his blog. Last week, the tz database was taken offline because of a copyright problem. Now, the data is available for downloadDirect download from a new server. Robert Elz will be maintaining the time zone information. The tz database will eventually be posted at the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), where the mailing list for the presentation and discussion of relevant information is already kept.

Last week, Astrolabe filed charges for breaches of copyright against the people who had been running the time zone database for many years on a server at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Astrolabe, a producer of astrology software based in Boston, Massachusetts, charged that Arthur Olson and Paul Eggert illegally used the ACS Atlas, for which it claims to hold the copyright, as a source for part of the time zone database.

Freely available in the public domain, the tz database contains historic information about local time for numerous places around the world and is updated around once a month. It is used by Unix, Linux, various web sites, and Java applications, to name just a few. The time zone data is normally statically stored.


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