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Contributing to the tz code and data
The time zone database is by no means authoritative: governments
change timekeeping rules erratically and sometimes with little
warning, the data entries do not cover all of civil time before
1970, and undoubtedly errors remain in the code and data. Feel
free to fill gaps or fix mistakes, and please email improvements
to for use in the future. In your email, please give
reliable sources that reviewers can check.
Developers can contribute technical changes to the source code and
data as follows.
To email small changes, please run a POSIX shell command like
'diff -u old/europe new/europe >myfix.patch', and attach
myfix.patch to the email.
For more-elaborate changes, please read the theory.html file and browse
the mailing list archives <> for
examples of patches that tend to work well. Additions to
data should contain commentary citing reliable sources as
justification. Citations should use https: URLs if available.
Please submit changes against either the latest release in
<> or the master branch of the development
repository. The latter is preferred. If you use Git the following
workflow may be helpful:
* Copy the development repository.
git clone
cd tz
* Get current with the master branch.
git checkout master
git pull
* Switch to a new branch for the changes. Choose a different
branch name for each change set.
git checkout -b mybranch
* Sleuth by using 'git blame'. For example, when fixing data for
Africa/Sao_Tome, if the command 'git blame africa' outputs a line
'2951fa3b (Paul Eggert 2018-01-08 09:03:13 -0800 1068) Zone
Africa/Sao_Tome 0:26:56 - LMT 1884', commit 2951fa3b should
provide some justification for the 'Zone Africa/Sao_Tome' line.
* Edit source files. Include commentary that justifies the
changes by citing reliable sources.
* Debug the changes, e.g.:
make check
make install
./zdump -v America/Los_Angeles
* For each separable change, commit it in the new branch, e.g.:
git add northamerica
git commit
See recent 'git log' output for the commit-message style.
* Create patch files 0001-*, 0002-*, ...
git format-patch master
* After reviewing the patch files, send the patches to
for others to review.
git send-email master
For an archived example of such an email, see
* Start anew by getting current with the master branch again
(the second step above).
Please do not create issues or pull requests on GitHub, as the
proper procedure for proposing and distributing patches is via
email as illustrated above.
This file is in the public domain.