The last morning of CalConnect starts off with a discussion on Time Zones.
There was a committee that looked at the experience of people going through the US Daylight Savings Time change of March 2007 (the first change to DST in the US in twenty years). The biggest problem they found was time zone information not being stored with events. The document that the committee wrote is available here.
As you’ll recall from posts several years ago, there is no central registry of world time zones. The most commonly used reference is the Olson database.
Calconnect’s Timezone committee is chartered to come up with a proposal for a Timezone Registry. The rough draft is going to request that IANA create and maintain a registry of timezones, with data derived initially from Olson, data stored in xml format which has a 1:1 mapping to icalendar. The proposal is for a DNS-like service where clients can query local servers and local servers can then query other servers. The general feeling is that http should be used as the protocol for this.
The idea here, as Cyrus notes, is to move the timezone data and information about changes into central server-based systems so each client won’t have to always store its own version of authoritative information.