[LEAPSECS] Schedule for success (was Re: (no subject))

Rob Seaman seaman at noao.edu
Sat Dec 20 11:48:32 EST 2008

Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:

> Steve Allen writes:


>> Please identify the operations which need one second predictability

>> over a time span of six months.


> Wrong question.


> Try: Please identify computer communications where it is not

> guaranteed that all involved computers will have their software

> updated every six months.

Meant as a bon mot, I guess? Seems to emphasize Steve's point in any

However, you've actually identified a potential mechanism for
distributing scheduling data of all sorts, including for leap
seconds. Instead of building computer hardware, operating systems and
applications that pretend the relentless update cycle doesn't exist,
build such systems to expect scheduled updates to software and key
data structures. Leap seconds are just one from a large class of non-
static information that needs to be widely shared in common for
infrastructure to work.

Perhaps my frequent observations about the wisdom of following system
engineering best practices simply need to be redirected to a broader
class of problem to find more acceptance :-)


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