[LEAPSECS] (no subject)

Steve Allen sla at ucolick.org
Sat Dec 20 20:45:55 EST 2008

On 2008 Dec 20, at 10:55, M. Warner Losh wrote:

> Either we kill them entirely, since they are going away eventually

> anyway, or we put them on a regular schedule like leap years. The

> current system sucks too bad to be allowed to continue.

Pardon me, but I'm missing something in this about the annoyance
of leap seconds. I thought the trouble was that they interrupt the
broadcast time scale (which I distinguish from UTC).

If the ITU-R decides to bless a new time scale like TI, then POSIX
can take note and say as of then time_t is to be interpreted as the
internationally-blessed broadcast time scale named TI. Bureacracy
that happens to have specified UTC can be reinterpreted on a case
by case basis to decide whether it wants TI or UTC, but in the
interim all the operational systems keep on working.

If leap seconds go into zoneinfo, then they are only as much nuisance
as when the political princes of the world decree a change in the
rules for time zones, and not even total unanimity within the ITU can
stop that.

I agree that the current system is dysfunctional.

I typically carry around 100 GB of storage, a GHz of processing
capability, and devices that can communicate with 4 different
wireless protocols. That is how the world has changed since 1970
when everything was pencil, paper, and slide rule. My devices can
receive something like TI, use it internally, and report to me something
with added timezone offsets.

But of those wireless protocols, one of them was entirely shut down
by the FCC before I had owned the device 5 years, so that one is defunct
and the hardware deserves replacement.

I don't want to see mean solar time abandoned because of the
of systems with that sort of lifetime.

Steve Allen <sla at ucolick.org> WGS-84
UCO/Lick Observatory Natural Sciences II, Room 165 Lat
University of California Voice: +1 831 459 3046 Lng
Santa Cruz, CA 95064 http://www.ucolick.org/~sla/ Hgt +250 m

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