[LEAPSECS] (no subject)

Rob Seaman seaman at noao.edu
Mon Dec 22 12:15:52 EST 2008

Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:

> There is one (major) problem: software does not grok leapseconds.

If my car fails to grok gasoline, I fix the car. Leap seconds (or the
equivalent) are simply a fact of life on a tidally slowing orb. If
you wish to eliminate the overhead of managing leap seconds over the
short term, you have to pay the price of managing them over the long
term. No such management plan has been proposed.

> One of the solutions Rob peddles for this, is "Make a new timescale

> without leap seconds, and leave leap seconds in the UTC timescale".

I haven't peddled any solution (other than better managing the status
quo). It is premature to discuss solutions as more than brainstorming
to better understand the problem at hand.

> This does not fly because a lot of systems are legally mandated to

> use the UTC timescale.

And others are and have been legally mandated to use mean solar time.
The ITU is attempting to separate the two without cleaning up the
resulting mess. A better (and quicker) process would be to:

1) understand the problem
2) evaluate possible solutions
3) seek consensus before voting

> Changing all those laws and regulations, just because a single

> astronomer is very emotionally attached to the name "UTC" is just

> not going to happen :-)

There are more on this list than a single supporter of preserving the
meaning of UTC. This was also the consensus in Torino.

Words like "emotionally attached" add nothing to the discussion.


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