[LEAPSECS] Skepticism

Paul Sheer p at 2038bug.com
Thu Dec 30 19:23:54 EST 2010

Actually, it is possible that "we" do get it.

You see, it is all very well to say what you are not advocating, but
factor in what you *are* advocating, combined with a good understanding
of how most computer systems currently work....

Then combine that with how difficult it is to migrate the world to a new
standard of any kind (say IPv4 to IPv6 migration)...

And you get to only one conclusion: which is -

without leap seconds these two times will drift apart *indefinately* and
there will no way to bring them back -


You say a "later" discussion. This later discussion might be impossible
to have. It will be at least as difficult as the present discussion.

To take only 10 years to decide about something that is going to affect
us in 600 years time is absurd considering the small number of people
on both sides of the debate.

Why don't you wait until 2038 at least?



> To repeat myself, the punch line is this: NO ONE is advocating a

> perpetual drift apart between atomic time and "universal" time

> (sundial time). The holy war that I read about on this board is based

> on an imaginary premise. The only question is whether there is enough

> justification to keep DUT1 at 0.9 seconds or less to warrant an

> awkward and despised systems of leap seconds (that are erratic,

> unpredictable, non-uniformly spaced, and by-and-large unimplemented in

> the contemporary digital infrastructure). If, as many believe, 0.9

> seconds is "over toleranced" (in this age of time zones, sundials lost

> out long ago as an engineering requirement), then we can safely stop

> declaring leap seconds for awhile. It would take hundreds of years

> for atomic time and sundial time to diverge by more than a few minutes

> -- and that's plenty of time to reengineer a more permanent and

> appropriate solution. LATER one can have ANOTHER discussion about

> perhaps adopting leap-second schemes with regular and predictable

> insertions (like we do with days in leap years), or "leap minutes,"

> or ... whatever. There is much less urgency to reach consensus on the

> next phase before deciding -- simply -- whether the current system of

> leap seconds is doing more harm or good.


> - Jonathan


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