[LEAPSECS] honest-to-god copper

Steve Allen sla at ucolick.org
Tue Jun 8 17:16:51 EDT 2010

On Mon 2010-06-07T11:25:03 -0700, Rob Seaman hath writ:

> Stating that not taking into account leap seconds is useful because

> "most applications do not take into account the existence of leap

> seconds" is a rather circular justification.


> Many applications (don't know about "most") have civil timekeeping

> requirements. Civil timekeeping is layered on UTC, which requires

> leap seconds. Thus many (or most) applications require leap seconds,

> whether the programmers and project management want to admit it or not.

But as I assert in
the problem is more than the lack of any simple convention that
can be implemented by an algorithm/class library/module.

The problem is that there is no convention which can stand
unchallenged by some court interpreting the laws of its jurisdiction.

Placing UTC in a proprietary standard has resulted in a mess of
national laws, bureaucratic interpretations, and technical
implementations which have effectively invalidated UTC for use as a
precision time scale. The trademark "UTC" is diluted; it was not
vigorously defended because its definition and implementation were
performed by several different agencies whose identities have been
rearranged and reconstituted. With no agency standing up to proclaim
what UTC is, it has become implemented as whatever anyone wants it to be.

Steve Allen <sla at ucolick.org> WGS-84 (GPS)
UCO/Lick Observatory Natural Sciences II, Room 165 Lat +36.99855
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Santa Cruz, CA 95064 http://www.ucolick.org/~sla/ Hgt +250 m

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