[LEAPSECS] Java: ThreeTen/JSR-310

Gerard Ashton ashtongj at comcast.net
Sat Jan 29 08:42:50 EST 2011

On 1/29/2011 3:27 AM, Stephen Colebourne wrote, in part:


> It is my opinion, coming from an open source background, that if the

> body currently defining leap seconds stops doing so with less than

> 100% consensus, then the leap second defining process would be forked.

> Some other person/body/open source group would take on the

> responsibility to define them.

> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fork_%28software_development%29


> If this happens, I therefore think that there may end up being two

> versions of "UTC" in common use, which would be a far worse situation

> than today.


> Stephen

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I think any such forking will resemble the forking of the avoirdupois
pound: scientists and engineers use two pounds, the pound-mass and the
pound-force. But in commerce, only the pound-mass is allowed and in the
US there are state weights and measures inspectors who will place
standard masses upon the scales used in commerce and seize the scales
that do not indicate the correct mass within the allowable tolerance.
Likewise, scientists and others not engaged in commerce may use whatever
time scale they wish (and this right is already being exercised) but in
commerce and fulfilling obligations to the government, the lawful time
scale must be used. Of course, there could be a fork among countries
about what fundamental time scale the lawful time scale is offset from;
arguably, such a fork already exists.

Gerry Ashton

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