Dennis Ferguson dennis.c.ferguson at gmail.com
Mon Jan 16 23:47:29 EST 2012

On 17 Jan, 2012, at 04:38 , Nero Imhard wrote:

> On 2012-01-16, at 21:20, Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:

>> It would require a lot of editorial work in a LOT of international documents


> So what's new? Doing things right is always harder.

> Using "it's too hard" as an argument is a copout.

> But at least you are saying it aloud. ITU isn't.

So what is the "right thing"? Am I correct in assuming
that it would be something like the following?

- They agree that starting in 2018 time services should stop
disseminating UTC and begin disseminating TI. TI won't exist
until then because it needs to be a leap-less timescale which
matches UTC at the change over, so it can't be defined until
they know what UTC will be then.

- They announce that on 2018-01-01 time services should begin
disseminating TI and cease to disseminate UTC, and that after
that date all references to UTC in their documents should be
interpreted as TI until they get around to fixing that. Also,
to avoid confusion about what time it is, they declare UTC to
be defunct (the IERS will never announce another UTC leap second,
which essentially makes UTC go away in any case; there is no
physical definition of UTC which does not depend on IERS
administrative action) and that TI should be used as an
approximation to the now non-existent UTC when needed.

- They fix up their documents to replace UTC with TI as they
get around to it.

As far as I can tell the only difference between this and just
redefining UTC directly is to ensure continued full employment
at the ITU for years to come making and publishing those changes
(since all the ITU itself does is to organize conferences and
conventions, and to publish the documents that its members tell
them to).

If the difference between the "right thing" and the "wrong thing"
is to provide additional employment opportunities in the ITU publishing
department then I'm not sure the ITU would object to that. If there
are concerns about doing it this way I would assume they are not the ITU's.

Dennis Ferguson

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