[LEAPSECS] the big artillery

Clive D.W. Feather clive at davros.org
Thu Oct 30 19:57:00 EDT 2014

Harlan Stenn said:
> I'm still thinking the answer is "leave existing 'names' alone - if you
> want TAI use TAI. If you want UTC, use UTC.  If you want something new,
> call it something new."
> If people are using a defined name for a defined purpose and it works
> for them, leave it alone.  If people are using a defined name for a
> defined purpose and it does not work for them, this group needs to come
> up with a new name for the thing they think will solve their problems.

The problem is that some people use UTC to mean "TAI plus adjustments to
keep it less than a second from UT1" while other people use UTC to mean
"the basis of legal time here". For the second set, using a new name for a
different concept doesn't help.

There are good reasons for wanting legal time to be TAI+<n>+<local offset>,
where <n> is a constant (somewhere around 35?) that never changes in the
future and <local offset> is chosen by the relevant lawmakers and is normally
a multiple of 15 minutes. If you accept that these reasons override those
for keeping leap seconds, then a name change won't make it easy.

Clive D.W. Feather          | If you lie to the compiler,
Email: clive at davros.org     | it will get its revenge.
Web: http://www.davros.org  |   - Henry Spencer
Mobile: +44 7973 377646

More information about the LEAPSECS mailing list