[LEAPSECS] the big artillery

Harlan Stenn stenn at ntp.org
Thu Oct 30 21:45:54 EDT 2014

"Clive D.W. Feather" writes:
> 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.

That some people are mis-using a name is not the fault of the name.

> 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.

UTC has leapseconds, and people who are using UTC for its intended
purpose are happy.

If there are people who want a similar timescale that does not use
leapseconds, that's great, and come up with a different name for this
timescale that does not use leapseconds.


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