[LEAPSECS] Bulletin C and all that

Brooks Harris brooks at edlmax.com
Mon Jan 26 06:40:34 EST 2015

On 2015-01-26 01:00 AM, Rob Seaman wrote:
> "At midnight" is a flexible enough phrase to also handle a second that *finishes* being introduced at the stroke of midnight :-)

I'm sure you know this as well as anyone, but I caution about the casual 
use of terms this way.

I spent many weeks this year frantically trying to head off exactly this 
problem in a standards body defining a timing protocol. It had been 
written to insert Leap Seconds "at midnight", which we know from Rec 460 
is not correct. After being called a pest and troublemaker they finally 
recognized what I was saying, and this led to changes that affected 
other details of the design, contributing to months of debate and delay 
in completing the project. It is not so obvious from the fractured 
standards and documentation how UTC is supposed to work and subtle 
misunderstandings like that might be avoided if folks were more careful 
with their terms.


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