[LEAPSECS] Bulletin C and all that

Tim Shepard shep at alum.mit.edu
Mon Jan 26 17:03:30 EST 2015

> While you're at it, make sure the words June and December are also never written into the standard. Only IERS gets to pick the month, and everyone one else follows what they tell us. That goes for code, tables, scripts, standards, man pages, etc. We can assume with near-term modest earth rotation rate offsets that IERS will pick June and December, but as the offset grows then March and September, and then other 8 months are fair game as well. So if you want a standard to be robust, please avoid any hard-coded reference to "preferred" months. Note that the current "6 month" advance warning is also not set in stone so no one standard should ever depend on that either.

And also we might someday get more than one leap second scheduled in
the same Bulletin C.  For example, maybe someday a bulletin C might be
issued that says "no leap second at the end of June, there will be a
leap second a the end of September, there will be a leap second at the
end of December, no leap second at the end of March, and there will be
a leap second at then end of *next* June.'  Maybe something like all
that in the same bulletin C.  And maybe the next bulletin C shortly
after the beginning of June would reiterate the schedule through next
June and also announce what will happen at the end of September.
(This is all speculation, but it would be nice if code that is written
this year and deployed later doesn't become broken if changes like
that happen some day.)

			-Tim Shepard
			 shep at alum.mit.edu

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