Stephen Colebourne scolebourne at joda.org
Thu Mar 12 11:57:26 EDT 2015

On 12 March 2015 at 05:21, Steve Allen <sla at ucolick.org> wrote:
> On Wed 2015-03-11T11:04:57 -0700, Tom Van Baak hath writ:
>> The entire purpose of UTC is to provide a single timescale for all
>> human-related activity.
> And UTC has failed miserably.  POSIX says UTC has no leaps.
> Google says UTC has occasional days with stretches of seconds which
> are of varying lengths.  De facto, there is no single UTC time scale.

But what so many miss is that what is needed to fix the problem is very small.

1) Reliably send leap second data out to the world (recently discussed
here and at tz-dist)

2) Announce leap seconds a bit further in advance or on a regular schedule

3) Define a time-scale, UT-86400, that roughly follows UTC but always
has 86400 "second-like" subdivisions (as per the Java time-scale)

4) Provide one or more *agreed* and *standardised* mechanisms to map
UTC to UT-86400 (eg. UTC-SLS and Google smear)

The fact that we don't have a name or agreed standard for the thing
that most people want (outside the time-nerd community) is very sad.
UT-86400 is a working name, I'm sure someone can think of a better

The work needed isn't hard. I just wish that rather than destroying a
sensible solution to keep us in line with solar days, effort would be
put into defining the above.


More information about the LEAPSECS mailing list