Re: what is broken?

From: Joseph S. Myers <>
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2000 23:18:57 +0100 (BST)

On Tue, 19 Sep 2000, Steve Allen wrote:

> > because of the contradictory requirements that (a) the conversion of an OS
> > timestamp to a (UTC or local time) display timestamp should not change
> > over time or with updates of leap second tables (such changes have caused
> > problems with FTP site mirroring in the past)
> Is it not the case that (a) was just violated in every Australian Unix
> system which had not updated its /usr/share{/lib}/zoneinfo files
> before the early onset of summer time for the olympics?

Fortunately, FTP servers generally display timestamps in UTC rather than
local time (and traditionally - before MDTM - mirroring programs will try
to parse the directory listings and convert back to POSIX timestamps);
getting correct local time displays is a bit more of a lost cause, though
users will notice a wrong timezone much quicker than a clock out by a few
seconds. (Certain broken sorts of clocks - those that are about right but
wander back and forth on the subsecond level - may be noticed when ping
shows negative round trip times.)

Joseph S. Myers
Received on Tue Sep 19 2000 - 15:29:01 PDT

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