Re: [LEAPSECS] History of IEEE P1003.1 POSIX time

From: John Cowan <>
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2003 18:07:43 -0500 (EST)

ut1-mail_at_ASTHE.COM scripsit:

> As one of the main people who worked on time related aspects of the
> IEEE P1003.1 POSIX standard, I'd like to make a few comments about how
> it came to be the way it is now.

Thanks for giving us this history.

> This proposal was largely accepted. However the formula taking
> into account 100/400 leap year rule was rejected as being not
> necessary since 32 bit signed timestamps would run out years
> before the year 2100.

So the 32-bitness of time_t was at that time wired into Posix?

> People should be used to our chaotic Universe. If they want their names
> for "points in time" to have some vague relationship to their physical
> universe, then they should not demand that process to determine the
> names for "points in times" be nice, clean, and infinitely predictable.

Quite so, although if the relationship is vague enough (i.e. the synodic
month vs. the civil month), then we can sometimes force clean behavior.

John Cowan
Dievas dave dantis; Dievas duos duonos          --Lithuanian proverb
Deus dedit dentes; deus dabit panem             --Latin version thereof
Deity donated dentition;
  deity'll donate doughnuts                     --English version by Muke Tever
God gave gums; God'll give granary              --Version by Mat McVeagh
Received on Thu Jan 30 2003 - 15:07:57 PST

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