Re: [LEAPSECS] What problems do leap seconds *really* create?

From: Clive D.W. Feather <clive_at_DEMON.NET>
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2003 22:30:27 +0000

John Cowan said:
>> Fact 2 is that the old 1980s pre-POSIX Unix manuals talked about GMT and
>> not UTC. This strongly suggests that the authors were unfamiliar with
>> both TAI and UTC. The "seconds" they refer to behave more like UT1
>> seconds than like TAI/SI seconds, i.e. they are Earth rotation angles
>> and not Caesium oscillations.
> Where do you see any reference in the old documentation to the rotation of
> the Earth? The authors of those man pages were engineers, and they knew
> perfectly well what a second was and is (since 1967), and they certainly
> knew the difference between measuring/counting and encoding.

I was around, though on the margins, when the first POSIX standard was
being written. If there had been an awareness of the difference between UTC
and GMT, I am the sort of person who would have leaped on it in an attempt
to win a Weirdnix prize. I offer this as weak evidence in support of
Marcus - nobody was discussing stuff at this level of detail.

Clive D.W. Feather  | Work:  <>   | Tel:  +44 20 8371 1138
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Received on Thu Jan 30 2003 - 14:40:42 PST

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