Re: [LEAPSECS] Leap second status?

From: Rob Seaman <seaman_at_NOAO.EDU>
Date: Tue, 7 Jan 2003 13:01:56 -0700

Gyorgy Szondy says:

> The survey results Mr. Kuhn sent us is quite impressive and useful.
> However I do not share his opinion that UTC redefinition should be
> decided upon a vote.

It wasn't Markus Kuhn who collected those survey statistics, it was
the folks who are pushing for a change to UTC. Are the results to
be discounted simply because they don't support a certain agenda?

> I consider the unsatisfaction rate of 10% is quite high, and the 24%
> of willingness of change is far enough to take this request seriously.

Of course, UTC should be taken seriously. I don't discount the
difficulties various technical users of precision time have had.

However, non-technical users should also be considered, as should
whether any of the currently disgruntled projects will still be in
operation when any change is finally made to UTC. This issue is on
a fast track precisely because some folks couldn't manage to use the
current facilities properly - or perhaps because they chose the wrong
system of time entirely.

Should we change UTC for folks who should have been using TAI?

And what assurance do we have that the same folks who had trouble with
the current UTC system will be able to use a replacement UTC system
with any better success? Perhaps the real trouble is simply that the
UTC standard is not documented as well - or as widely - as it deserves?

If the disgruntled 10% succeed in pushing through some hazy and as
yet unpublicized change to UTC - will the newly disgruntled 90%
receive any attention?

Rob Seaman
National Optical Astronomy Observatory
Received on Tue Jan 07 2003 - 12:16:45 PST

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