Re: [LEAPSECS] building consensus

From: Warner Losh <imp_at_BSDIMP.COM>
Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2006 09:45:10 -0600 (MDT)

From: Rob Seaman <>
Subject: Re: [LEAPSECS] building consensus
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2006 08:35:39 -0700

> On Jun 4, 2006, at 9:57 PM, M. Warner Losh wrote:
> > leap days have a rule, while leap seconds are scheduled.
> A schedule and a rule are the same thing, just regarded from
> different historical perspectives.

Leap days have an iron-clad rule that generates the schedule on which
they happen. Leap seconds have a committee that generates the
schedule on which they happen.

A rule implies that it is long term, I guess. Maybe there's a better
word for that implication.

> The "leap day rule" will most
> certainly have to accommodate scheduling changes over the millennia.


> On the other hand, I am sure we haven't exhaustively discussed
> possible refinements to the leap second "scheduling algorithm". (And
> ain't that a rule?) If we have to spend all our time fending off
> this silly leap hour proposal, we'll never have the opportunity to
> focus on rules and algorithms (not to mention technology and
> infrastructure).

We have discussed having some kind of rule for when leap seconds are
inserted. So far, none of these 'rules' are that long term. "follow
this table for the next 10 years" or "for the next 10 years, we'll
have one every 18 months" are simplified versions of the proposals
I've seen. These have a very limited time horizon.

> The biggest difference between leap days and leap seconds is that
> days are quantized.

I'm afraid I don't understand this statement. Care to explain?

Received on Mon Jun 05 2006 - 08:47:33 PDT

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