Re: [LEAPSECS] An immodest proposal

From: Neal McBurnett <neal_at_BCN.BOULDER.CO.US>
Date: Tue, 14 Feb 2006 09:55:29 -0700

On Mon, Feb 06, 2006 at 10:37:37AM -0700, Rob Seaman wrote:
> 1) TAI can be recovered from UTC given a table of DTAI.
> 2) NTP can convey TAI as simply as UTC.
> 3) Deploy a small network of NTP servers to keep TAI, not UTC.
> 4) NTP client machines could therefore trivially select between TAI and
> UTC by subscribing to different servers.
> 5) This would provide an unbiased experimental sandbox for civil
> timekeeping issues.

Since TAI can be recovered from UTC, and hosts that use NTP know UTC,
those hosts can serve any time they want to clients on that host. I
see little reason to change the particular timestamps that are used in
the NTP protocol, an less reason to have two different timestamps
within NTP, or to require users on ntp-using hosts to switch their
ntp servers just to get a different timescale.

That's why I support the "Fixing POSIX time" proposal from
Poul-Henning Kamp. This can be implemented with the latest NTP
daemons. The operating systems would seem to just need the right sort
of CLOCK_NTP definition for /usr/include/linux/time.h or equivalent,
and the appropriate conversion routines as he outlined.

I'd like to see a standard for NTP that includes the TAI information
that is now passed in non-standard formats, but that is a separable

Neal McBurnett
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Received on Tue Feb 14 2006 - 08:56:00 PST

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