The real problem with leap seconds

From: Michael Sokolov <msokolov_at_IVAN.HARHAN.ORG>
Date: Sat, 7 Jan 06 07:39:58 GMT


I am a new entrant into the leap second debate and I have just written a
paper in which I have outlined what I think is the real problem with UTC
and leap seconds as they are currently implemented and a proposed
solution. I have put the article on my web page:


The short summary is that I believe the root problem is not the
adjustments made to the civil time scale to match Earth's rotation, but
the fact that UTC is not expressible as a real number. Read the article
for a detailed explanation of what I mean by that.

I encourage both pro- and anti-leap second advocates on this list to
read my article since there is that slight possibility that the problem
I point out (which I haven't seen anyone else point out so far) and the
solution I propose might just be the breath of fresh air that both sides
of the debate need, and my proposal would allow civil time to be well
anchored to Earth's rotation without causing grief for computer systems
like leap seconds currently do. (Hey Poul -- I'm the maintainer of
4.3BSD-Quasijarus, so I guess our operating systems are distant cousins :)

Received on Fri Jan 06 2006 - 23:50:14 PST

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