Re: [LEAPSECS] Introduction of long term scheduling

From: Rob Seaman <>
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2007 22:12:41 -0700

I tried to send this a few times the other day, but the list rejected
it. Figured I'd try one more time as a mail check as much as
anything else. Obviously not a particularly meaningful message.


Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:

> And next thing, somebody is going to argue for GZIP encoding of the
> list

Feather's encoding is a type of compression. GZIP won't buy you
anything extra.

As I said, my original suggestion was in the context of the
discussion at the time. One certainly can convey the leap second
table for the next several decades in a quite concise format - should
that be necessary. I'll join the rising chorus that thinks it need
not appear in every packet.

I like Zefram's additional suggestion that each bit of leap table DNA
be self-describing. We're pretty much reinventing genetic
transcription and translation, complete with stopper sequences. One
could likely base a really interesting rubber time scale on a DNA/RNA
model. That this isn't the problem we face shouldn't take away from
the cleverness of its solution :)

I'd also modify Feather encoding to delta backwards from the
expiration time stamp. This would not only permit applications to
truncate transcription after a very small number of bytes, but could
potentially extend proleptically indefinitely backward.

Speaking of which, Tony Finch wrote:

> The main requirement for a proleptic timescale is that it is useful
> for most practical purposes.

I've worked on projects that had requirements this broadly
expressed. I hope to avoid that opportunity antileptically ("in the

A coworker has chosen "proleptic" as his word of the day. He says
the challenge will be to use it in a sentence without mentioning his
"Grandma's seizure".

Helpful definition of proleptically from "in
a proleptical manner".

Received on Tue Jan 09 2007 - 21:13:04 PST

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