Re: [LEAPSECS] Wikipedia article

From: Zefram <zefram_at_FYSH.ORG>
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2007 00:46:32 +0000

Ed Davies wrote:
>However, it's a horrible article and really needs reorganization
>as some of the paragraphs have suffered serious mission creep.

I edited quite a lot of time-related articles last year, and couldn't
figure out what to do with it. I started off with the articles on
astronomical time scales, and worked in conceptual sequence over towards
[[Coordinated Universal Time]]. [[International Atomic Time]] is mostly
my work, but UTC is on the other side of the obscure/mainstream divide,
and from there on I found myself hindered by other well-meaning editors.

It seemed silly to me to have [[leap second]] distinct from [[UTC]]: leap
seconds are the defining feature of UTC, after all. So my first effort
was to merge them. This was too controversial, and my formal proposal
to do it was roundly defeated. In retrospect, I think the mainstream
view of UTC is as the base timezone, though that is really the job of
the generic UT. Leap seconds seem to be viewed as an unimportant detail.

I put as much as I could into [[UTC]]. It duplicates some of what is
in [[leap second]]. I don't have a clear concept of what belongs in
[[leap second]] that doesn't belong in [[UTC]], so in the end I left it
as a collection of miscellaneous bits, which was pretty much how I had
found it.

Paragraphs and sections suffering mission creep has also occurred a bit in
[[UTC]]. I failed to disentangle it all.

>I don't even like the first sentence. "Intercalary" seems wrong
>to me as a leap second is part of the day it is applied to, not
>between days.

"Intercalary" is precisely the correct term. An intercalary day,
as we have in the Gregorian calendar, is inserted between other days;
an intercalary month, as in the Jewish lunisolar calendar, is inserted
between other months; both are part of the year to which they are applied.
An intercalary second is inserted between other seconds, and is part of
the day to which it is applied.

Received on Tue Jan 02 2007 - 16:47:10 PST

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