[time-nuts] Re: UTC

Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Wed Jul 27 19:28:54 EDT 2005

> The truly critical time functions will continue to use TAI,
> or some variant as they currently do....

TAI time isn't a silver bullet.  It is a timescale that one can
recover, with some effort, but only if one can get the leapsecond
meta-data from somewhere else, since time is overwhelming distributed
in UTC (even from GPS receivers that could give you TAI, but usually
choose not to).  Using it does not eliminate the need to know leap
second information in general, since you have to interface to the
outside world in UTC at some point.

I know this because I've written several control systems that do use
TAI internally, and the issues with leap seconds are large, if you
want to get them right.  If you refuse to accept this, then you are
denying reality.


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