[time-nuts] [LEAPSECS] Leap second to be introduced at midnight UTC December 31 this year

Steve Allen sla at ucolick.org
Thu Jul 21 15:53:36 EDT 2016

On Thu 2016-07-21T10:27:57 -0700, Tom Van Baak hath writ:
> Time to mention this again...

> Every UTC-aware device would 1) know how to reliably insert or
> delete a leap second, because bugs would be found by developers within
> a month or two, not by end-users years or decades in the future, and
> 2) every UTC-aware device would have an often tested direct or
> indirect path to IERS to know what the sign of the leap second will be
> for the current month.

This idea pushes extra complexity into every implementation of low
level kernel-space software, firmware, and hardware.  That's nice as a
policy for full employment of programmers, but it's hard to justify by
any other metric.  Instead those low level places should be as simple
as possible, and that means making the underlying precision time
scale, and thus any broadcast distributions of a precision time scale,
as simple as possible.

The complexity for translating precision time in seconds (for
machines) to calendar time in days (for humans) belongs in the
less-critical and easier-testable outer layers of software which do
user-space presentation, internationalization, and GUI which can be
broadly shared between many hardware implementations.

Steve Allen                    <sla at ucolick.org>              WGS-84 (GPS)
UCO/Lick Observatory--ISB 260  Natural Sciences II, Room 165  Lat  +36.99855
1156 High Street               Voice: +1 831 459 3046         Lng -122.06015
Santa Cruz, CA 95064           http://www.ucolick.org/~sla/   Hgt +250 m

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