[time-nuts] Re: UTC - A Cautionary Tale

Robert Lutwak Lutwak at Alum.mit.edu
Sat Jul 16 07:37:01 EDT 2005

Rob Seaman wrote:

>Straightforward algorithms (a few lines of C) can convert standard  time to 
>local time and mean time to apparent time.

It ain't "...a few lines."  Properly dealing with timezones, daylight 
savings, and leapseconds can easily run into thousands of lines of code, by 
the time you include of of the oddball irregularities around the world.  Not 
only does the clockmaker have to implement all of this garbage, he has to 
test it all.

Personally, I'd like to eliminate timezones and daylight savings, as well as 
leapseconds.  Why is it so important that everyone on the planet clock in at 
8 a.m. or that we all have dinner at 6 p.m. ?

It's not just for the clockmakers.  I used to live in Ohio, just over the 
Indiana border.  Indiana doesn't do daylight savings, so half of the year my 
town was on the same time as the next town over and half of the year they 
were an hour different.  Whose fault is it?  Indiana, for non-conforming, or 
the rest of us, for arbitrarily moving their clocks back and forth twice a 


Robert Lutwak, Senior Scientist
Symmetricom - Technology Realization Center
34 Tozer Rd.
Beverly, MA 01915
(978) 232-1461   Voice           RLutwak at Symmetricom.com   (Business)
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