[time-nuts] Re: UTC

Poul-Henning Kamp phk at phk.freebsd.dk
Thu Jul 28 14:04:30 EDT 2005

In message <m3k6jabyoh.fsf at lysator.liu.se>, Bjorn Gabrielsson writes:
>mikes at flatsurface.com (Mike S) writes:
>> Programmers cause programming errors. Leap seconds may make them apparent.
>> >Certainly the death (if it occurred) was not an automatic result of the =
>leapsecond, but rather was the result of something that broke because it wa=
>sn't properly programmed to deal with the leapsecond.
>> The counter argument is that removing leapseconds will break properly imp=
>lemented systems in unknown ways, the blame will them be not with someone w=
>ho did things in violation of a well documented specification, but with tho=
>se who changed the specification in a fundamentally incompatible way for se=
>lfish reasons.
>How does a properly implemented system accounting for leapseconds fail
>when leapseconds fail to come? Sure there will be unnessesary code
>that could be removed. But I do not see why the system would break.

My interpretation of this is that systems which assume that DUT < 1s
fail, when leap seconds are applied.

That's probably true, but since DUT is only relevant if you study
extraterrestial objects, we can safely assume that 99.9% or more
of those systems involve astronomers and optics.

Poul-Henning Kamp       | UNIX since Zilog Zeus 3.20
phk at FreeBSD.ORG         | TCP/IP since RFC 956
FreeBSD committer       | BSD since 4.3-tahoe    
Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by incompetence.

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