[time-nuts] Re: UTC

Bjorn Gabrielsson bg at lysator.liu.se
Thu Jul 28 18:50:44 EDT 2005

mikes at flatsurface.com (Mike S) writes:

> At 01:58 PM 7/28/2005, Bjorn Gabrielsson wrote...
> >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.
> It will break if the system is built on the basis that UTC is within
> 0.9 seconds of UT1, which is how UTC is currently defined. 

Seems to be a minor concern.

> The legal system in the US (and many other countries) is based on
> solar time, so it would break legal timekeeping. 

Legal time is often based on UTC. A slight adjustment of the
definition of UTC will not break legal timekeeping. 

> There may be systems dealing with satellite tracking/orbit
> maintenance which might break. There are astronomical systems which
> would break. 

Thats a gliding scale... if system A breaks at DUT1 of 1.0seconds
B & C might die at 5 and 10 seconds, giving plenty of time to patch
the systems. System A does seem to live on the edge already, maybe a
good candidate to patch earlier... 

> I don't know what else, 
> but the point is, neither do the people proposing to break UTC with
> short warning and little consultation.  

Leapseconds are known with short warning... Maybe the astronomers have
not been following the lengthy discussions among the real timekeepers of
today. Whos fault is that?

"Break UTC" - or simplify/improve UTC.


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