[LEAPSECS] How good could civil timekeeping be?

Rob Seaman seaman at noao.edu
Thu Feb 14 08:33:26 EST 2008

You do understand that my comments about proper planning are broader
than leap seconds? System engineering is a well understood discipline
by this point. If a technical solution is worth pursuing, it can only
be aided by a coherent proposal describing - first - the applicable
problem space before asserting a solution, no matter how simple.

The question isn't how cut-and-dried the solution is, the question is
what are the risks - the alternative solutions - the stakeholders -
etc and so forth.

I'd be interested to see any proposal out of WP7A other than the one
they have. A provision for a 10 year rolling schedule, announced
every six months, would be better than what's on the table. But as
you see, the process has already improved your "10 years notice"
notion. That's what the system engineering process is for.

Take a half dozen leading notions and develop all of them to the point
that they can be scored according to a grid of characteristics arrived
at by stakeholders. Combine the scores according to a formula agreed
to in advance. See who wins. If aspects of the grid are in conflict,
the group argues about these separate from any one proposal, thus
abstracting the conversation to a new level.

Folks would undoubtedly like to take engineering for civil timekeeping
to a new level, n'est-ce pas?

On Feb 14, 2008, at 1:16 AM, Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:

> In message <1EE6D186-6694-4CCC-B256-CDCAF8449164 at noao.edu>, Rob

> Seaman writes:



>>> What are your comments to my proposal to announce leap seconds 10

>>> years in advance?


>> It would require more detail to amount to a proposal...


> No, that's all there is to it.


> I don't care how you decide the leapseconds, or who does, as long

> as we get know when they happen with 10 years notice.


> If WP7A pushed a proposal that just changed the text to say that

> DUT1 should be kept minimal and that warnings must be 10 years,

> would that work ?


> --

> 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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