[LEAPSECS] Cost: getting rid of GMT & discontinuing leap seconds

Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Sun Oct 24 14:37:29 EDT 2010

From: Rob Seaman <seaman at noao.edu>
Subject: Re: [LEAPSECS] Cost: getting rid of GMT & discontinuing leap seconds
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 2010 11:27:25 -0700

> On Oct 24, 2010, at 11:12 AM, Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:


> > The CASIMO Flight Control software is a typical example: Every time

> > a leap second happens, the flight controllers are instructed to attain

> > a situation that does not require their existance around the leap second

> > and sit back and watch the fireworks.

> >

> > Medicine production is another case: In continuous production

> > setups, all materials have to be traceable to with second granualirity

> > (FDA, EU and other regulations), which basically means that either

> > nothing happens over the leap second (ie: maintenance shutdown) or

> > everything in the factory has to cope correctly with leap seconds.


> And do either of these use cases have any connection to Earth

> orientation? What coherent system design process led the engineers

> to select UTC in spite of the existence of leap seconds?

UTC is the only game in town. It is the legal time everywhere, for
all practical purposes[*]. It is the obvious choice because it is the
only choice. GPS time is weird, as is TAI time. Some weird time
scale nobody else know about would also be a non-starter.

UTC is the only game in town. It has leap seconds. Everybody, even
those folks that don't GAS[**] about earth orientation are stuck with
all its warts, whether they want it or not.

Don't tell me, after 10 years of discussing this, that these things
come as a surprise to you... :)


[*] Insert usual disclaimers about law, as written, and law as
interpreted here.
[**] Give A Shucks

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