[LEAPSECS] Meeting with Wayne Whyte

Tom Van Baak tvb at LeapSecond.com
Thu Feb 3 02:44:25 EST 2011

[ I'm posting this unsent email now that Warner independently
proposed the same thing! ]

> In that is the nugget of how leap seconds are no different

> announcements that the daylight/summer time zones transition will

> happen at some date other than the previous schedule.

> (e.g., due to some sports event like the 2000 Olypmics and the 2006

> Commonwealth Games in Australia, or any of the other excuses that

> bureaucrats have used when they say you'll have to update your

> zoneinfo files.)

Even if this were true, I think we can give them a break for
Y2K and expect it not to happen too many more times.

So here's an idea to test the waters slowly -- To see which
or if any applications run into trouble when DUT1 exceeds
0.9 second -- how about if IERS stretches it very slowly...

Over the past 4 decades the recommended tolerance for
DUT1 has gone from 0.1 s to 0.5 to 0.7 to 0.9 seconds.

Why not continue this trend over the next decade or two?
Delay the next leap second by 6 or 12 months and push
just over the 1.0 edge and see if the water is too hot for
some piece of gear. If so, it can probably be fixed. And
given how much DUT1 varies day by day, the failure will
not be a hard failure; it will be intermittent. Plenty of time
to fix it before the next leap second brings DUT1 back
under 1.0.

Leap seconds would still occur, but this would provide an
orderly slow triage of equipment or software that needs

Instead of the emotional, political, and technical uncertainty
of removing leap seconds altogether, just aim for the very
simple goal of |DUT1| < 2.0 seconds. A small step instead
of a giant leap...


More information about the LEAPSECS mailing list