[LEAPSECS] What's the point?

Poul-Henning Kamp phk at phk.freebsd.dk
Tue Feb 8 12:14:54 EST 2011

In message <81111460-C20B-4016-9EF0-61405A4845AD at noao.edu>, Rob Seaman writes:

>I understand that you wish to assert that local time == civil time.

>But you also assert that computer networks worldwide must be

>synchronized. Is this latter somehow not a civil function?

Sometimes it is civil, sometimes it is military, most of the time
it is corporate.

That is why the "coordination" aspect is important, and why any
sensible OS designer or systemadmin makes sure his computers
fundamentally use the coordinated timescale, and apply whatever
offsets therefrom required by local regulations, geographies etc.

However, as is evident from the tzdata, this does not make the
coordinated timescale civil time for anyplace somebody plunks
down a computer that uses it to keep track of time.

And finally: The reason I react to your mantra about "best systems
engineering practises" is that the time window for that is long
past, and the only realistic hope you can have is to delay the
process by wrap it up in red electricians tape.

We're into politics now and to misphrase a man who knew what he
was talking about:

"Politics is the continuation of systems engineering with
different means".


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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