[LEAPSECS] What's the point?

Steve Allen sla at ucolick.org
Tue Feb 8 19:19:14 EST 2011

On Tue 2011-02-08T17:03:31 -0700, Warner Losh hath writ:

> NTP also does everything in UTC time

No, NTP does not use UTC per se.
The existing implementations make that specification misleading.
Rather, NTP uses the internationally approved broadcast time scale.
The implementations do not know the name of that time scale.
Only the documentation knows that.

(This is, of course, discounting those site whose sensitivity
to leap seconds is so great that they are using some sort of
GPS-based or TAI-based master timeserver for their NTP.)

The point of my suggestion for using zoneinfo to propagate the leap
seconds is that both NTP and POSIX would de facto, silently, and
inconsequentially change to using TI rather than UTC if the name of
the internationally approved time scale changed to that. The systems
would keep working just fine -- even better if they do not like leaps.

The documentation could be fixed up later, and the situation would not
be any more confusing than it is now.

Steve Allen <sla at ucolick.org> WGS-84 (GPS)
UCO/Lick Observatory Natural Sciences II, Room 165 Lat +36.99855
University of California Voice: +1 831 459 3046 Lng -122.06015
Santa Cruz, CA 95064 http://www.ucolick.org/~sla/ Hgt +250 m

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