[LEAPSECS] What's the point?

Clive D.W. Feather clive at davros.org
Fri Feb 11 10:33:01 EST 2011

Mark Calabretta said:

>> The speculation on the list is that in the absence of a central

>> authority, local governments will act as their people request when it is

>> staying dark too late and parents can't get their kids to bed with the

>> sun still shining, or have to drive to work in the dark too many days of

>> the year.


> Yes, it seems a likely response. The underlying assumption is

> that people expect the Sun to be roughly overhead at noon to

> within a tolerance of about an hour.

I don't believe that's so. I might agree that people expect it to be within
about 3 hours, but that's all.

> Leaping timezones would be tenable if they all leapt at the same

> time. However, I think we agree that that won't happen.

What's the problem with them moving on different dates? Um, beyond the
problems we already have because they move on loads of different dates.

> Currently the main chaotic element of timezones is concerned with

> the start and end date of DST. The chaos is restricted to two

> periods, sometime in autumn and spring, and it only amounts to one

> hour to and fro.

FX: laughter.

As an example, last year Egypt had two separate sessions of DST.

> Leaping timezones, each "at their own pace", can only add an extra

> level of chaos, one that will eventually lead to multi-hour offsets

> that continue to grow over time.

Why? Adjacent countries might move from a delta of an hour to zero and then
back again, but why would one place move at a different *rate* (i.e. leaps
per millenium) to another? In other words, how is this any more complex
than Russia deciding not to end DST this year?

Clive D.W. Feather | If you lie to the compiler,
Email: clive at davros.org | it will get its revenge.
Web: http://www.davros.org | - Henry Spencer
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