[LEAPSECS] Crunching Bulletin B numbers

Ian Batten igb at batten.eu.org
Fri Feb 18 15:05:32 EST 2011


> Given that we know approximately what the end point will be 100

> years from now, we could even have a mechanical rule like the leap-

> day rule that would put us in the right neighborhood of

> synchronization. Having a good, formulaic/mechanical method for

> declaring leap seconds would be a vast improvement over the 'update

> your tables every 6 months' we see today.


> I'd bet that the following would keep us within 10s over the next

> 100 years:


> bool

> leap_second_end_of(int year, int month)

> {

> int m = (year - 2012) * 12 + month - 6; /* First leap june 2012 */

If the idea is a low-risk, low-complexity holding action to see what
happens, starting that with a June leap-second seems a bad idea; there
hasn't been once since 1997, so there's probably more uncertainty
about procedures and code than there would be for December. Indeed,
if you're going to have a mechanistic formula to arrive at ~6.5s/
decade, something like "leap Dec31 in every year that isn't divisible
by 3" would be about the same long-term and have the merit that it
always takes place at the same time of year when most, not all but
most, economies are in a holiday season.


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