[ntp:questions] Purpose of a leap second file?

unruh unruh at invalid.ca
Sun Mar 4 16:32:10 UTC 2012

On 2012-03-04, John Hasler <jhasler at newsguy.com> wrote:
> I wrote:
>> Thus UTC is just a kind of timezone-like localization and leap-seconds
>> belong in tzdata.
> David E. Ross writes:
>> No, it is not a localization.
> It localizes TAI to this particular planet.

That makes it sound as if TAI is some God given time. It is not. It was
developed and defined in the context of precisely this planet. If there
is a timekeeping species somewhere else in the universe, I promise you
they will NOT use TAI. 

>> A leap-second file allows conversions between UTC and TAI.
> Just as tzdata allows conversions between UTC and your local zone.  Thus
> UTC is the Earth planetary zone as CST is my local zone within that
> planetary zone.  While it is convenient to have solar noon occur at the
> same time every day the planet is not a clock.

Well, actually it is a clock, and a pretty damn good one and for a long
long time the only one anyone had. It is only
in the past half century that our other clocks have achieved a better

More information about the questions mailing list