[ntp:hackers] smearing the leap second

Mike S mikes at flatsurface.com
Fri Jul 10 17:21:42 UTC 2015

On 7/10/2015 1:06 PM, Greg Troxel wrote:
> The thing I don't really get about the leap second debate is that we
> have two timescales with the two properties people want.  TAI is
> straightforward, with no leap seconds, monitic, etc., but not linked to
> UT1.  UTC has leap seconds but tracks UT1.  So if people don't like UTC,
> they can just use TAI.   Creating an nth system that's like TAI but with
> a fixed offset is just more mess, like GPS time.
> Of course, if the world's civil authorities decided to rebaseline zone
> times to TAI, we've have an even bigger jump, once.

Exactly. It's not UTC which needs fixing, it's called UTC because it's 
part of the UTx timescales, which are linked to the sky. Removing leap 
seconds breaks that, with no good alternative. There are already 
multiple reasonable alternatives available for those who don't want to 
deal with leap seconds.

Trying to fix system problems by redefining UTC to lack leap seconds is 
like making math easier by redefining Pi to be 3.

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