Leaping seconds and looping servers
Posted Jul 6, 2012 17:14 UTC (Fri) by giraffedata
In reply to: Leaping seconds and looping servers
Parent article: Leaping seconds and looping servers
Forcing the 1 day=86400 seconds stuff was one of the worst ideas ever ...
Had they just kept as a simple count of seconds, that would have been useful
and simple. And less error prone.
You might be able to argue that in 2012 it would be better for POSIX to specify a simple count of seconds, but if you look at how the world was when that time format was invented, there just can't be any question that not including leap seconds in the count was the right thing to do.
Users of computers want traditional UTC-style year-month-day etc. datetimes. To convert from a simple count of seconds to that requires not only significantly more code to be written but some way to know when the leap seconds were. A file, a manual maintenance procedure, or a global computer network, all of which were simply not practical enough to meet
the timekeeping requirements of the users.
Most of the present discussion isn't about whether the POSIX standard should be a simple count of seconds, but whether the kernel's time base should be. POSIX doesn't say how anyone has to keep time; it just says how it gets communicated. Either way, some users are going to be adjusting for leap seconds; some adding them, others removing them.
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