zoneinfo-right; leap seconds

John Cowan cowan at
Tue May 26 17:24:52 UTC 1998

Olson, Arthur David wrote:

> [M]ight a name more neutral than "zoneinfo-right" be better?
> (I'm mindful of our past experience with "Pacific-New"; I don't want to
> unnecessarily tempt folks to replace "zoneinfo" with "zoneinfo-right".)

A fine idea!

I propose the use of "zoneinfo-iers".  The IERS, or International
Earth Rotation Service, , is the agency
which decides when to insert leap seconds.

>From :
"The decision to introduce a leap second in UTC to meet this condition
[keeping UT1-UTC smaller than 0.9s in absolute value] is the
responsability [sic] of the IERS."

> On leap seconds: having a single leap second file would eliminate the
> ability to have "rolling" leap seconds. (This was provided when, one
> year, the city of New York announced that the countdown for the dropping
> of the big ball that marks the beginning of the new year would run
> "3...2...1...LEAP...Happy New Year!", putting the leap second at
> midnight local time. The time zone data as distributed reflects
> internationally agreed
> leap-second-occurs-at-the-same-instant-everywhere-on-Earth behavior.)

I think rolling leap seconds are a dumb idea.  Just because somebody
in NYC (it wasn't me, honest!) decided to insert a leap second
five hours early, doesn't mean that rational people ought to support
this behavior. Similarly, the (former?) existence of an L.A. nightclub 
which celebrates New Year's Eve every night doesn't mean that some zones
have years that are 1 day long.

John Cowan		cowan at
	You tollerday donsk?  N.  You tolkatiff scowegian?  Nn.
	You spigotty anglease?  Nnn.  You phonio saxo?  Nnnn.
		Clear all so!  'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)

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