the ``need'' for POSIX times

D. J. Bernstein djb at
Wed Oct 7 19:02:28 UTC 1998

Antoine Leca writes:
> OTOH, your API impedes the use Markus is speaking about
> (discarding leap seconds), and that is a nuisance sometimes.

Oh, really? Show us some programs where you claim it's a nuisance.

> (Many people are *very* comfortable with the fact that
> a day is 86400 seconds, not a pseudo-random value...)

That isn't a fact; it's a fantasy. A UTC day is _not_ guaranteed to be
86400 seconds. If your code doesn't work correctly during leap seconds
then it's wrong.

libtai makes it easy to do the right thing.

> effectively, this means either *every*
> hosts should have an uptodate leapsecodns table, which
> is unrealistic,

Repeating that assertion doesn't make it true. The cost of distributing
up-to-date leap-second tables is minor---certainly much less than the
costs imposed on future programmers by Markus's API.

> Also, while TAI timestamps might be better, this is certainly
> not what is happening: everybody uses UTC (or LT) timestamps,

Wrong. Serious accounting doesn't rely on amateur toys like syslog.

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