the ``need'' for POSIX times

John Cowan cowan at
Fri Oct 9 19:26:15 UTC 1998

Paul Eggert wrote:

> [O]n an implementation whose internal clock
> ticks TAI, the UTC clock ticks right along with the internal clock --
> except during an inserted leap second, where the UTC clock is adjusted
> back by one second.

What's official about that?  I don't see how a UTC clock has been
"adjusted backward".  Rather, a UTC minute can sometimes contain
61 seconds, properly labeled from 0 to 60.  Similarly, a UTC day
sometimes contains 86401 seconds.  This is not at all the same
as adjusting a clock, where the clock was wrong before and is
hopefully now correct.  
> When converting a UTC clock to a printed representation, it's
> conventional to use :60 for the inserted leap second, but this is
> merely a notation to indicate that the UTC clock is repeating,

Do you have some kind of authority for this claim?

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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