D. J. Bernstein djb at cr.yp.to
Sat Oct 10 19:24:09 UTC 1998

Bradley White writes:
> TAI requires a leap-second table.


It is true that CONVERTING between civil times and numeric TAI64 times
requires knowledge of leap seconds, the calendar, time zones, etc.

However, the definition of TAI64 is much simpler than that. It doesn't
involve leap seconds in any way.

In contrast, you can't even tell which civil times are valid if you
don't have a leap-second table.

> > What exactly is the benefit of these conversions?
> The benefit is the separation of local and remote representations.

TAI64 is not ``local'' by any sane definition. In fact, TAI64 was
explicitly designed as a portable timestamp interchange format.

See http://pobox.com/~djb/proto/tai64.txt.

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