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SubjectRe: Bug: Status/Summary of slashdot leap-second crash on new years 2008-2009
Nick Andrew wrote:
> I can sympathise with the opinion that linux should be able to accurately
> distinguish xx:59:60 when a leap second is added (or the missing :59 when
> one is subtracted) but not at the expense of making a day which is not
> 86400 seconds long.

Some days are not 86400 seconds long. That's a fact and regardless of
how inconvenient it is, we have to live with it. Some years don't have
365 days; some months don't have 30 days; some Februaries don' have 28
days; and now, some days don't have 86400 seconds. What's the point in
fighting this?

If you want to know the days between two times, dividing by 86400
doesn't cut it.

> Arguably the kernel's responsibility should be to keep track of the
> most fundamental representation of time possible for a machine (that's
> probably TAI) and it is a userspace responsibility to map from that
> value to other time standards including UTC, using control files
> which are updated as leap seconds are declared.

We have this already; zoneinfo

> Just so long as the
> existing behaviour of time() which doesn't recognise leap seconds
> is preserved.

I haven't been able to find this Annex B that Alan talked of, so I can
only go by the man page, which states, simply and explicitly, that
time() returns seconds since Epoch, and also that Epoch is start of
January 1 1970. To my mind, time *does* recognise leap seconds.

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