Re: A structured format for dates?

Austin William Wright writes:

> Quick, off the top of your head: What happens to the Unix epoch when it 
> passes through a leap-second? What about a negative leap second? [1]

As I mentioned in another email, the leap-second situation has
gotten geophysically rather murky.

I personally think we are unlikely to ever see another leap-second.

Either they will be abolished before the next one becomes necessary
or they will become so unmanageable, that that we either get a
standarized smear algorithm or switch to more predictable time-scales.

> I figure, if fractional seconds are important, then being able to 
> represent a leap-second is probably of some importance.

Fractional seconds are relevant many times every single second.

Leap seconds are at most relevant every 50 million seconds, currently
have not been so for 220 million seconds and are unlikely to be relevant
for at least the next 100 million seconds.

The absolutely simplest, fastest and least error-prone, both in
development, testing and usage, is to ask the kernel for a time_t
and render that as a decimal number.

Making leap-second handling a HTTP requirement in the current
situation would utterly stupid.


Poul-Henning Kamp       | UNIX since Zilog Zeus 3.20
phk@FreeBSD.ORG         | TCP/IP since RFC 956
FreeBSD committer       | BSD since 4.3-tahoe    
Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by incompetence.

Received on Thursday, 16 June 2022 22:06:27 UTC