On Dec 7, 2005, at 11:57 AM, Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:
ISO9000 certification only means that you have documented your quality assurance process. There is no requirement that your documentation pertains to or results in a quality product.
That was kind of my point, too. We have standards bodies that don't promulgate their standards. We have standards that use words like "quality" that don't do anything to ensure quality. We have testing laboratories that certify systems as compliant without actually testing compliance. We have individual companies that build products without understanding the physical context, let alone political or social context, pertaining to the products.
Just because it is an agreed international standard doesn't mean that it is the best solution to the problem, technically correct, technically optimal or even a good thing to begin with.
Agreed. Heartily agreed. See above. But... We still live on the Earth and the Earth still rotates and that rotation is still slowing. For some purposes, at some scales of resolution of the clock or calendar, I myself don't care. For other purposes, at other scales, you yourself DO care. Would like to see us discussing the interesting zone in the middle, not asserting naive blanket propositions. As far as conforming to an imperfect international standard, if interoperability is the goal (perhaps universally the case for time issues), then the proper behavior for a company - one producing safety critical products, no less - would be to find some way to swallow the current standard (and their pride) and work to change the status quo. I'm not upset that folks are trying to change the status quo - every good standard should be challenged once in a while - I'm offended at the sophomoric way this has been pursued. In any event, in a world full of imperfect standards, it remains the responsibility of the implementers to understand those standards that pertain - a time based product might be expected to rely on time standards, for instance - and to characterize their products' responses to issues related to those standards. Having ignored the existence of leap seconds, what are the implications for the company and its products? Ignoring a standard might be a reasonable choice. Having done so, one might choose to create a product that behaves in a rational way rather than failing catastrophically. If avoiding catastrophic failure isn't an option, one might suggest that ignoring the particular standard is - well - unwise. Wishing it otherwise doesn't make it so. Rob Seaman National Optical Astronomy Observatory