[ntp:questions] Re: NTPv4 RFC

David L. Mills mills at udel.edu
Thu Feb 3 03:49:11 UTC 2005


I don't see major changes to NTPv4, but as with the year I spent 
convolving the NTPv3 implementation and the rfc1305, I expect minor 
twitches in both the reference implementation and specification to 
accurately reflect the intended behavior, especially the behavior under 
misconfigured or error conditions. However, the 4.2.0 release is now 
well over a year old and the minor changes in the current development 
version is truly intended to reflect the intended behavior. However, I 
expect the basic protocol and algorithms to change only in little ways 
as the flow charts, variables and state machine description stabilize. 
As for compatibility, all except the first NTP version (0 are backward 
compatible except for very minor wiggles that do not affect the accuracy 
or stability.


Sajitha T T wrote:

 > Hello David,
 > As you know the "IETF NTP Working Group" has been in place from last 
two months, and had set up the goal of making NTPv4 protocol 
specification standard by Nov'05. In this regard do you forsee any major 
changes for the current NTP 4.2.0 implementation inorder to be 
conformant to the standard?
 > Do you have plans in your roadmap to release any newer version of 
NTPv4 which will be conformant to the IETF standard? If so will it be 
preserving backward compatibility with the 4.2.0 version?
 > Thanks in advance for your answers.
 > Regards,
 > Sajitha
 > David L. Mills wrote:
 >> Sajitha,
 >> An update for SNTPv4 has been on the RFC Editor's desk since October 
with no prediction if or when it will hit the street. A proposed RFC on 
NTPv4 cryptographic authentication has been submitted in PDF, but that 
format is not acceptable to the Editor so will appear only at my web 
www.eecis.udel.edu/~mills/reports.html. An updated specification for 
NTPv4 is substantially complete in book form as PDF. I have no plans to 
render either PDF document in acceptable Postel-ASCII format due to the 
extensive use of intricate mathematical equations, figures and graphs.
 >> So far as I can anticipate and without policy change by the IETF, 
this condition will continue indefinately. The IETF insistance on 
acceptable format is contrary to the overwhelming use of PDF for IEEE 
and ACM documents, specifications and transactions. You should observe 
the NTPv3 specification rfc-1305 never reached full standard status as 
it was submitted in PostScript/PDF with crude gloss in ASCII. The SNTP 
specification document rfc-2030 was not intended on the standards track. 
So, whatever status the NTPv4 specification will become is probably 
 >> Dave
 >> Sajitha T T wrote:
 >>> Hi,
 >>> The NTPv4 Release notes state that a formal specification of this 
version is not yet available. When this will happen?  Is there an IETF 
draft? If so when it will be promoted to an RFC?
 >>> Regards,
 >>> Sajitha

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