[ntp:questions] WARNING: someone's faking a leap second tonight

Harlan Stenn stenn at ntp.org
Sat Aug 4 21:22:53 UTC 2012

unruh writes:
> On 2012-08-04, David Woolley <david at ex.djwhome.demon.invalid> wrote:
>> Harlan Stenn almost wrote:
>>> The NTP reference implmentation *defines* the spec, and there will
>>> be times when the ...
> And it is a reference implimentation, not the definition. Ie, it is an
> implimentation that is supposed to follow the standard. It does not
> define the standard.

You can believe what you want.

In this case you are kinda wrong.  But perhaps it's a matter of

The reference implementation *in this case* is the target the RFC
intends to meet.  The current RFC is developed and written based on what
the then-current ntp-dev implements.

There comes a time when the RFC is left as a marker and the code moves
on, in preparation for the next RFC.

> > Also, I don't think this is the correct relationship between RFCs and 
> > reference implementations.  An RFC specifies the protocol for a specific 
> I think that the reference implimentation impliments a specific rfc. Ie,
> the rfc comes first. 

In general you are right.  And in this case most people are interested
in having correct time on their boxes, not a pedantically-correct
implementation of the RFC.

And RFCs can be updated.  If there is a bug in them people can choose to
run strictly-compliant broken code or they can apply the fixes.

Other folks may choose to value "better timekeeping" and they can have
what they want, too.

> > reference implementation.  If you do more than fix bugs in the reference 
> > implementation, you need a new RFC before it becomes the standard.
> An rfc is just a request for comments. It is NOT a standard. It may
> become one ( although I think none of the ntp rfcs have actually ever
> become standards).

NTPv2 was a standard.


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