[ntp:hackers] Re: ntp and isc.org

Paul Vixie paul at vix.com
Mon Nov 3 11:05:44 PST 2003

After watching the back and forth for a few turns, I'm commenting in omnibus:

Dave had written, in response to mail from me (Paul):

dm> I have no idea what "my team" has in mind, unless it is taking you up on
dm> your offer to provide cycles. I'm trying to get out of the distribution
dm> and maintenance business but stay in the R&D business and it's proving
dm> very hard.

I consider that an accurate representation of my offer, and Harlan agreed:

hs> My goals are:
hs> - Find a way to get you in to the R&D role you want to be in
hs> - Make sure you have the support you need from us
hs> - Make sure that we have sufficient infrastructure so that
hs>   * we can handle as much of the user and developer support as possible
hs>   * you can direct user and developer support questions to us
hs> Additionally, I would prefer that:
hs> - we move ntp.org (email, web, ftp, etc) from udel to isc
hs> - continue to use the backroom and campus flock (to the extent you permit)
hs>   for validation and testing purposes.
hs> To continue from my points above as well as what Paul said below, I'd be
hs> happy to use whatever iron you want to maintain for validation, testing,
hs> and/or development purposes.  If you have hardware that you no longer want
hs> to maintain, I gather that the ISC is apparently willing and able to
hs> maintain it for use by the crew.

Yes.  We have a stable of BIND9 scratch monkeys of various operating systems
and architectures, which could participate in build testing or even live
testing (though it will occasionally require some scheduling.)  We can also
accept refugees if there are hosts out there looking for online homes whose
power/heat loading is low/moderate, and ideally who are rackmountable and
can be controlled by a serial console rather than VGA.  I can even envision
an epic road trip involving a U-Haul truck and bunch of things Dave would
rather not have in his house any more.  (Yes, we'd bring a videographer.)

hs> I will mention it again just to cover all of the points as they are raised.
hs> I believe ISC would be willing to house the Ultrix, HP-UX, and Alpha 4
hs> boxes, but Paul would have the say on that one.  There might be a better
hs> way to get access to those platforms for build and test purposes.

Either way.  We've got alphas, for example, and HP-UX (two flavours), and
I'll bet we have a DS5000/200 we could bootstrap Ultrix on.  No VAXs though.
Or if our scratch monkeys aren't good enough, there's always the U-Haul truck.

hs> I spoke with Paul and it is not necessary that we make an "official"
hs> entity for ntp.org for the rest of the project to "get space" at isc.

That's true.  How we handle the Usenet people (moderated aliases, official
list of newsgroups, and INN software) is by making hosts available to people
who love that stuff.  I think there are some domain names ending in .isc.org
but that's the total extent of the paperwork.

OTOH, I can envision going after grant money to improve NTP, and paying folks
to do work, or buying hardware.  We wouldn't need any paperwork for that, but
a no-fee consulting agreement with Dave and several others whereby you became
"ISC Fellows" (a marketing term, my apologies) would go a long way toward
securing some funding.  Even then there's no particular paperwork involved.

hs> Can/should we do this move?

If you want to move, I'll have a host freebsdified and put under your control
and you can start doing Whatever You Want Involving NTP here.  Let me know.

Dave answered as follows:

dm> I am somewhat anal retentive on the ntp.org domain; I paid for it ex
dm> pocket, am listed as RP and the department and campus run the DNS for
dm> it. When I wrote RFC-904 two decades ago I took real heat on my
dm> definition of autonomous system, which is a managed set of gateways
dm> together with only one required management capability: a management
dm> order to turn something off cannot be overruled. Same with the NTP
dm> domain. So, the domain ntp.org and maccarony.ntp.org remain here. I have
dm> no trouble at all if links there point elsewhere or if ntp.isc.org
dm> springs up elsewhere.

As long as there are links to ntp.isc.org (or whatever), this sounds workable.

dm> I need iron for testing here, especially things like distributed
dm> discovery and security protocols. I need support for Solaris, SunOS and
dm> FreeBSD. I have software support from HP for the Alpha, so need to keep
dm> that running as well. The Ultrix and HP-UX can go, but as long as they
dm> spin here without diddling some thing or other, they can stay. John's
dm> Linux box stays only because it is the console multiplexor for several
dm> machines of the herd. As evident previous messages, I have taken great
dm> pains to keep the backroom stable, viable and reliable for my own
dm> purposes and prefer to keep the development version there.

There seems to be no reason why the iron can't be bicoastal or even
international in scope.

If ISC can serve a useful purpose, please tell it to me and I'll get it done.


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