[ntp:hackers] Re: Anybody object to requiring AnsiC for building NTP?

Brian Utterback brian.utterback at sun.com
Thu May 26 07:01:00 PDT 2005

Harlan Stenn wrote:
> Dave,
> Folks with Old boxes may care, if they don't have either a working gcc
> or a way to cross-compile (gcc can be built as a cross-compiler and
> it's not terribly hard to do).
> As for other definitions of "rarity", I'll note that after many years
> of groundwork, C89 was standardized.  This standard was no surprise to
> anybody back then, so compilers for it existed way back then.
> For this to bite people, they'd have to be running OSes that are,
> therefore, at least 16 years old (and this is way before Y2K issues).
> Finally, I'll point out that if there are indeed folks who need this they
> need to speak up and provide funding to maintain the code in the way they
> want it.  Other than the funding you get for your efforts, nobody is
> getting paid to work on this stuff and there is definitely a cost to us
> to try and keep the code buildable by K&R (I don't think we have any
> K&R systems at UDel anymore so we have no way to be sure anymore).

I have to disagree with Danny and agree with Harlan here. The question
of what compilers we support is not in the realm of the IETF WG.
The IETF WG is dealing with the standardization of the protocols
regarding NTP, while we are discussing a specific open source
implementation thereof. As such, the maintainers (us!) can choose
whatever specs we like regarding what we choose to support. We could
even choose to disagree with one another and have different sets
of criteria by forking the project (heavens!). Now, on the other
hand, we are reasonable people and want to do the best we can with
the time and resources available and at the same time want to
provide the best code to the largest number of people, particularly
our supporters.

So, to that end, is the savings in time and effort and the improved
maintenance capability justify the abandonment of some subset of our
constituents? And if so, what process do we use to abandon them?
I suspect that it is only reasonable that we cut a decent milestone,
place it in archive like xntpd is, and then rev the code and
state that henceforth, AnsiC is required.


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Brian Utterback - OP/N1 RPE, Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Ph:877-259-7345, Em:brian.utterback-at-ess-you-enn-dot-kom

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