[ntp:hackers] Further to the timestamping issue

Poul-Henning Kamp phk at phk.freebsd.dk
Sat Jun 14 21:57:13 UTC 2008

In message <485438C6.2080401 at udel.edu>, "David L. Mills" writes:

>Not to bring up a dead horse, but I don't think everybody was completely 
>happy about the timestamp capture issue; [...]

If we are going to roll a packet format revision, would it be prudent
to consider all identified issues with the NTPv4 format:

* Add a y2036 disabiguation field
  This is cheaper than increasing the width of all timestamps.
  One bit will go a long way, two would be enough for all of us.

* Add (optional) DUT1 transmission field

* Change/Define contents of Root Delay to be useful/meaningful
  Practically all stratum 1 servers are uncalibrated/undefined.

* Change/Define Root Dispersion to be useful/meaningful
  While statistically correct, the number is of no use and often
  deeply misleading.

* Fix reference identifier
  So it can handle IPv6 correctly.

* Add support for optionally transmitting timezone info to clients.
  For the chosen timezone transmit ZoneName, UTC_offset, DST start/end.

* Fix leapsecond handling.
  Add timestamp of next scheduled leapsecond, so that clients can
  handle the event correctly, even if they are offline at the time.

And that's just the ones I can remember at 11pm a saturday night...


Poul-Henning Kamp       | UNIX since Zilog Zeus 3.20
phk at FreeBSD.ORG         | TCP/IP since RFC 956
FreeBSD committer       | BSD since 4.3-tahoe    
Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by incompetence.

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