[ntp:hackers] [Gpsd-dev] A lightweight synchronization mechanism for shared memory

Terje Mathisen terje at tmsw.no
Fri Mar 25 12:39:27 UTC 2011

Dave Hart wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 25, 2011 at 10:23 UTC, Terje Mathisen<terje at tmsw.no>  wrote:
>> PS. Bookend coherence is elegant, but still not a solution, see my other
>> post. For ntpd as a client it is however almost certainly sufficient, since
>> ntpd has a _lot_ of sanity checking&  filtering code, so a spurious entry
>> does not matter.
> I've heard that sort of reasoning from a number of ntpd contributors
> in different contexts, and each time it makes me uncomfortable.  I
> believe ntpd's grooming of its inputs should not be relied upon to
> excuse to occasionally feed it garbage because it's convenient.  The
> grooming has a job to do which is undermined by avoidable garbage, and
> intentional noise is not budgeted.

We're in violent agreement. :-)

With a counter and circular buffer (even if just of size 2), the only 
possible reader problem happens if it put to sleep in the middle of a 
read, then wakes up after _exactly_ 2^32 (or 2^64) update cycles 
(usually seconds) and reads the remainder.

This is similar to the odds against getting an NTP timestamp of exactly 
zero (which is handled by discarding it).

I.e. I refuse to worry about quantum mechanical odds. :-)

- <Terje at tmsw.no>
"almost all programming can be viewed as an exercise in caching"

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