[ntp:questions] NTP Support (Was 'What does "Max Distance Exceeded"...')

Unruh unruh-spam at physics.ubc.ca
Mon Mar 16 23:12:31 UTC 2009

David Woolley <david at ex.djwhome.demon.co.uk.invalid> writes:

>Joseph Gwinn wrote:
>> We have moved from the meaning of status code 9514 to the more general 

>But you should have kept the thread, even if the subject changed.

>> issue of how NTP shall be supported, so I've collected the relevant 
>> threads below.

>> More generally, it's hopeless to expect the world's sysadmins to read 
>> NTP code (or any other kind of code).  They just don't have the time, 

>Generally, you only need to read a small bit of code to answer this sort 
>of question, but if you haven't got the time you should pay someone who 
>does have the time.

>Historically, open source software was written for use by people who had 
>the ability to support it themselves.  Recently, the relationship has 
>become asymmetric with a lot of people wanting free software and free 
>support.  Whilst some open source software developers may consider it a 
>valuable loss leader to produce a naive user product and support it, may 
>even consider it part of their mission, most open source developers are 
>not that interested in donating that level of free support.

???? I do not believe that say Linus every believed that he wrote the
kernel only for people who would support it themselves. It was a tool
written for many by a few. Ie, it was always assymetric. I suspect also
that Linus would have immense difficulty supporting everything in the
kernel, or even knowing what is there, himself. And it is precisely when
you know others will be both working on and using the software you write
that it becomes crucial that good coding practice be instituted. That means
a) writing the code so that anyone ( including you three months from now)
can relatively easily figure out what is going on and
b) writing up documentation so that anyone ( including you three months
from now) knows what the output means. 
And there are lots of people who do it that way. 

>Actually a lot of commercial software, these days, is dumbed down, 
>supported, open source material.

Nothing wrong with that, as long as the source is recognized and remains

More information about the questions mailing list