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

Danny Mayer mayer at ntp.org
Tue Mar 17 02:58:14 UTC 2009

Unruh wrote:
> "Richard B. Gilbert" <rgilbert88 at comcast.net> writes:
>> David Woolley wrote:
>>> 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.
>> The ntpd distribution is about 70,000 lines of code!  Expecting people 
>> to be able to find their way around is not realistic!  Before the user 
>> can read that "small bit of code", he has to FIND it.  He has to find it 
>> in 70,000 lines of code.  Since the number "9514" may never appear 
>> anywhere in the code since it's a "bit mapped" value, what is the reader 
>> supposed to look for?
> Well, while that is true, grep can be your friend. Thus especially in an
> output messages, grepping for that message will often send you to the right
> place in that 70000 lines of code. 

It's of little use for situations like this. I will look for a
particular string but bitcodes are not something you will find.

>> A computer program is not just a series of instructions to be executed 
>> by the machine, it is also a document that must be understood by human 
>> beings!
> Agreed.
> On the other hand the programmer is usually worried first about getting the
> bloody code working, so spending a lot of time documenting something you
> will probably change tomorrow seems pointless, and once the 5000 lines have
> been written and debugged, it is far too late at night to document. 

Which is why a good programmer always documents the code as they write
it. I always do. I may add additional documentation as I review it but
it's always done as I go. Nothing else makes sense.


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