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

David Woolley david at ex.djwhome.demon.co.uk.invalid
Tue Mar 17 07:48:12 UTC 2009

Richard B. Gilbert wrote:
> Unruh wrote:

>> ???? 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

As he wrote it as a student, I suspect he wrote it for the challenge of 
doing it.

>> written for many by a few. Ie, it was always assymetric. I suspect also

Linux is a late comer in open source.

>> 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

Open source coders tend to understand coding well, and do therefore 
write better structured code, and, in particular write better inline 
comments than typical commercial coders (who are likely to write "add a 
to be" as the comment.

>> 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. 

You must be joking.  The Linux kernel is particularly poorly documented. 
  About the only thing that helps for end users is that, to a large 
extent, it is trying to conform to an external specification, the Posix.

If you really want to know what IOCTL's are available, you need to look 
at the source.  Similarly to really understand the proc filesystem.  I'm 
not sure about sys, as that is recent and part of the commercialisation.

> <snip>
> Those who can and do work this way command top dollar!  There are never 
> enough of them!!

And those who think in terms of top dollars, are attracted to commercial 
programming or commercial support, not to developing open source.

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