broadcastclient ?

Hal Murray hmurray at
Sat Dec 17 08:00:37 UTC 2016

esr at said:
>> I took a quick look at the code.  There is quite a bit of broadcastclient 
>> cruft that didn't get removed.  Any reason not to nuke it?
> No.  I think I've removed it all since you wrote it.

You got most of what I noticed.  I think I pushed something that got a few 

While following cruft, I noticed that auth is a keyword and that T_Auth is 
only used once in a way that seemed strange.  The other usage is deep within 
the parser.  It sets up a table.  That seems cute rather than clean to me, 
but maybe there is some trick I don't appreciate.

Look at config_reset_counters
Looks like the loop and select can be replaced by a simple handful of calls, 
then the reset_counters slot in ptree goes away along with the wart in the 

esr at said:
> Mark thinks a lot of shops using Windows edge nodes rely on broadcast-server.
>   So even if broadcast client is seldom or never used in Unix-land (and Mark
> and I both think that is so) there is some reason to support it. 

> I'm interested in your opinion about this (and I'm sure Mark will be too),
> as you have a depth of operational experience I can't match by trawling for
> evidence with a search engine. 

I know next to nothing about Windows so I can't help in that area.

Windows using broadcast is plausible, but a quick scan with google doesn't 
find enough to convince me that it's an important use case.

> I would have been more worried about dropping these things, but it seems to
> me from search-engining the issue that to the extent automatic server
> discovery was ever actually used in Unix-land, those use cases have largely
> been taken over by pool-style DNS round-robining. 

There is also the option of distributing NTP servers via DHCP.  I don't know 
how often that is used.

In general, retail ISPs have avoided setting up NTP servers so they don't 
have anything to drop into their DHCP servers.  Universities or corporations 
might use it.

These are my opinions.  I hate spam.

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