Test farm news

Eric S. Raymond esr at thyrsus.com
Tue Jun 14 21:36:27 UTC 2016

Gary E. Miller <gem at rellim.com>:
> > That's good enough that we can *and should* ignore all the technical
> > complexities of fudging and log interpretation. We are *not addressing
> > time nuts* here.  We could do half an order of magnitude worse than
> > this and still be good enough for a beginner audience - in fact we'd
> > still be good enough to drive production WAN time service to RFC 5905
> > expectations or better.
> Not without PPS and only NMEA, unless the NMEA offset is right.

The premise for this HOWTO is exactly that me have 1PPS most of the
time.  Othwise there's no point in trying to build a Stratum 1 out of
these parts at all.

> And sometimes even with PPS.  I have seen ntpd stop using the PPS and
> follow the NMEA off into the weeds.

Bug.  Needs fixing.

> > You are very close to this stuff.  That is good because the domain
> > knowledge is extremely valuable.  But it can be bad because you get a
> > bit obsessive about problems that are challenging to *you* (fudging,
> > poor convergence time)
> Not just me.  chronyd market share keeps growing because people
> keep recommending it over ntpd's.  Convergence is a huge deal on 
> a laptop.

Fair enough, but *not now*, dammit!  The challenge of the HOWTO is to
ship something simple and basic that will help newbies get a foothold
in the problem domain.  Once we get past that, and solve problems like
GPSD hiccuping 1PPS occasionally, we can throuw more project resources
into about improving convergence time.  Until then it is largely
misdirected effort.

And chronyd doesn't bother me. Our actual customer base is not laptops
and is way too conservative to shift to chronyd in more than the
amount of time I expect fixing ntpd's problems to take.  As in, we
could spend five years on NTPsec without chronyd finding that much of an
opening, not that I think we'll need quite that long.
> You need to step back and think of this as more than just an NTP
> chimer.  This is critical drones and other embedded devices.

Later, man, *later*. (Not much later. Couple months, maybe less.)

Right now you're letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

> Then humor me.  Can you just try to look at the logs for once?  How do
> you know it is not valuable when you refuse to look?

I'm sure it *is* valuable and I'm not refusing to look, I'm *refusing
to inflict that level of detail on newbies*.  As soon as I have some
clue how to make the visualization tools work, I'll look, I promise.
		<a href="http://www.catb.org/~esr/">Eric S. Raymond</a>
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