Technical strategy and performance

Eric S. Raymond esr at
Thu Jun 30 12:13:21 UTC 2016

Hal Murray <hmurray at>:
> esr at said:
> > In many cases, especially in governmant, they *can't* -- they have lengthy
> > certification requirements for new infrastructure components.
> If they are on the ball, they will have to do almost as much work to 
> (re)certification after all the changes we have made.

You are right.  But my estimate of the situation is that the big users
are so desperate for relief from being used in DDoS exploits that some
corners will we cut if we give them a good excuse to do it.  Well-audited
code with a clear genetic descent from Mills NTP seems likely to be
the excuse they need.

After all, what's their alternative? If they've given up on
expecting Classic to fix its problems, it's not like they have any
safer, *more* conservative place to jump to.

This thinking affects my strategy.  It's one reason I've been careful
to maintain a visual resemblance between our docs and Classic's even though
moving everything to asciidoc made that considerable work. It's intended
as a continuity signal. And not a fake one!  We're not just pretending
to be the safe pair of hands, we're really it.

It's also yet another reason I've concentrated on cuts rather than new
features.  I want them to see just enough dynamism to be a little
interesting, *without* creating worry that we're destabilizing the
Mills DNA with hacker adventurism.

> >> Where would I look to find a crisp statement of the goals of the project?
> > On the project website.
> >
> > 
> I don't see anything in either page that I would call "crisp".
> Yes, there is lots of good stuff.  If you know what the answer is, you can 
> find lots of supporting info.
> The plans are all down in the weeds, details rather than big picture.  The 
> announcement is background and handwaving.  If I asked you, does "X" fit in 
> the scope of the project, you can scan the plans to see if you find a match 
> but if not, good luck trying to figure it out from the announcement.  Take 
> the memlock discussion.  Is there anything in the announcement that says we 
> focus on modern systems with lots of memory?

That is a fair criticism.

The website was written before Mark was in charge.  Maybe we should ask him
to write up LF's objectives in a form that can be edited into website
		<a href="">Eric S. Raymond</a>

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