Refclocks and formatting

Ian Bruene ianbruene at
Sun Apr 23 15:41:13 UTC 2017

I should have mentioned this in the devlist, but I keep forgetting that 
you aren't getting updates from bug #263. My question was based on a 
misunderstanding of the code: I thought that all of the formatting for 
refclocks was happening in statustoa, when it is actually just a single 

Incidentally, overfocusing on the first path that becomes apparent is a 
good first candidate for "You'll find [other failure modes], and have to 
train your own way out of them.".

On 04/23/2017 07:27 AM, Eric S. Raymond wrote:
> Well spotted.  The truth is, this split is a historical hangover from
> the sequence in which I wrote the Python tools - there's nothing
> principled about it at all.  I wrote the extension early; afterwards
> I figured out how to mechanically generate the required #defines into
> and the need for ntp.ntpc.statustoa went away.

I suspected something the sort, I knew that was generated at 
build time and was going to suggest that this could be done to eliminate 

> If you want to clean this up, go right ahead.  I think it would be a
> good way for you to get your fingers into the C code, with a simple
> excision.

I'll take a look at it, in /theory/ it should be an easy swap.

This would also be a good propaganda case: "Look here! This is how 
efficient Python is; a noob can write code smaller, and by extension 
with fewer bug receptors, than the same code written in C by an expert". 
It would apply both in general, and also when trying to sell people on 

In the end; what separates a Man, from a Slave? Money? Power?
No. A Man Chooses, a Slave Obeys. -- Andrew Ryan

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