Blue-sky thread - ideas for well after 1.0

Hal Murray hmurray at
Sun Aug 27 02:01:56 UTC 2017

devel at said:
> 4. Make NTS mandatory. In the NTPv5 packet format, the version, mode, NTS
> unique identifier, and (in client packets) NTS cookie come first in
> plaintext, then the whole rest of the packet is encrypted. 

Is there a good high-level writeup of NTS?

Why encrypt stuff?  (as compared to verify)

Are there any useful techniques for monitoring or debugging encrypted traffic?

> 6. Represent timestamps as days, seconds, and fractions so that the time can
> be represented unambiguously during leap seconds. Make the day field 64 bits
> wide so that its range comfortable exceeds the lifespan of the solar system.

64 bits of days seems like way overkill.  32 bits of days is over 23 bits of 
years.  Are you really worried about more than a million years?

Should the wire protocol use a non-leap time scale?  (and include the offset 
to UTC)

> 7. Don't implement leap smearing in the wire protocol (servers should always
> report accurate, unsmeared time), but standardize a formula for translating
> NTP time into smeared UNIX time seen by other applications. 

That's the tip of an iceberg for getting POSIX to get their leap out of the 

These are my opinions.  I hate spam.

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