ntpclient names

Eric S. Raymond esr at thyrsus.com
Tue Feb 21 22:13:54 UTC 2017

Hal Murray <hmurray at megapathdsl.net>:
> As long as they don't get installed, I don't think the ntp prefix is 
> important.

Nevertheless, I think we should maintain namespace discipline even for
the uninstalled stuff. It's not always easy to predict what will *remain*

>A hyphen after the ntp might make them easier to read.

But harder to remember when you're typing.  I actually thought about
this pretty carefully before squeezing hyphens out of the program
names at the time of the fork.  I didn't do that casually.

The problem is that there's no generative rule for where to hyphenate
in names like these that is both intuitively correct and simple to
apply on the fly. So if you use hyphens you're implicitly putting on
users the cognitive burden of remembering semi-arbitrary locations.

To illustrate the problem, consider the different ways ntpkeygen might
be hyphenated:


Generally when you hyphenate a compound like that, you're expressing a
judgment about which subset of parts are tightly bound to each other
(and should be wordlike) vs. which subparts are more loosely coupled
and deserve an intermediating hyphen.  It's *hard* to form a simple
generative rule for this, and harder to apply it consistently across
multiple names.  You get into fuzzy issues about what the semantic
units are; effectively you have to commit to preferring one of
multiple competing phrase parsings for the expansion of the name.

So I just said "screw it" and ripped all the hyphens out.  Simplest thing,
and I think we should stick to it.

> We need to figure out how to handle ntpviz and friends.  I think it should 
> NOT be part of the standard install set.  At a minimum, there should be an 
> easy way to skip it during install.

I've forgotten.  What's the actual problem with including ntpviz in
the standard install?
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