Request for data / ntpsnmpd report

Eric S. Raymond esr at
Tue Jan 9 18:22:00 UTC 2018

Ian Bruene via devel <devel at>:
> On 01/09/2018 09:58 AM, Jason Azze via devel wrote:
> >At the risk of sounding like a drop-out from a Scrum Master training
> >camp, could you explain briefly what the "story" is for this tool?
> >
> >I use SNMP every day to monitor the health of lots of servers and
> >services, but, to be honest, I haven't been able to follow what you're
> >trying to achieve with ntpsnmpd.
> Good question. My understanding (what was mentioned back when I was pointed
> at the project months ago) is that it is to provide another monitoring
> system for people using SNMP. Essentially stuffing mode 6 through another
> pipe.

That is correct.

This tool actually has two stories, one of which is internal to the team:

(1) Mode 6 monitoring via SNMP.  I don't know who wants this, but someone
thought it was important enough to include a prototype in Classic and
someone else thought it was important enough to go through the RFC process
to standardize it.  That's some indication of demand.

Note that the implementer of the Classic ntpsnmpd told me it wasn't
conformant to RFC 5907 and recommended I drop the C code, which I did.
I then had in the back of my mind that this would be a nice, though
low-priority, feature to bring back ("we fixed it!").

(2) Ian's training.  Time came when Ian had been doing a good job
bugfixing/maintaining the Python clients, and I wanted a clean-sheet
project I could throw at him with enough complexity to be challenging
but not so much as to be overwhelming - something he could work on in
background when not fighting fires, and with no deadline pressure.

Implementing an RFC-correct ntpsnmpd in Python seemed ideal on all
counts.  When you can find something like this that both has a
customer-facing justification and helps grow your team's competence,
you grab it.

It might be that the actual usefulness is marginal.  I don't care;
as long as usefulness minus maintainance cost is greater than zero,
we win, and even if it's zero I'll get a more capable and
confident apprentice out of the deal.
		<a href="">Eric S. Raymond</a>

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