Not enough bits this time

It was some time I didn't go through the NTP docs and I felt I was missing some of the new interesting features of ntpd. So I decided to freshen my knowledge and go through them once again, and I allocated some time every week to read the docs.

Recently I started reading "Event messages and status words". I almost immediately found one thing I could not understand: apparently, the codes in the system status word and peer status word exceeded the assigned capacity of four bits. But I was tired and I decided to wait until the week after and re-read it.

Yesterday I started reading it again, and I also went through my notes from last time I read the doc. No luck, it was not that I was tired: there really were codes that could not be represented using just four bits. But, again, I thought I was mistaken and sent a message to the list.

And, to my surprise, it was actually a bug!

This drives me to two considerations.

The first: read the docs, ask yourself questions, then ask for clarifications if you need them, and report bugs if you happen to find one.

The second is actually a joke: only a pain-in-the-ass like me could bother enough to read that document, and count the bits and the codes, and find a mismatch. What a poor reputation I am building for myself 🙂


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