Re: [Ntp] draft-ietf-ntp-roughtime-05: tag change makes implementation more complex

JP Sugarbroad <> Tue, 21 September 2021 04:07 UTC

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From: JP Sugarbroad <>
Date: Mon, 20 Sep 2021 21:06:51 -0700
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To: Watson Ladd <>
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Subject: Re: [Ntp] draft-ietf-ntp-roughtime-05: tag change makes implementation more complex
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On Mon, Sep 20, 2021, 20:43 Watson Ladd <> wrote:

Could you perhaps say more about why this is a barrier to your
implementation? It's easy enough for my coauthor and I to change them
back, but we'd like to know why.

I hear you on the other short tags, so I guess my request is to allow the
padding tag to be last. (FWIW the way the tags sort feels weird.)

The shape of a packet before was:

2, 32, "NONC", "PAD\xFF", random, padding

Notably, the size of the padding doesn't have to be calculated and is at
the end. So one can allocate a zeroed buffer, write mostly fixed data to
the start of it, and then send.

In the new version:

"ROUGHTIM", len, 3, padlen, padlen+4, "PAD\0", "VER\0", "NONC", padding,
x80000005, random

This version has padding in the middle, and the lengths are all dependent
on the length of the packet.

If padding were at the end:

"ROUGHTIM", len, 3, 4, 36, "VER\0", "NONC", "PAD\xFF", x80000005, random,

Back to mostly static values. It's a small thing, but I'm on an embedded
platform and these things can matter...

- JP