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Re: lib/38883: Replace the algorithm used by random (3) by the Mersenne Twister (mertwist.c)

On Mon, 25 Aug 2008, David Holland wrote:
>   > Thus, why not implement it as the standard algorithm for random (3)
>   > group of calls?
>  We can't (or at least shouldn't) do this because it would break the
>  initstate() and setstate() interface to random(3).

Do people really expect the kind of repatability offered by the
initstate/getstate interface to persist across operating system
upgrades?  In other words, do we guarantee that values returned by
initstate befoer an upgrade may be passed to setstate after an upgrade?

Even if we do need to retain this level of compatibility, there seem
to be enough unused values in the first (int) of the state array that
we could encode which algorithm is used.  Old algorithms would still
have to work as if the old value of MAX_TYPES were retained, but it's
nevertheless possible to add new algotithms.

--apb (Alan Barrett)

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