The netselect home page insists that it is “an ultrafast intelligent parallelizing binary-search implementation of ‘ping.’ ”
I would buy that. And I’d actually find it to be a rather clever utility.
Feed it four or five addresses, and it will do all the work of contacting them, calculating their response speeds, and ranking them top to bottom.
I’ve seen unrelated tools do much the same thing (q.v., axel), but never one designed only for that task. And just in the past year or so, we’ve looked at hping and fping as alternatives to the almighty ping. Not to mention ekgping. 😉
netselect seems to have morphed into a Debian tool as well; it’s in the repos as netselect-apt, and supposedly will feed apt and company with the quickest mirror.
I will leave it to you to decide if it’s a critical addition to your Debian arsenal; my line speeds are so slow I daren’t bother. 😦
I suspect that a clever and well-versed programmer could find a way to absorb netselect into their larger application, and perhaps gain a little ground when network access is involved.
That’s a project for another day though. 🙂