Why is sendmail is part of the system and not a package?

Gonzalo Nemmi gnemmi at gmail.com
Tue Oct 27 19:49:11 UTC 2009

On Tuesday 27 October 2009 5:24:58 pm Giorgos Keramidas wrote:
> On Tue, 27 Oct 2009 16:47:12 -0200, Gonzalo Nemmi <gnemmi at gmail.com> 
> > On Tuesday 27 October 2009 4:00:07 pm Giorgos Keramidas wrote:
> >>   - Import your MTA of choice in a local branch.
> >>   - Integrate the $NEWMTA with the base system of FreeBSD.
> >>   - Update the manpages and documentation for $NEWMTA.
> >>   - Submit the patches to the FreeBSD team for review.
> >>   - Keep updating them as FreeBSD changes.
> >>   - Maintain and keep the $NEWMTA in shape, by:
> >>       + reimporting new releases
> >>       + fixing any bugs that creep up
> >>       + answering questions of the people who are in a (painful)
> >>         transitional phase while the dust from $NEWMTA import
> >> settles + showing that you have a genuine interest to keep $NEWMTA
> >> in a functional, up to date, working condition
> >>
> >> This is a *lot* of work.  Don't be fooled into thinking that I am
> >> ever implying it's going to be easy.  It will take time, patience,
> >> a _lot_ of effort on the part of the submitter, and a sizable
> >> amount of _time_.
> >
> > That's way outside of the scope of the OP question .. yet still:
> >
> > Wasn't ZFS (and isn't) a lot of work?
> > Aren't DMA, OpenSMTP, OpenCVS, ULE a lot of work?
> > Weren't OpenSSH, OpenSSL, SMP support a lot of work?
> >
> > Actually, I really have a hard time looking for something that
> > wasn't, isn't, or will be a *lot* of work.
> >
> > Maybe we could ask Ed Schouten if his xterm-style emulator will or
> > will not be a *lot* of work .. like to have an authoritative answer
> > ...
> >
> > And since we are at it, wasn't translating the whole FreeBSD
> > documentation into greek a *lot* of work Giorgos. Maybe you could
> > provide us with an authoritative answer too.
> >
> > What wasn't that didn't stop you from doing it??
> Yes, all this was a lot of work and it still is.  What I wrote is not
> in the spirit of silencing anyone who wants to see Sendmail go.  It
> was a description of how it _can_ be done.

I know Giorgios .. you are a good guy and you do _a_lot_ for FreeBSD, 
specially: advocacy work ... I've seen it in you flickr ;)

I know you never meant to silence anyone.

> >> But it is not impossible.  So, anyone who really _wants_ to do it,
> >> is really both welcome to go ahead and certainly free to do it.
> >
> > Given the state of the "status quo" .. I really doubt anyone will
> > stand up to take that task into his hands .. even if as a GSOC.
> Back when we started to translate the Handbook to Greek, it seemed
> like an impossibly huge task.  A humongous and scary task.  Something
> that would probably *never* be complete and 'done'.
> Ask our translators now.  After almost 8 years of chipping at the
> bits here and there, we have a loosely organized team of people who
> actually _like_ doing this sort of stuff.
> So, anyone who is interested to see Sendmail go, should know that it
> is going to be a large and time-consuming undertaking.  But they
> should also know that it is not _impossible_.  All the projects you
> described above, including the ones I'm affiliated with, were
> actually _made_ possible by sitting down and doing the work.

That was exactly my point. Im glad you understood it the right way.

> What I don't really like is arguing this way and that way, without
> any intention of actually putting one's code where one's mouth is. 
> If we can reduce _that_ and work on actual "patches" then the status
> quo can change.

Personally, I don't like arguing either .. but I can't help but seeing 
it as the only possible kickstart when positions on a subject are so 
radically taken.

Now, regarding the "putting one's code where one's mouth is.", that's 
not only an ideal but also likely scenario ... but look back in time on 
what happened with other such projects (Constantine Murenin as an 
example .. and just because I don't want to name other projects/ideas 
that ended up giving birth to new BSD systems ...) and wonder what 
would the scenario be knowing in advanced that "status quo" is not on 
your side .. and that even worse .. it's in the other.

What I'm basically trying to say is that history accounts for the fact 
that no matter how much you put your code where your mouth is, "status 
quo" will remain "status quo" .. and that is what facts have showned so 

So, in view of those facts, I can hardly see anyone writing a single 
line of code to change the present situation unless "status quo" takes 
the first step .. and even in that case .. I can understand a lot of 
reluctancy on sitting down and doing the work

> Until then, the status quo is here because it works, it has been
> stable for a very long time, and it serves its current purpose "well
> enough".

Beg to disagree ...

Best Regards and thanks for such a polite, reasonable and sensible 
Gonzalo Nemmi

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