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

pete wright nomadlogic at gmail.com
Wed Oct 28 01:43:47 UTC 2009

On Tue, Oct 27, 2009 at 6:24 PM, Lars Eighner
<luvbeastie at larseighner.com> wrote:
> On Tue, 27 Oct 2009, pete wright wrote:
>> On Tue, Oct 27, 2009 at 5:16 PM, Lars Eighner
>> <luvbeastie at larseighner.com> wrote:
>>>> You guessed wrong.
>>>> We use m4, which cuts out most of the crap that you had to write into
>>>> sendmail.cf. You write sendmail.mc and compile it. Sendmail.mc on my
>>>> system is less than 50 lines long, including comments.
>>>> http://www.sendmail.org/m4/intro.html
>>> That's as poorly documented and incomprehensible as .cf by hand.  What is
>>> your interest in sendmail?  Are you connected with it in someway?
>>>  Surely,
>>> yours could not be the opinion of someone who doesn't get a piece of
>>> O'Reilly's royalties.  It's the same old crap, give the software away,
>>> sell
>>> the documentation.
>> well shit man - Eric's actually a super nice guy and has made some
>> major contributions to computing so I reckon he deserves *some*
>> respect for the work he's done on sendmail.
> Evidently by making it necessary to learn yet another scripting language
> to configure it.  Other than personal profit I cannot see why people are
> clinging like grim death to something this fubar.  Really, let's go past
> this one more time:

ok i'm just gonna suggest you read up on the history of sendmail to
gain some perspective on why/when it was written.  i'm not saying that
there are no issues with it - but i think some historical perspective
would do you a world of good.

regarding having to learn a new language i'm not sure about that as i
wouldn't say i "know" m4 - but I can rtfm, and the default .mc files
are actually well documented.  so yea...

> "Sure, sendmail.cf is hard to work with so the solution is you learn m4!"
> Did you look at the link he offered?  How helpful is that?
> Beside which, m4 is a PORT.  So if sendmail is not configurable without a
> port, why isn't it a port?

sure it's a port, sendmail is a port too.  but that does not mean you
need to install the port to compile custom .mc files for your server.
in fact if you check out /etc/mail/Makefile you might notice that m4
is actually part of the base system:

anywho i should stop feeding the troll.


pete wright

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