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

Erik Norgaard norgaard at locolomo.org
Thu Oct 29 21:32:26 UTC 2009

Ruben de Groot wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 06:55:20PM +0100, Erik Norgaard typed:
>> Giorgos Keramidas wrote:
>> I don't argue for a replacement but for the elimination. Install a port 
>> if you need an MTA, you're happy with that way for so many other 
>> standard services.
> Isn't this going a little too far? What other posix systems ship whith no
> default MTA at all? Not many I would say.

That would be a valid argument if an MTA is required to comply with the 
posix standard. AFAIK it is not.

>> The default should be to dump cron output to a file. No need to setup 4 
>> mail clients. Only if you want to send the output to a remote address 
>> would you need to do this.
> No need to setup mail clients? How about you having to create an 
> infrastructure to parse all these files on your servers? I like the way it
> is: create an alias for root and be done with it.

What? This is silly. Currently cron sends you output to the root inbox, 
do you require an infrastructure to parse these mails? I suggest to dump 
this same output to a file which can easily be read using more.

>> The option remains to install from ports as with so many other things.
> And many other things not. Or do you want to go the linux way: just a kernel
> and the rest in packages? I like a complete OS.

That's the key to the discussion, when is the OS complete? I could do 
without Sendmail, FTP daemon and NIS. Or the other way, why is there no 
http daemon in base, or no ldap? There really is no right answer to 
that, things change.

It is always a valid discussion to question what should be part of base, 
if new things should be included and other things removed or replaced. 
If you reject this discussion with arguments such as "because it's 
always been there" then you risk FreeBSD will simply become legacy itself.

>> My concern is if some heavy legacy application, because of history or 
>> tradition, remains in base will draw resources from advancing in other 
>> areas that are much more relevant today.
> sendmail is NOT a legacy application. It's actively being developed 
> ON FreeBSD. Actually, the maintainer(s) are doing a great job and are
> definetely NOT drawing resources from anyone or anything else.

Of course it is being actively developed, it has to, it's in base. You 
suggest that if Sendmail was not in base, then these developers 
currently maintaining Sendmail would be doing nothing instead?

Yes, it does take resources. How much resources are spent on Sendmail, I 
have no idea.

> These discussions are. 

Absolutely, I was just bored, so it seems are you :)

> Also the sources in /usr/src/contrib/sendmail/src are 2.2 MB. That's
> not heavy at all.

File size is not a measure of code quality, or the effort required to 
maintain it.

Regards, Erik

Erik Nørgaard
Ph: +34.666334818/+34.915211157                  http://www.locolomo.org

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