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"nobody is going to write a new MTA"

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  • Ralf Hildebrandt
    Turns out Wietse was wrong: http://lwn.net/SubscriberLink/334866/fffe7b1a0716c0e4/ -- Ralf Hildebrandt Postfix - Einrichtung, Betrieb und Wartung Tel.
    Message 1 of 16 , May 28, 2009
      Turns out Wietse was wrong:
      http://lwn.net/SubscriberLink/334866/fffe7b1a0716c0e4/

      --
      Ralf Hildebrandt
      Postfix - Einrichtung, Betrieb und Wartung Tel. +49 (0)30-450 570-155
      http://www.computerbeschimpfung.de
      I have never seen anything fill up a vacuum so fast and still suck.
      -- Rob Pike, commenting on the X Window System.
    • John Peach
      On Thu, 28 May 2009 11:56:38 +0200 ... All political; no real rational reasoning for it........ -- John
      Message 2 of 16 , May 28, 2009
        On Thu, 28 May 2009 11:56:38 +0200
        Ralf Hildebrandt <Ralf.Hildebrandt@...> wrote:

        > Turns out Wietse was wrong:
        > http://lwn.net/SubscriberLink/334866/fffe7b1a0716c0e4/
        >

        All political; no real rational reasoning for it........


        --
        John
      • Ralf Hildebrandt
        ... I know, but still worth an informational message -- Ralf Hildebrandt Postfix - Einrichtung, Betrieb und Wartung Tel. +49 (0)30-450 570-155
        Message 3 of 16 , May 28, 2009
          > > Turns out Wietse was wrong:
          > > http://lwn.net/SubscriberLink/334866/fffe7b1a0716c0e4/
          >
          > All political; no real rational reasoning for it........

          I know, but still worth an informational message

          --
          Ralf Hildebrandt
          Postfix - Einrichtung, Betrieb und Wartung Tel. +49 (0)30-450 570-155
          http://www.computerbeschimpfung.de
          Standard Cyrus SASL behaviour. SASL developers don't believe in
          logging. Logging is for wimps, real men use their psychic abilities
          to find out what's going on. -- Liviu Daia
        • Marcio Merlone
          ... I see no technical reason, but politics _sometimes_ are rational. Did they talk to Wietse about licensing terms for postfix, maybe considering a double
          Message 4 of 16 , May 28, 2009
            John Peach escreveu:
            > On Thu, 28 May 2009 11:56:38 +0200
            > Ralf Hildebrandt <Ralf.Hildebrandt@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            >> Turns out Wietse was wrong:
            >> http://lwn.net/SubscriberLink/334866/fffe7b1a0716c0e4/
            >>
            >
            > All political; no real rational reasoning for it........
            >

            I see no technical reason, but politics _sometimes_ are rational. Did
            they talk to Wietse about licensing terms for postfix, maybe considering
            a double licensing scheme? Did Wietse knew or dreamed about it?

            Regards,

            --
            Marcio Merlone
          • Miles Fidelman
            ... I m not sure I would characterize a disagreement over licensing terms as political. There are plenty of non-political reasons for wanting a mailer
            Message 5 of 16 , May 28, 2009
              John Peach wrote:
              > On Thu, 28 May 2009 11:56:38 +0200
              > Ralf Hildebrandt <Ralf.Hildebrandt@...> wrote:
              >
              >> Turns out Wietse was wrong:
              >> http://lwn.net/SubscriberLink/334866/fffe7b1a0716c0e4/
              >>
              >>
              >
              > All political; no real rational reasoning for it........
              >
              >
              I'm not sure I would characterize a disagreement over licensing terms as
              "political."

              There are plenty of non-political reasons for wanting a mailer
              unencumbered by a copyleft
              style license (the rational cited in the article).

              Miles

              --
              In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
              In practice, there is. .... Yogi Berra
            • Wietse Venema
              ... OpenBSD objected to the current license. I asked them to look at a newer IBM license and that did not address their objection. I was not motivated to spend
              Message 6 of 16 , May 28, 2009
                Marcio Merlone:
                > John Peach escreveu:
                > > On Thu, 28 May 2009 11:56:38 +0200
                > > Ralf Hildebrandt <Ralf.Hildebrandt@...> wrote:
                > >
                > >> Turns out Wietse was wrong:
                > >> http://lwn.net/SubscriberLink/334866/fffe7b1a0716c0e4/
                > >
                > > All political; no real rational reasoning for it........
                >
                > I see no technical reason, but politics _sometimes_ are rational. Did
                > they talk to Wietse about licensing terms for postfix, maybe considering
                > a double licensing scheme? Did Wietse knew or dreamed about it?

                OpenBSD objected to the current license. I asked them to look at
                a newer IBM license and that did not address their objection. I
                was not motivated to spend a lot of time with IBM lawyers to draft
                up a new license.

                Apart from that, if they come up with a decent MTA then I welcome
                some competition. More motivation for me to look into postfix-lite.

                Wietse
              • Marcio Merlone
                ... That would be great, I have some servers wich sends nothing but administrative mails to me, logcheck, crontab, such annoying things. They need nothing more
                Message 7 of 16 , May 28, 2009
                  Wietse Venema escreveu:
                  > (...)
                  > Apart from that, if they come up with a decent MTA then I welcome
                  > some competition. More motivation for me to look into postfix-lite.
                  >
                  That would be great, I have some servers wich sends nothing but
                  administrative mails to me, logcheck, crontab, such annoying things.
                  They need nothing more than a bare bones MTA wich is able to send mails
                  to a relay host.

                  Best Regards.

                  --
                  Marcio Merlone
                • Simon Waters
                  ... Debian has ssmtp which was written to do something like this. However I think it is too simple being as such a tool needs a queue for the emails root
                  Message 8 of 16 , May 28, 2009
                    On Thursday 28 May 2009 14:41:30 Marcio Merlone wrote:
                    >
                    > That would be great, I have some servers wich sends nothing but
                    > administrative mails to me, logcheck, crontab, such annoying things.
                    > They need nothing more than a bare bones MTA wich is able to send mails
                    > to a relay host.

                    Debian has ssmtp which was written to do something like this.

                    However I think it is "too simple" being as such a tool needs a queue for the
                    emails root sends when the network is down (or maybe you regard that
                    as "first cause analysis" :-).

                    As a result I used postfix on such boxes because the Debian package can be
                    persuaded to do a suitable "listen on localhost and forward to smarthost"
                    config via debconf so no editting of config files.

                    But it does feel like overkill, and doesn't support some common configurations
                    easily, so I'm open to better ideas.

                    "Common configurations" would be = can forward to SMTP submission host using
                    SMTP over SSL, and/or other ways of submitting to an account keeping the
                    password encrypted (think mobile linux device queuing up system emails to
                    send via regular email submission account when it next gets net access).

                    Meanwhile I guess lots of minuscule postfix installs will have to do.
                  • Victor Duchovni
                    ... Postfix lite does not mean a stripped-down MTA. It means a cleaner Postfix free of the weight of backwards-compatibility constraints, and thus able to
                    Message 9 of 16 , May 28, 2009
                      On Thu, May 28, 2009 at 10:41:30AM -0300, Marcio Merlone wrote:

                      > Wietse Venema escreveu:
                      >> (...)
                      >> Apart from that, if they come up with a decent MTA then I welcome
                      >> some competition. More motivation for me to look into postfix-lite.
                      >>
                      > That would be great, I have some servers wich sends nothing but
                      > administrative mails to me, logcheck, crontab, such annoying things. They
                      > need nothing more than a bare bones MTA wich is able to send mails to a
                      > relay host.

                      Postfix "lite" does not mean a stripped-down MTA. It means a cleaner
                      Postfix free of the weight of backwards-compatibility constraints,
                      and thus able to shed *some* baggage. I think this still means a
                      fully-featured MTA.

                      --
                      Viktor.

                      Disclaimer: off-list followups get on-list replies or get ignored.
                      Please do not ignore the "Reply-To" header.

                      To unsubscribe from the postfix-users list, visit
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                      If my response solves your problem, the best way to thank me is to not
                      send an "it worked, thanks" follow-up. If you must respond, please put
                      "It worked, thanks" in the "Subject" so I can delete these quickly.
                    • LuKreme
                      On 28 May 2009, at 03:56, Ralf Hildebrandt ... Would it be approriate to ask what the issues are with postfix s license? I hate to admit it, but I ve never
                      Message 10 of 16 , May 28, 2009
                        On 28 May 2009, at 03:56, Ralf Hildebrandt
                        <Ralf.Hildebrandt@...> wrote:

                        > Turns out Wietse was wrong:
                        > http://lwn.net/SubscriberLink/334866/fffe7b1a0716c0e4/

                        Would it be approriate to ask what the issues are with postfix's
                        license? I hate to admit it, but I've never read it.
                      • Wietse Venema
                        ... Fully-featured as far as RFCs are concerned, but not necessarily drop-in compatible with earlier Postfix configurations or file formats. Ideally this means
                        Message 11 of 16 , May 28, 2009
                          Victor Duchovni:
                          > On Thu, May 28, 2009 at 10:41:30AM -0300, Marcio Merlone wrote:
                          >
                          > > Wietse Venema escreveu:
                          > >> (...)
                          > >> Apart from that, if they come up with a decent MTA then I welcome
                          > >> some competition. More motivation for me to look into postfix-lite.
                          > >>
                          > > That would be great, I have some servers wich sends nothing but
                          > > administrative mails to me, logcheck, crontab, such annoying things. They
                          > > need nothing more than a bare bones MTA wich is able to send mails to a
                          > > relay host.
                          >
                          > Postfix "lite" does not mean a stripped-down MTA. It means a cleaner
                          > Postfix free of the weight of backwards-compatibility constraints,
                          > and thus able to shed *some* baggage. I think this still means a
                          > fully-featured MTA.

                          Fully-featured as far as RFCs are concerned, but not necessarily
                          drop-in compatible with earlier Postfix configurations or file
                          formats.

                          Ideally this means eliminating thousands of lines of non-obvious
                          code, either by removing the feature or workaround altogether, or
                          by replacing it with code that is easier to maintain but not 100%
                          compatible. This will be a slow process.

                          Wietse
                        • mouss
                          ... license issues are not simple if you are a vendor/reseller or if you distribute an OS that is used by vendors/resellers. for end-users, it doesn t matter
                          Message 12 of 16 , May 28, 2009
                            LuKreme a écrit :
                            > On 28 May 2009, at 03:56, Ralf Hildebrandt <Ralf.Hildebrandt@...>
                            > wrote:
                            >
                            >> Turns out Wietse was wrong:
                            >> http://lwn.net/SubscriberLink/334866/fffe7b1a0716c0e4/
                            >
                            > Would it be approriate to ask what the issues are with postfix's
                            > license? I hate to admit it, but I've never read it.
                            >
                            >

                            license issues are not simple if you are a vendor/reseller or if you
                            distribute an OS that is used by vendors/resellers.

                            for end-users, it doesn't matter much whether the software is gpl, bsdl,
                            apache, artistic, .. (well, the may like this or that, but they can
                            freely use either).

                            but if you distribute a system that will be used by commercial vendors,
                            things get different. and they are complex because it's not about your
                            interpretation of the license, but about possible interpretations by the
                            vendors/resellers/customers.

                            the OpenBSD guys take this a bit too "aggressively". on the other hand,
                            this approach has resulted in good software (the so-called OpenBSD pf is
                            a good example, although the story was "special").
                          • brian moore
                            On Thu, 28 May 2009 09:12:28 -0600 ... The issue is the GPL-like clause: A Contributor may choose to distribute the Program in object code form under its own
                            Message 13 of 16 , May 28, 2009
                              On Thu, 28 May 2009 09:12:28 -0600
                              LuKreme <kremels@...> wrote:

                              > On 28 May 2009, at 03:56, Ralf Hildebrandt
                              > <Ralf.Hildebrandt@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > > Turns out Wietse was wrong:
                              > > http://lwn.net/SubscriberLink/334866/fffe7b1a0716c0e4/
                              >
                              > Would it be approriate to ask what the issues are with postfix's
                              > license? I hate to admit it, but I've never read it.

                              The issue is the GPL-like clause:

                              A Contributor may choose to distribute the Program in object code form
                              under its own license agreement, provided that:

                              <snip of standard non-warranty/liability/etc>

                              iv) states that source code for the Program is available from
                              such Contributor, and informs licensees how to obtain it in a
                              reasonable manner on or through a medium customarily used for
                              software exchange.

                              I'm not sure why that's such a big deal. But it is to some.

                              But that's at least as much religious as political... and as
                              mouss points out, end-users generally don't care (unless of
                              course, they have their own religious views on the matter).
                            • Roger Marquis
                              ... Which is, interestingly enough, a good reason _not_ to adopt BSD-style licensing. Doing so would enable GNU to simply fork the entire Postfix codebase and
                              Message 14 of 16 , May 28, 2009
                                mouss wrote:
                                > but if you distribute a system that will be used by commercial vendors,
                                > things get different. and they are complex because it's not about your
                                > interpretation of the license, but about possible interpretations by the
                                > vendors/resellers/customers.

                                Which is, interestingly enough, a good reason _not_ to adopt BSD-style
                                licensing.

                                Doing so would enable GNU to simply fork the entire Postfix codebase and
                                re-release it under a GPL license. If that occurred the FSF would be able
                                to file a lawsuit against anyone who writes but does not publish their own
                                code against the GPL diffs, or at least anyone with deep pockets. Note(1)
                                IBM has deep pockets. Note(2) the FSF has successfully sued Cisco for
                                using GPL code. Note(3) somewhere around half of the Linux code-base is
                                re-licensed from original BSD sources. Note(4) Linux distributions
                                contribute back essentially nothing to the BSD codebase.

                                > the OpenBSD guys take this a bit too "aggressively". on the other hand,
                                > this approach has resulted in good software (the so-called OpenBSD pf is
                                > a good example, although the story was "special").

                                This is the interesting part. For all of Theo de Raadt's complaints about
                                GNU "stealing" BSD code (search on "OpenBSD: Stealing vs. Sharing Code") it
                                apparently does not concern him enough to change OpenBSD's license to
                                something more like Postfix, Apache, MIT, or SCSL licensing.

                                Bottom line is that a healthy software ecosystem requires both types of
                                licensing. Personally, I'll be happy if OpenSMTPD just does better than
                                OpenNTPD did.

                                Roger Marquis
                              • Victor Duchovni
                                ... Way off topic. Lets stop here please... -- Viktor. Disclaimer: off-list followups get on-list replies or get ignored. Please do not ignore the Reply-To
                                Message 15 of 16 , May 28, 2009
                                  On Thu, May 28, 2009 at 07:00:43PM -0700, Roger Marquis wrote:

                                  > mouss wrote:
                                  >> but if you distribute a system that will be used by commercial vendors,
                                  >> things get different. and they are complex because it's not about your
                                  >> interpretation of the license, but about possible interpretations by the
                                  >> vendors/resellers/customers.
                                  >
                                  > Which is, interestingly enough, a good reason _not_ to adopt BSD-style
                                  > licensing.

                                  Way off topic. Lets stop here please...

                                  --
                                  Viktor.

                                  Disclaimer: off-list followups get on-list replies or get ignored.
                                  Please do not ignore the "Reply-To" header.

                                  To unsubscribe from the postfix-users list, visit
                                  http://www.postfix.org/lists.html or click the link below:
                                  <mailto:majordomo@...?body=unsubscribe%20postfix-users>

                                  If my response solves your problem, the best way to thank me is to not
                                  send an "it worked, thanks" follow-up. If you must respond, please put
                                  "It worked, thanks" in the "Subject" so I can delete these quickly.
                                • Jordi Espasa Clofent
                                  ... Well, I would say coherently instead of aggressively +info: http://www.openbsd.org/policy.html http://www.openbsd.org/faq/faq1.html#HowAbout And yes,
                                  Message 16 of 16 , May 29, 2009
                                    mouss escribió:

                                    > the OpenBSD guys take this a bit too "aggressively". on the other hand,
                                    > this approach has resulted in good software (the so-called OpenBSD pf is
                                    > a good example, although the story was "special").

                                    Well, I would say 'coherently instead of 'aggressively'

                                    +info:
                                    http://www.openbsd.org/policy.html
                                    http://www.openbsd.org/faq/faq1.html#HowAbout

                                    And yes, the history behind PF origin is curious at least.

                                    --
                                    Thanks,
                                    Jordi Espasa Clofent
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