Wandering Thoughts archives

2006-09-01

Link: The Single Unix Specification et al

The Open Group Base Specification Issue 6 is, well, to quote it:

This standard is the single common revision to IEEE Std 1003.1-1996, IEEE Std 1003.2-1992, and the Base Specifications of The Open Group Single UNIX Specification, Version 2.

(Those IEEE standards are better known as 'POSIX'.)

The Single Unix Specification (SUS) is a very useful authoritative reference for how various things should behave in theory. (How they behave in fact is a different issue; not everything is correctly implemented, and not everything is SUS/POSIX compliant to start with.)

You'd think that the Open Group would make this stuff openly available, but instead they want you to register and provide them with various personal details. As we can see here, that is not strictly speaking necessary; you just need the right magic URL.

(From Andree Leidenfrost via Debian Planet.)

links/SingleUnixSpecification written at 23:35:09; Add Comment

Why Postfix is not my favorite mailer

Today I was unpleasantly surprised to discover that Postfix defaults to having a 50 megabyte size limit on user mailboxes, after which email bounces. This default limit is apparently sufficiently unimportant to not be mentioned in the 'basic' or 'standard' general configuration documentation.

Perhaps this will strike people as a petty reason for disliking Postfix; after all, it's just one configuration option. But it is the symptom of a deeper problem.

Since Postfix people have made one dangerous random arbitrary default (and not drawn attention to it), I can't count on them not to have made more that I just haven't tripped over yet. In other words, I can no longer count on them to have a sane default configuration.

This means that I have to examine the default for every configuration option Postfix has, just in case it's going to eat email in the future. If you have never looked, Postfix has a lot of configuration options; the HTML page documenting them all is over 400 Kb. Many of them will be unimportant, many of them will have sane defaults, and Postfix has forced me to still read them all just in case.

Worse, I can't count on the Postfix people not to introduce more insanity in upgrades (since it's clear that their ideas of sanity are significantly different from mine), so I'll get to periodically repeat this exercise more or less in perpetuity as long as I run Postfix.

So, in short, Postfix is not my favorite mailer because it has made it clear that I can no longer trust it.

(To be clear, I am still confidant that Postfix won't accidentally eat mail. I'm sure that all of the mail eating it may do to me in the future will be deliberate, set up by people who felt that it made perfect sense to eat email in that circumstance.)

sysadmin/PostfixDislike written at 17:08:29; Add Comment


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