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okay, what _can't_ sendmail do?

In article <3vjnrk$ru7@news1.wing.net>, Paul G. Fox <pgf@american.com> wrote:
>Subject: Re: okay, what _can't_ sendmail do?

Gateway to/from X.400, and any other system not based on RFC 822.

Authorization, that is, implementing policies such as "only local
users may mail this address", or "don't relay traffic from foo.com to
bar.edu".  In general, anything which requires considering originator
and recipient addresses together must be handled outside sendmail.

>is sendmail the continuing solution of choice because it's
>   a) the right solution
>   b) a good enough solution,
>   c) the most commonly shipped solution, or
>   d) the only unencumbered source-available solution.

Bits of a), and b), but mostly c).  d) is simply not the case.

>is there no reason for someone to do a ground-up new solution?

Clearly not, since plenty of people have done so.  They usually end up
wanting to sell it, though.

>                                                                i'm aware
>of MMDF and smail -- why has MMDF had such a falling off, and why don't
>more people use smail?

So far as I'm aware, there's been no development work on MMDF for at
least five years.  That's a very long time in this business: just try
installing MMDF on a modern Unix box...  When you do get it to compile,
it has some very nasty habits, such as turning every address into a
route.  Finally, its configuration is scarcely easier to get to grips
with than sendmail's.  Yes, you really do have to declare `flags=ns' in
two different places to make it use the DNS properly...

I haven't looked at smail for a while.  Last time I did, it clearly
showed its origins as a UUCP mailer (for example, pathalias is part of
the smail package).  At least some of the Linux distributions ship with
smail, so it's probably gaining popularity.

Development of the freely-available PP unfortunately stopped about 3
years ago, so this is rapidly going the same way as MMDF.

I looked at Zmailer once, it seemed quite good at first glance.  It
doesn't seem to have much of a following, though.

Tim.
--
Tim Goodwin        | "It's always a mistake to assume that the legal
Public IP Exchange | system behaves rationally." -- Robin Fairbairns

Original headers:

From: tim@pipex.net (Tim Goodwin)
Newsgroups: comp.mail.sendmail
Subject: Re: okay, what _can't_ sendmail do?
Date: 2 Aug 1995 17:59:49 +0100
Organization: PIPEX, 216 Science Park, Cambridge, England
Message-ID: <3voau5$kb1@pipe.pipex.net>
References: <3vjnrk$ru7@news1.wing.net>

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