Beginner Question

Glenn Steen glenn.steen at
Thu Nov 22 09:44:55 GMT 2007

On 21/11/2007, Gerard <gerard at> wrote:
> > On Wednesday November 21, 2007 at 11:52:58 (AM) Scott Silva wrote:
> > on 11/21/2007 4:33 AM Gerard spake the following:
> > >> On Wednesday November 21, 2007 at 04:16:04 (AM) Andreas Kasenides wrote:
> > >
> > > [snip]
> > >
> > >> I was very suddened by the discussion in the Postfix lists. In my view   this
> > >> sort of thing should happen in the commercial software world, not on open
> > >> source projects. I would appreciate an answer (even if it is obvious) from
> > >> somebody that nows enough of the internals of MS.
> > >
> > > I honestly do not agree with that assessment. If these were commercial products
> > > with millions of dollars, or whatever currency you are dealing with involved,
> > > I can guarantee that Wietse and Julian would have worked out there differences
> > > long ago. Microsoft could easily write code that would prevent any but its own
> > > applications from working correctly; however, that would be suicide.
> >
> > Microsoft has done this in the past. They made windows 3.1 crash on DRDOS is
> > the first one I remember. They caused problems in a few versions of
> > Wordperfect in the Windows95 days, although Wordperfect might have shot
> > themselves in the foot on those.
> 1) Win31 did not crash with DRDOS; it issued a warning message that an action
> could not be completed in certain circumstances. The error message was a false
> flag since the operation was completed. I agree that Microsoft probably did
> plant this in their source code; however, they were far from the only software
> distributor pulling stunts like this in the early days of home PC use. In any
> case, this is nearly a 20 year old event.
Does any of this matter?
What rankled me a bit in your first post, Gerard, was the assertion
(rather uninformed, IMO) that Europe (which you seem to equate to the
European Union) is some form of socialist state... (Please update your
political understanding a bit!:-), and that the EU was acting outside
some type of legal bounds. This is just plain not true. The action
taken against MicroSoft is well founded, and has nothing to do with
20-year-old "sins". I wont go into this further, it is severely OT
enough, as is:-).

What you do is celebrate the market economy as a political
standpoint..... something that has historically been show to be false,
time and time again. Corporations will not take the responsibility
they should. That is plainly not in the market model. Unless, of
course, the "market" (a.k.a. we consumers) "demand" ethics and
Failing that, legislation is needed. Even today.
We can carp and rant about it, it will not change a thing.
Note that if anything, my personal political views are rather
anti-socialist ... That doesn't per definition make me a facist or
commercialist/mercantilist ...;-)

The fun thing is that OSS as such is a celebration of one of the
founding principles of socialism: That we as a collective/community
can do more than any one person/corporation.
So the picture isn't all black, or white for that matter.... It's
mostly a study in gray:-):-)

> 2) Word Perfect was sold to Novel who had no idea how to market the product.
> While they floundered, Microsoft spend an estimated $10 million dollars to
> study Word Perfect and improve on it. In the end, they produced the finest
> word processor on the market. Word Perfect simply died, not because of any
> overt act by Microsoft, but rather through neglect by its owners. Even though
> Word Perfect has since changed owners again, it has never regained its
> dominance in the market place. Word Perfect v. MS Office is a perfect example
> of how the market place, and not some scummy government bureaucrat, should
> drive software development. Unfortunately, it is all too often the other way
> around.

A public servant shouldn't be "scummy", so if yours are... Elect better ones;-).

About the very tired ol' "my wordprocessor is better than yours"...
Yes, Novell fumbled the ball, no doubt. At that time they pretty much
fumbled all balls:-). And WP wasn't all that good, in all honesty.
Personally I use OoO wherever I can, and propagate the use of Linux
(or other "*nix products"). Not only because I detest the MicroSoft
alternatives (which I for the most part happen to do), but also
because that for a majority of laymen users... It is functionally
enough in terms of usability, cost and ... well ... function:-). But
since I (effectively) can't buy a computer without a pre-installed OS,
and that OS is one of the M$ turds... this is seldom applied to new
hardware. Oh well.

> >   Symantec
> > > could develop its AV program to crash any MUA it did not approve of.
> > Have you tried a recent version of Symantec 360?
> 1) Not personally. I use "ZoneAlarm Suite" on my Windows machines. I just did
> a quick Googling for "Symantec+360" but did not find anything relevant.
> >   That
> > > would cost it money, something commercial enterprises are not to keen to do.
> > >
> > > Yes, incompatibilities do arise from time to time; however, they are usually
> > > attended to quickly. The old adage, "Money Talks" is relevant here. With no
> > > monetary gain involved, or board of directors to contend with, the motivation
> > > to remedy a situation declines proportionately.
> > >
> > > Who is to blame for this diabolical situation is debatable. Postfix is the
> > > program that Mailscanner is accessing, so therefore there could be made a case
> > > that Postfix is the one to make the rules. Wietse has not made any overt
> > > changes to his product that would prevent Mailscanner from working with it;
> > He does change it regularly, although it is his right to do so, and it breaks
> > MailScanner often.
> 1) It is called 'updating' or 'product maintenance', if you prefer. There is a
> world of difference between updating/maintaining a program and placing a bomb
> in one. It is very magnanimous of you to give him your approval to code his
> program as he see fit. You assertion that he is breaking Mailscanner is absurd.
> If there was an API in place, then I would agree with you (perhaps); however,
> sans such a path, Mailscanner is simply using a back door method to access the
> output of Postfix. Wietse has stated that he wants Mailscanner to access
> Postfix using SMTP as is commonly done by other applications that work with
> Postfix. Julian has chosen not to go that route. If the two of them cannot
> come to a mutually agreeable solution, then Wietse is free to do as he wants
> without regards for Julian and Mailscanner.

Wietse is very well in his rights to do whatever he please with
Postfix. Julian has the exact same right WRT MailScanner.
There has never been any doubt about that.
The SMTP route isn't directly usable for batch processing, so isn't
really an option for MailScanner. This alone is justification enough
to do things as they're done in MS.
An alternative would be to let Postfix (through one of the "known"
interfaces ...) "talk" to a piece of software that writes all the
necessary tidbits into a "black bag" where MailScanner can later
extract it... This route has actually been explored in the past, but
never caught on.
Mostly because the need for such an "extra" layer wasn't great enough.
If you like, we as consumers (a.k.a. the market;-) decided that the
way things are is fine enough.

> > > however, there is nothing that would prevent him from doing so. It would seem,
> > > at least from my view point, that an acceptable API should be developed,
> > > similar to what Dovecot and Postfix achieved, to alleviate this problem.
> > > Unfortunately, that would require a dialog between the parties involved. From
> > > what I have deduced, that does not presently exist.
> > If you look at some of the old dialogs, there was only one approved way to do
> > things, and that was Wietse's way. That is more of a diatribe than a dialog.
> 1) Again, it is his program. Has has the right to make decisions on how it
> should interact or be accessed by other application. You either play by his
> rules, or attempt to circumvent them. It must be remembered, that if you
> devise you own unapproved methods then you are accepting full responsibility
> for any and all actions that evolve. I am not saying that anything disastrous
> will ensue; however, if it does, you have no recourse and no one to blame but
> yourself.

It *IS* his program, but it is also open source. By maing it thus...
he has left the door open to do exactly what we do. And we *DO* take
full responsibility for this. There has never been any doubt about
One would wish that instead of the "That is unsupported, remove it"
line, the PF devs would change to "That is unsupported by us, go ask
at the MailScanner list". Pretty much like we do for things like
OpenProtect etc.
Just plain acting maturely and in a civilized way:-).

> > >
> > > Just my unsolicited 2¢.
> > I see your 2¢ and raise a nickel.
> Wow, a whole 7¢.
You'll get 0.50 SEK (50 öre...) from me;-)

> --
> Gerard

-- Glenn
email: glenn < dot > steen < at > gmail < dot > com
work: glenn < dot > steen < at > ap1 < dot > se

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