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Old 11-28-2008, 05:12 PM
Gerrit Pape
 
Default qmail and related packages in NEW

Hi, I'm quite surprised how the inclusion of qmail and related packages
into sid is handled, or rather not handled, by the ftpmasters.

Within a time-frame of six months I received exactly one rejection mail in
response to two uploads of the packages, a reply to the rejection mail,
and three mails asking about the progress because nothing happened.

http://smarden.org/pape/Debian/sid.html#nonprogress
Mon, 28 Apr 2008: uploaded packages to ftp-master.
Tue, 03 Jun 2008: no response, asking for progress.
Tue, 17 Jun 2008: no response, asking again.
Sun, 06 Jul 2008: received this REJECT email.
Mon, 01 Sep 2008: uploaded updated packages to NEW, and sent a reply.
Tue, 11 Nov 2008: no response, asking for progress.
Thu, 20 Nov 2008: no response.
Today: still no response.

Lacking any response, I can only guess what the reason for the delay is.
>From my point of view this reason is questionable, and I stated so in my
response to the reject mail. Receiving no response within eight weeks
tells me that discussing doesn't work.

On Mon, Sep 01, 2008 at 10:36:07PM +0000, Gerrit Pape wrote:
> On Sun, Jul 06, 2008 at 02:19:30PM +0000, Joerg Jaspert wrote:
> > Aside from these technical - and possibly fixable - problems, we (as
> > in the ftpteam) have discussed the issue, and we are all of the
> > opinion that qmail should die, and not receive support from Debian. As
> > such we *STRONGLY* ask you to reconsider uploading those packages.
> >
> > Qmail is dead upstream and requires a whole set of patches to even
> > begin to work in the manner expected of a modern MTA. Given this, the
> > fact that this means there is also no upstream security support, and
> > the fact that Debian already contains at least three reasonable MTAs,
> > we see no need to add qmail to the archive. So - please reconsider if
> > it really helps Debian to have those packages. Also feel free to start
> > a public discussion on debian-devel@lists.debian.org about the issue,
> > including any relevant information from this email, in order to gather
> > opinions from other project members.
>
> We all know, I guess, that there's lots of different opinions on the
> quality and usability of qmail. There're people thinking like you, and
> other people, including me, that have a different opinion. I respect
> your opinion, please respect ours too. You're free to not install/use
> the packages. I've been contacted by several people since I announced
> my intention to package qmail, speaking in favor of the inclusion into
> Debian.
>
> A public discussion already took place
> http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.debian.devel.wnpp/69292/
>
> I think your advise to start a discussion to gather support for the
> packages is backwards. Debian is about free software and users, the
> qmail packages are free software, and users request the inclusion into
> Debian. If you are interested in not having qmail in Debian, you are
> free to start a public discussion to find supporters for your position,
> I guess you'll get some objections too.

I've no idea where yet another thread on this list should take us. To me
the situation is clear. There's a user base for these packages, and a
Debian developer ready to maintain them.

I count at least three Debian developers speaking in favor of the
inclusion, I've been approached by several users asking me to make my
unofficial packages officially available in Debian, another Debian
developer has a package depending on qmail in the NEW queue.

In my opinion, ftpmasters should reject packages on grounds of Debian
policy or (maybe) the Debian body. If they wish a permanent rejection of
qmail and related packages, they should try to find that consensus within
Debian, and, if successful, add that decision to
http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/unable-to-package

Can you advise me on how to get out of that dilemma?

Thanks, Gerrit.

See
http://bugs.debian.org/457318
http://smarden.org/pape/Debian/sid.html#nonprogress
http://ftp-master.debian.org/new.html
http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.debian.devel.wnpp/69292/
for all the details.


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Old 11-28-2008, 06:51 PM
Neil Williams
 
Default qmail and related packages in NEW

On Fri, 28 Nov 2008 18:12:42 +0000
Gerrit Pape <pape@smarden.org> wrote:

> Hi, I'm quite surprised how the inclusion of qmail and related
> packages into sid is handled, or rather not handled, by the
> ftpmasters.

Just because a package is free software does not mean it automatically
qualifies for inclusion in Debian. Debian is not a dumping ground for
every piece of free software that can be dragged off long-dead
homepages.

> Lacking any response, I can only guess what the reason for the delay
> is.

IMHO, the response has been given and your replies have not provided
sufficient grounds to change the response. Personally, I think that is
entirely fair.

> >From my point of view this reason is questionable, and I stated so
> >in my
> response to the reject mail. Receiving no response within eight weeks
> tells me that discussing doesn't work.

Discussions only work when new information is available. Rehashing the
same points in the hope that repetition wins the day is just boring.

> On Mon, Sep 01, 2008 at 10:36:07PM +0000, Gerrit Pape wrote:
> > On Sun, Jul 06, 2008 at 02:19:30PM +0000, Joerg Jaspert wrote:
> > > Aside from these technical - and possibly fixable - problems, we
> > > (as in the ftpteam) have discussed the issue, and we are all of
> > > the opinion that qmail should die, and not receive support from
> > > Debian. As such we *STRONGLY* ask you to reconsider uploading
> > > those packages.
> > >
> > > Qmail is dead upstream and requires a whole set of patches to even
> > > begin to work in the manner expected of a modern MTA. Given
> > > this, the fact that this means there is also no upstream security
> > > support, and the fact that Debian already contains at least three
> > > reasonable MTAs, we see no need to add qmail to the archive. So -
> > > please reconsider if it really helps Debian to have those
> > > packages. Also feel free to start a public discussion on
> > > debian-devel@lists.debian.org about the issue, including any
> > > relevant information from this email, in order to gather opinions
> > > from other project members.

To me, that sounds like a perfectly reasonable and calm response to
your original question.

Packages that are dead upstream are always going to be a headache for
the security team and the release team. Bit rot is a constant source of
new bugs as all the packages around the dead one(s) continue to be
developed and improved.

> > We all know, I guess, that there's lots of different opinions on the
> > quality and usability of qmail. There're people thinking like you,
> > and other people, including me, that have a different opinion. I
> > respect your opinion, please respect ours too. You're free to not
> > install/use the packages. I've been contacted by several people
> > since I announced my intention to package qmail, speaking in favor
> > of the inclusion into Debian.

It isn't just about choosing not to install it, it causes work for the
various teams in Debian - security, release, QA.

There are always different opinions. What matters is whether there is
any new information to bring to the discussion.

> > I think your advise to start a discussion to gather support for the
> > packages is backwards. Debian is about free software and users, the
> > qmail packages are free software, and users request the inclusion
> > into Debian.

Insufficient. Debian is about quality, not merely quantity.

> > If you are interested in not having qmail in Debian,
> > you are free to start a public discussion to find supporters for
> > your position, I guess you'll get some objections too.

IMHO qmail should continue to be rejected for the reasons explained by
the original rejection response.

(This package is dead, it's joined the bit bucket invisible, it's been
left unwanted and unmaintained by the upstream. Having a debian
maintainer is insufficient - what qmail needs is a new upstream team.)

> I've no idea where yet another thread on this list should take us.

Hopefully, it will convince you that qmail has no place in Debian
until someone thinks it is worth breathing some life into the upstream
code.

> To me the situation is clear. There's a user base for these
> packages, and a Debian developer ready to maintain them.

Insufficient.

> In my opinion, ftpmasters should reject packages on grounds of Debian
> policy or (maybe) the Debian body. If they wish a permanent
> rejection of qmail and related packages, they should try to find that
> consensus within Debian, and, if successful, add that decision to
> http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/unable-to-package
>
> Can you advise me on how to get out of that dilemma?

Stop trying to get qmail into Debian?
or
Take on upstream development of qmail and solve all the problems
(whether qmail will then be recognisable compared to the existing
packages that do the same job, I have no idea).

--


Neil Williams
=============
http://www.data-freedom.org/
http://www.linux.codehelp.co.uk/
http://e-mail.is-not-s.ms/
 
Old 11-29-2008, 09:46 AM
Moritz Muehlenhoff
 
Default qmail and related packages in NEW

Neil Williams wrote:
> It isn't just about choosing not to install it, it causes work for the
> various teams in Debian - security, release, QA.=20

We've discussed this at the Security Team meeting in Essen and we don't
have a problem with qmail being included in Lenny.

Cheers,
Moritz


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Old 11-29-2008, 10:55 AM
Joerg Jaspert
 
Default qmail and related packages in NEW

>> It isn't just about choosing not to install it, it causes work for the
>> various teams in Debian - security, release, QA.=20
> We've discussed this at the Security Team meeting in Essen and we don't
> have a problem with qmail being included in Lenny.

Are you aware that qmail and its related packages do have a LOT of code
duplication? Someone tried to reinvent a libc or something, and just
copies it into every package. One bug means fixing all those packages at
once.

And AFAIK thats something the security teams do not like. At least didnt
in the past.

--
bye, Joerg
<mechanix> anyone from the MIA team around? tbm?
<Ganneff> sounds nice. how long do you have to be MIA to get into that team?
<mhp> you need to have a pgp key, I suppose. and no gpg one, and only a bo box
<Np237> yes, but it must be expired


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Old 11-29-2008, 01:02 PM
Moritz Muehlenhoff
 
Default qmail and related packages in NEW

On 2008-11-29, Joerg Jaspert <joerg@debian.org> wrote:
>
>>> It isn't just about choosing not to install it, it causes work for the
>>> various teams in Debian - security, release, QA.=20
>> We've discussed this at the Security Team meeting in Essen and we don't
>> have a problem with qmail being included in Lenny.
>
> Are you aware that qmail and its related packages do have a LOT of code
> duplication? Someone tried to reinvent a libc or something, and just
> copies it into every package. One bug means fixing all those packages at
> once.

Which? AFAICS it has some portability layers and you typically need daemontools
for djbware, but I don't see any horrible code copies.

Cheers,
Moritz


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Old 11-29-2008, 01:17 PM
Nico Golde
 
Default qmail and related packages in NEW

* Joerg Jaspert <joerg@debian.org> [2008-11-29 13:22]:
>
> >> It isn't just about choosing not to install it, it causes work for the
> >> various teams in Debian - security, release, QA.=20
> > We've discussed this at the Security Team meeting in Essen and we don't
> > have a problem with qmail being included in Lenny.
>
> Are you aware that qmail and its related packages do have a LOT of code
> duplication?

No. What I see is a lot of reimplemented stuff but not an
embedded code copy (just had a quick look) which should be
no problem from my point of view.

> Someone tried to reinvent a libc or something, and just
> copies it into every package. One bug means fixing all
> those packages at once.

Can you point me to source code? For the reimplemented stuff
I see no problem, unless its a logical bug this doesn't
apply.

> And AFAIK thats something the security teams do not like. At least didnt
> in the past.

Well at least this was also not a reason to delete a package
from the archive so far.

Cheers
Nico
--
Nico Golde - http://www.ngolde.de - nion@jabber.ccc.de - GPG: 0x73647CFF
For security reasons, all text in this mail is double-rot13 encrypted.
 
Old 11-29-2008, 10:33 PM
Joerg Jaspert
 
Default qmail and related packages in NEW

On 11583 March 1977, Gerrit Pape wrote:

As i got asked for the complete text of the rejection mail, as the
thread start only had a partial quote, here it is.

--8<------------------------schnipp------------------------->8---
From: Joerg Jaspert <ftpmaster@debian.org>
Subject: netqmail_1.06-1_powerpc.changes REJECTED
To: Gerrit Pape <pape@smarden.org>
Cc: Debian Installer <installer@ftp-master.debian.org>
Date: Sun, 06 Jul 2008 16:19:30 +0200

Hi Maintainer,

rejected, for various reasons (this mail applies to all of the various
qmail and qmail related packages currently in NEW, namely
netqmail, qmail-run, qmail-tools, dot-forward, fastforward).

First - the packaging is nowhere near the standard Debian aspires to in the
archive:

Qmail is an MTA and as such should follow Debian Policy (for example Section
11.6). It's therefore not a very good start that an MTA package needs
additional packages (qmail-run) installed to perform the minimal tasks
required of mail-transport-agent, and yet another package (fastforward) to
support /etc/aliases.

Now, looking into the binary packages provided by netqmail there are a
*few* points to list:

qmail-uids-gids
* Uses addgroup in preinst without a pre-depends
* Uses useradd instead of adduser (policy 9.2.2)
* Why install the uids/gids in preinst?
* User interaction without using debconf (policy 3.9.1) in both preinst and
postrm (ok, it's just giving info, but still)
* Aborts in preinst if:
- "Upgrading" from a pre 1.06 version (presumably unofficial)
- UIDs / GIDs aren't what it expects (as the qmail binary then uses these
UIDs *it* can't be installed without the UIDs being right, but why does
qmail-uids-gids fail?)
* Recommends manual use of userdel and groupdel rather than deluser /
delgroup in postrm

qmail
* Installs /var/lib/qmail with alias, bin, boot, queue directories
- Also:
+ users symlink to /etc/qmail/users/
+ control symlink to /etc/qmail/
+ doc symlink to /usr/share/doc/qmail/
- bin/ contains mostly symlinks back to /usr/bin and /usr/sbin but
one binary is present (config-fast)
- boot/ contains what looks like scripts (should probably be in
/usr/lib/qmail with a symlink if necessary)
- queue/ is basically the only part which any sane MTA would have in /var

* Preinst fails if attempting an upgrade from < 1.06 (presumably unofficial)
* Aborts in postinst if system doesn't have FQDN



Looking at qmail-run there is also:
* README recommends manually installing non FHS compliant symlinks:
ln -s /var/lib/qmail /var/qmail
ln -s /etc/service /service
Not a policy bug, but certainly in bad taste...
* C/R/Ps mail-transport-agent
- Now, this does provide /usr/{sbin,lib}/sendmail
- But as for /etc/aliases, /usr/sbin/newaliases is:

#!/bin/sh
cat >&2 <<EOT

qmail on Debian by default doesn't support the /etc/aliases database,
but handles mail aliases differently, please see
http://lifewithqmail.org/lwq.html#aliases

EOT
exit 1

which breaks policy 11.6
* Why is qmailctl in /usr/bin?
* preinst break on upgrades *AGAIN*
* postinst errors if no FQDN
* No man pages:

---- lintian check for qmail-run_2.0.0_all.deb ----
W: qmail-run: binary-without-manpage usr/sbin/mailq
W: qmail-run: binary-without-manpage usr/sbin/newaliases
W: qmail-run: binary-without-manpage usr/bin/qmailctl
W: qmail-run: binary-without-manpage usr/sbin/sendmail


dot-forward only has
* Lots of code duplication from netqmail in the supporting code (alloc
routines etc). Apparently djb hasn't heard of libraries.


And finally qmail-tools:
* Native tarball contains upstream tarball for queue_repair.py
* Package mainly to help with upgrading from non-free / unofficial packages,
but the scripts just state that it isn't supported...
* So only use is queue_repair.py; why native?
* /usr/sbin/queue_repair is a horribly generic name



Aside from these technical - and possibly fixable - problems, we (as in the
ftpteam) have discussed the issue, and we are all of the opinion that qmail
should die, and not receive support from Debian. As such we *STRONGLY*
ask you to reconsider uploading those packages.

Qmail is dead upstream and requires a whole set of patches to even begin to
work in the manner expected of a modern MTA. Given this, the fact that this
means there is also no upstream security support, and the fact that Debian
already contains at least three reasonable MTAs, we see no need to add qmail to
the archive. So - please reconsider if it really helps Debian to have those
packages. Also feel free to start a public discussion on
debian-devel@lists.debian.org about the issue, including any relevant
information from this email, in order to gather opinions from other project
members.

--8<------------------------schnapp------------------------->8---

--
bye, Joerg
[...]that almost anything related to "intellectual property" is idiotic
by it's nature, [...]


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Old 11-30-2008, 10:40 PM
 
Default qmail and related packages in NEW

On Nov 30, Joerg Jaspert <joerg@debian.org> wrote:

> Qmail is dead upstream and requires a whole set of patches to even begin to
> work in the manner expected of a modern MTA. Given this, the fact that this
> means there is also no upstream security support, and the fact that Debian
> already contains at least three reasonable MTAs, we see no need to add qmail to
> the archive. So - please reconsider if it really helps Debian to have those
While I totally agree that qmail is an obsolete FPOS with many bad
problems and I hate it with a passion at least as much as any decent
person, I need to remind everybody that sadly it is a dependency of
Plesk (the only high quality administration panel software) so it's
still going to be installed anyway on many Debian servers.
Maybe having an official well-maintained package (and the one you
evalued clearly is not) is the least evil.

--
ciao,
Marco
 
Old 12-01-2008, 02:50 AM
Mikhail Gusarov
 
Default qmail and related packages in NEW

Twas brillig at 00:40:50 01.12.2008 UTC+01 when md@Linux.IT did gyre and gimble:

Md> I need to remind everybody that sadly it is a dependency of Plesk
Md> (the only high quality administration panel software) so it's still
Md> going to be installed anyway on many Debian servers.

Md> Maybe having an official well-maintained package (and the one you
Md> evalued clearly is not) is the least evil.

[speaking as Plesk ex-developer] It won't help, Plesk's qmail is patched
in various ways, including Plesk-specific patches, so version provided
by Debian won't help.

--
 
Old 12-01-2008, 12:39 PM
"David Kaufman"
 
Default qmail and related packages in NEW

Hi Moritz,

> Neil Williams wrote:
> > It isn't just about choosing not to install it, it causes work for the
> > various teams in Debian - security, release, QA.
>
> We've discussed this at the Security Team meeting in Essen and we don't
> have a problem with qmail being included in Lenny.
>
> Cheers,
> Moritz

Thanks, Moritz! That's great news from the Security Team.

So, the Security Team has no problem supporting qmail. Does anyone
from the Release Team or the QA Teams have any objection to qmail
being included in Lenny?

Thanks,

-dave


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