Subject: Re: sendmail and netbsd
To: Jon Lindgren <>
From: Robert Elz <kre@munnari.OZ.AU>
List: current-users
Date: 05/02/2000 01:54:32
    Date:        Mon, 1 May 2000 11:29:19 -0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)
    From:        Jon Lindgren <>
    Message-ID:  <>

  | A bit off topic, but wasn't the historical reason for being so
  | obtuse the fact that it had to load and parse the file each time it was
  | started?

That's just the syntax, and while a little concise, the syntax shouldn't
really bother anyone.   There was a front end once ("ease" if I remember 
correctly) which made the cf file more verbose and "friendly".   It didn't
catch on much because the concise syntax isn't the problem - it takes about
10 minutes to get to learn that basically perfectly.

The hard part with sendmail rulesets is like what is hard in any other
programming language - designing the program to do what needs to be done.
Sendmail is very general, and used to need to be.  These days there's
much less need, just about everyone, everywhere, uses pure 822 style
addressing.   It used not to be that way - a system that was used in Aus
(still is, to a limited agree) did explicit routing (which wasn't usually
ever needed) as user@host1!host2!host3  Sendmail is (fairly easily)
able to generate that out of @host1,@host2:user@host3 (and vice versa).
No other mailer I have seen can come close.

For most people, this flexibility is no longer needed, and sendmail
can be overkill - but it is still good to have it around on the
off chance that something arises that needs more than trivial address