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Re: bind -> unbound/nsd

On Thu, 18 Aug 2016, Christos Zoulas wrote:
> The recent change of ISC/bind licensing from BSD to MPL for the next 
> release has provided us with an opportunity to re-evaluate the preferred 
> daemon status for NetBSD and DNS resolution.

Wouldn't the license change result in some kind of status change in the 
main NetBSD CVS code repo for bind? I thought there was some kind of 
penalty box for not having a BSD license, anyhow.

> If you feel that this creates problems for you, let us know. Also you 
> should be able to use newer versions of bind from pkgsrc.

I have used Bind since the 1990s. I worked as a DNS admin for a (very) 
large corporation in the mid-2k-naughts's. We used bind in that 
environment, too. So, I have a lot of administration experience with Bind 
(so my minor critiques are coming from many years of exposure). That said, 
I'm not a fan of bind. I have a lot of respect for ISC and the folks 
who've maintained Bind over the years. However, I see it in a similar 
light as Sendmail. I could care less how "old" something is. That has 
about zero bearing on it's quality. However, if there *are* parts of UNIX 
history that aren't pretty. Sendmail and Bind both have had way-too-many 
security issues. It got so bad with Sendmail that folks finally wrote it 
off (thank $deity). Sendmail and Bind both have ridiculously 
over-complicated configuration formats due to their scope creep and 
inferior initial designs vis-a-vis later competing projects who were able 
to learn from their missteps.

I'm not trying to be overly critical. Folks got a lot of milage out of 
Bind and Sendmail and a good sysadmin can set them up relatively safely. I 
know, because I'm in that category.  However, it's just WAY more pain than 
is necessary when much more Unixy (to everyone's horror, I don't consider 
Sendmail to be Unix-like much at all due to it's overuse of M4 macros, in 
fact, it's a bit heretical, IMHO). Bind is not as heinous in it's own 
space as Sendmail has been over the years, but it doesn't change the fact 
that it's over-complicated and nasty in light of competing projects. 
That's just my impression, though. YMMV. 

> We are not planning to de-support or remove bind for NetBSD-8

I'd welcome it's removal since, as you say, it's in pkgsrc and folks can 
still fetch it easily and keep trucking with it. IMHO, Unixy 
first-principles (as well as volunteer energy) should determine what stays 
and goes in the code tree, not "backwards compatibility". That's M$-like 
thinking, to me. One major reason to be "open source"  is that you *can* 
recompile the source if you want to change your ABI or other breakable 
bits. Also, one of TNF's stated goals for NetBSD is "correctness". I'm 
sure we could all debate what that means, but I'd assert that if you have 
several choices, you should pick the one most coherent with your own goals 
(licenses, design, simplicity, etc..). Again, I do realize how incredibly 
subjective all that is. So, I'm only stating my own opinion.

Having worked with Unbound a bit, I have to say that it seems like a much 
more secure and easier to manage choice than Bind at this point. To ISC 
folks changing the license my feeling is "Thanks for years of service, but 
we've got to part ways now."

Bind has picked up a lot of features over the years. I wouldn't be 
surprised if it could do a few things that Unbound cannot do. However, 
those are definitely going to be edge cases. 99% of folks running DNS 
servers are going to be just fine. Those that aren't, well, you can go to 
pkgsrc and still get bind. So, that's not really a big deal. 

That's my $0.02. 


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