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Exim (was Re: Qmail)

I'm really getting rather annoyed with the constant hype surrounding
Qmail, as if it were the answer to all the world's ills.

It does have some advantages over Sendmail and Smail, but there are
other alternatives, and Qmail has a number of rather significant
 * Can only do one delivery per SMTP connection.
 * Nonstandard mail delivery arrangements require special MUA support.
 * Poor /usr/lib/sendmail emulation, as a matter of policy ! [1]
 * Uses 6 (or is it 8?) uids.
 * Vague bounce messages.
 * Configuration by lots of very small files.
 * Problematic licensing situation.
 * Dogmatic and aggressive author. [2]

Unfortunately the IMO best competitor to Qmail, Exim, has an author
who seems very reluctant to blow his own trumpet.

Exim is an MTA written by a member of the Cambridge University
Computing Service, as a kind of `son of Smail' (but with completely
new source code).  Key features:
 * Extremely good SMTP connection reuse and consequent good
   performance (unlike Smail or Qmail, and better than Sendmail). [3]
 * Rewriting (unlike Smail).
 * Human-readable configuration even for advanced features (like
   Smail, unlike Sendmail) in a single file (unlike Qmail or Smail).
 * Virtual domain hosting (unlike Smail).
 * Doesn't need to run as root, and doesn't most of the time (unlike
 * Sophisticated filtering against spammers, mailbombs,
   broken return-paths, &c.
 * Optional X interface to command-line admin tools.
 * Internet only (no UUCP &c, unlike Smail and Sendmail).
 * GPL'd.
 * Released.


Tim Cutts has produced an experimental Debian package of Exim and has
been testing it.  Tim: is your package ready for putting into our
distribution yet ?  Do you want to announce it here perhaps ?  Upload
it into `experimental' ?

Tim has also adapted the `smailconfig' script for Exim.


[1] I've had an argument with the author about an aspect of sendmail
command-line emulation, where he said that interpreting addresses
supplied as arguments as if they'd been the contents of RFC822
recipient fields (ie, stripping parenthesised comments, honouring
angle brackets, commas separating several addresses in an argument,
&c), would be a violation of RFC822 and so he wouldn't do it.  All the
other /usr/lib/sendmail's I've seen interpret command line addresses
in this way.

[2] Every time I've said anything about Qmail somewhere the author has
mailed me to complain.  He even occasionally posts flames to the
exim-users list ...

[3] Exim has been tested on a number of large and very large sites,
and seems to outperform Sendmail.  Smail, PP and Qmail are a long way

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