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Re: Sendmail with deliver, procmail, or mailagent?

On Wed, 8 Oct 1997, Santiago Vila Doncel wrote:

> On Tue, 7 Oct 1997, Scott Ellis wrote:
> > After some discussions with Johnie (the sendmail maintainer) on IRC, we
> > think we've come up with a decent solution to configuring sendmail with
> > any MDA.  If all the MDAs check in their prerm's (when being removed or
> > purged) if they are listed in /etc/mail/sendmail.cf (if it exists), and
> > request confirmation to be removed (with notes about THIS WILL BREAK YOUR
> > LOCAL DELIVERY), we can get sendmail to depend on a virtual
> > mail-delivery-agent.
> I don't like this approach. Local delivery is an essential feature that
> should not be removed. Only dpkg --force-* should be able to do that.

Local delivery is only an essential feature if you actually want it.  I've
run enough machines which forwarded everything to a smarthost and never
actually delivered mail.  I wasn't so short on disk space that I
complained that deliver forces you to have an MDA even if you don't want
it though, which may be a valid complaint in itself.

> I still think that the virtual package mda would work better, if write
> the appropiate prerm scripts for the mda packages. This way, dpkg takes
> care automatically that the user does not disable local delivery, not the
> user.

I'm still wary of the virtual-package/update-alternatives approach, but
can be convinced of it if necessary.  My main concern is the fact that a
seperate script would be required as deliver and procmail take seperate
options.  This may create a point of failure and unreliablity in delivery
by procmail in extreme cases.  It definatly increases the load somewhat by
forcing a shell to be spawned.

> Moreover, what we do for sendmail should also be done for smail, etc.
> Why not?

Sendmail is (IIRC) the only MTA in Debian that requires a seperate MDA.
All the rest (qmail, smail, exim) have local delivery built in and only
require an MDA if it is stuck in their .forward (or equivilant) file.

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