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Re: Bug#408467: exim4-config: exim4 'virtual domains' config fits neatly in without interfering with config: please add!

@begin note to debian developers

dear debian developers: would someone _please_ explain to marc that,
as exim4 is the default mailer for debian, that he is in quite a
serious position of responsibility, and that exim4 needs to cater for
_everybody_'s needs, with the minimum amount of disruption to existing
users, and, i believe, that the addition of 'virtual domains' as
described in the article below falls into that category of

in this instance, the addition of the extremely effective and very
useful 'virtual domains' concept brings the default debian-provided
exim4 feature set more into line with what postfix has provided 
for _years_.

the instructions posted on http://www.debian-administration.org/articles/140
are extremely good: steve kemp's well-written article took me 5 mins to
read, 5 to include in my current config, and 5 to test and be happy that
it worked.

i am therefore appealing to someone else's better nature out there to
get this guy marc either replaced or to see sense, or to be guided by
somebody _other_ than me.

complaints about the word 'virtual' as an excuse are not really
acceptable if the default debian mailer's configuration is to move

i fully realise when i am disobeying my own guidelines (or, more
importantly, i fully recognise a situation where i'm not going to get
anywhere with a particular individual's intransigence) about endeavouring
to help the most people with the most effective amount of effort (some
of you on this list will recall my talk on the sunday morning at the
last UKUUG conference)

so i am appealing to you, the core debian developers, to step in, and
deal with this guy, instead of me.


@end note to debian developers

On Fri, Jan 26, 2007 at 10:52:57AM +0100, Marc Haber wrote:

> tags #408467 wontfix
> thanks
> On Fri, Jan 26, 2007 at 12:50:26AM +0000, Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton wrote:
> > i've been looking for this for _four years_ for exim, and you _have_
> > to add it in - /etc/aliases is pathetic and annoying, and this
> > virtual domains thing is a _significant_ step forward in the usefulness
> > of exim4.
> It does, however, move away a lot from the classical paradigm that we
> have always been using, and the word "virtual" in a mail context is
> heavily overused.

 with the greatest of respect, i really do have to be quite harsh with
 you on this one, and say this: tough - get over it.

 the word 'virtual' is an important concept in computer science, dating
 back 30 years of _course_ it's going to get used a lot, in a _lot_
 more contexts and a lot more many times in those same contexts.

 i can't imagine the linux kernel developers _ever_ asking people to
 stop using the word 'virtual' when someone goes and refers to 'virtual
 memory' as well as 'virtual address'.

 imagine the chaos that would ensue, and the ridicule that would be
 heaped onto the person that even _suggested_ such a thing.

 not least: if you don't _like_ the word 'virtual', then take it up with
 steve kemp, who wrote the article.

> > i seriously considered ripping out a very sophisticated and
> > simple-to-set-up arrangement, and replacing it with postfix, _just_
> > because this virtual domains thing took me so long to find.
> If you are that emotional, please go with postfix.
 whenever i think of postfix, my heart sinks.

 it takes _days_ to work out what to do: you need to be a serious
 rocket-scientist to get _anything_ done.

 by contrast, with exim4, it is absolutely dead-easy to set up, even
 the most complex arrangements.

 the longest amount of time is spent tracking things down.

 a good example is when i needed to do authenticated LMTP TCP redirection:
 it turned out that you can combine the smtp auth mechanism with the
 LMTP transport, as, intuitively, might be expected, and dang me if
 it actually worked!  i think i added about 6 lines to some transport
 config file!  took me 30 mins to find the two articles (one about lmtp,
 the other about smtp auth) to read up about, 5 to combine-edit the
 configs, and 5 to sit there stunned that it actually worked.

> I do not see enough arguments to have this added to the default
> configurationn. 

 i am very sorry.  i assumed, now incorrectly i see, that it would be
 obvious that the advantages that this addition brings to exim4 as a
 useful mail system would be significant.

 this is my mistake, and i genuinely apologise for not thinking in
 advance to include any extra details for you to evaluate.

> I would be willing to add the configuration snippet as
> an example in /usr/share/doc, as long as the word "virtual" is not
> used and it is exactly explained what the configuration snippet does.
> I am not going to write these documentation myself though.

 ahh - are you the guy whom i spoke to some time ago (a couple of years
 back), about doing some improvements to exim4 config, and you said
 'that's too complex for me to cope with'?

 so - let me get this straight.

 you want me to cut/paste an authoritative article on debian
 administration, published on the internet, searcheable and locateable
 by getting the right keywords, removing the word 'virtual' because _you_
 don't don't like the word??

 sure - i can do that.  s/virtual//g.

 but i believe that you would be better off talking to steve kemp, the
 author of the original article, and asking him to do that.


lkcl.net - mad free software computer person, visionary and poet.

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