[linux-elitists] DJB ruckus du jour

Michael Bacarella mbac@netgraft.com
Wed Nov 13 17:41:48 PST 2002

On Wed, Nov 13, 2002 at 05:03:06PM -0800, Rick Moen wrote:
> Well, it's _also_ over intellectual honesty, something you did not
> mention.  I got tired of seeing this sort of scheiss bandied about in
> front of the gullible:

Before you crucify me as a DJB-cultist (or just ignore me) I figure
a preemptive response is in order.

I don't run any of DJB's software, and I don't particularly approve
of the way he organizes any of it (I'm really not interested in downloading
all of his UNIX-reinvented). However, I do believe that his
ideas aren't as patently insane as you do (although admittedly, he
can be a bit excessive).

> o  Implying through strategic omission that BIND9 is tainted by BIND8
>    security problems, when the speaker knows perfectly well that the
>    former was a from-scratch rewrite to jettison a hopeless codebase.

I think BINDv9 is likely to be a security liability soon enough, but
because of architectural reasons. The DNS spec is cram-packed with
useless functionality that BIND has to support, and has to support
with a single process image design, and a complex configuration file.

Implementing a recursive resolver in itself is a task in itself.
Doing it within the bounds of all of those other requirements,
BINDv9 is likely to be nearly as bloated, complicated, and difficult
to understand as BIND < 9.

Most developers not in Nominum's position who implement DNS
services at least use a two program design--authoritative and
resolving servers--to many advantages, security being one of them.


> o  Almost never being willing to compare Qmail against Postfix, only
>    against Sendmail because the latter is a more-facile target, and
>    because the speaker is attempting to rope-in admins too wet behind
>    the ears to have heard of anything _but_ Sendmail, before they've
>    tried and adopted those other options (Postfix, Courier, or even Exim).

It would be neat to see him compare qmail to Postfix, et al, but perhaps
he simply believes they're all inferior to qmail and that since Sendmail
is by far the largest target, he may as well concentrate on attacking that?

I interpret it as arrogance, you see it as something sinister.


Michael Bacarella

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