shlomi-fish-homepage / t2 / philosophy / computers / web / use-qmail-instead / index.html.wml

#include '../template.wml'

<latemp_subject "The “Use qmail instead!” Syndrome" />

<latemp_meta_desc "The “Use qmail instead!” Syndrome" />

<h2 id="intro">Introduction</h2>

<p>
I originally wrote this essay
<a href="http://shlomif.livejournal.com/33935.html">on my LiveJournal</a>,
but decided to also put it here for posterity.
</p>

<h2 id="meta">Document Information</h2>

<dl class="meta">
<dt>
Written By:
</dt>
<dd>
<a href="http://www.shlomifish.org/">Shlomi Fish</a>
</dd>
<dt>
Finish Date:
</dt>
<dd>
26-February-2006
</dd>
<dt>
Last Updated:
</dt>
<dd>
10-April-2011
</dd>
</dl>

<h2 id="body">The Essay Itself</h2>

<p>
A few years ago, I’ve noticed a pattern in
<a href="http://www.iglu.org.il/mailing-lists/linux-il.html">the Linux-IL
mailing list</a>. Often, when someone asked for help with a
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sendmail">Sendmail</a> problem, some
people said something similar to: “Sendmail sucks! Use
<a href="$(ROOT)/open-source/anti/qmail/">qmail</a> instead.”.
</p>

<p>
I originally documented this pattern in
<a href="http://www.mail-archive.com/linux-il%40cs.huji.ac.il/msg18053.html">a
“Threads suck! You’d better use processes” discussion there</a>. However, it
seems that post was too obscure to be noticed by the entire Internet community.
</p>

<p>
A few days ago I joined <a href="irc://irc.freenode.net/#mandriva/">#mandriva on
Freenode</a> trying to get to the bottom of a problem I have with
<a href="http://kontact.kde.org/kmail/">KMail</a> at work, where I cannot
start KAddressBook from inside it. I asked my question, and soon afterwards
received:
</p>

<ul>
<li>
One <a href="http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/thunderbird/">Thunderbird</a>
recommendation.
</li>
<li>
Two <a href="http://www.gnome.org/projects/evolution/">Evolution</a>
recommendations.
</li>
<li>
One <a href="http://www.claws-mail.org/">Sylpheed Claws</a> recommendation.
</li>
<li>
One <a href="http://gmail.com/">GMail</a> recommendation.
</li>
</ul>

<p>
The problem is that I wasn’t interested to learn about alternative E-mail
clients, and just wanted to get my problem solved. And in the case of GMail
it was completely out of the question due to my work’s constraints.
</p>

<p>
Moreover, the same symptom was not present on my home
<a href="http://www.mandriva.com/">Mandriva</a> 2007 installation, nor is it
present now that I’ve upgraded it to Mandriva Cooker (which will become 2007.1).
</p>

<p>
When someone asks for help with a problem with technology “A”, and you happen
to be a fan of its alternative “B”, then recommending him to use “B” is not
very helpful. If someone says: “I hate A’s guts! What can you recommend
instead?” then you can recommend “B”. But if you don’t know the answer
to the problem with “A”, then just don’t say anything.
</p>

<p>
I hope it makes sense.
</p>

<p>
<b>April 2011 Update:</b> after discussing this article with some people, I
was made to understand that sometimes recommending the user to use an
alternative technology is a good idea, in case the technology he is currently
using is unmaintained or of extremely bad quality. So one needs to use
one’s reason (as always) and the recommendation to avoid the
“use qmail instead” syndrome is just a general guideline.
</p>

<h3 id="licence">licence</h3>

<cc_by_british_blurb year="2006" />
Tip: Filter by directory path e.g. /media app.js to search for public/media/app.js.
Tip: Use camelCasing e.g. ProjME to search for ProjectModifiedEvent.java.
Tip: Filter by extension type e.g. /repo .js to search for all .js files in the /repo directory.
Tip: Separate your search with spaces e.g. /ssh pom.xml to search for src/ssh/pom.xml.
Tip: Use ↑ and ↓ arrow keys to navigate and return to view the file.
Tip: You can also navigate files with Ctrl+j (next) and Ctrl+k (previous) and view the file with Ctrl+o.
Tip: You can also navigate files with Alt+j (next) and Alt+k (previous) and view the file with Alt+o.