[csw-maintainers] A couple of sendmail issues

Jeffery Small jeff at cjsa.com
Sat Apr 7 01:10:54 CEST 2012

Peter wrote:

>Sorry to hear you had a hard time upgrading.

>I'm a long time user of this [Sendmail] package myself and the old one
>from 2007 had a bunch of really annoying problems as well such as hanging
>indefinitely during installation and messing with the Solaris Sendmail. My
>first update of the package didn't change that much, it was mostly new
>source, kill some bugs and remove the fiddling with Solaris Sendmail.

>Recently though, I worked with Rafael Ostertag on the configuration and we
>tried to do it more like we used it and also allow for easy configuration
>of the spamassassin-milter and milter-greylist. It's during this some
>things changed that affected you.

>However, this should only matter if you're installing from scratch, if
>you're doing an upgrade you should have your own mc-file to generate the
>cf-file from. The features you're mentioning may very well have already
>been custom, they are not part of the source anyway and usually put
>directly in the main mc-file if wanted.

>Also, as a general comment, it's hard to get a real smooth upgrade when we
>change maintainers and it's been years between releases and CSW policies
>have changed during that time (like /opt/csw/etc to /etc/opt/csw). If I
>maintained only this package maybe I could work like crazy to include
>complicated scripts that tested and took care of everything but sometimes
>it's better to get an updated package out there with source that is
>considered safe and following our current policies. This package was out
>for testing for a long time, I received some feedback, fixed everything
>and would be glad to work with you to make it better as well.


I did get everything working after a careful comparison between the two
releases.  You are correct that I should merge the requirements from the
ostype and domain files into the master site .mc file.  I just wanted to
give some feedback on how the update was affecting people at the other end
of the chain.  I know that things have to move forward and this entails
unavoidable modifications, so I'm not arguing against that.

I think the most important change I could suggest is that a section be added
to the package documentation page which included special notes for upgrading
between releases.  I realize that there are now special migration files being
added to the old /opt/csw/{etc,var} locations, and notes are displated as part
of the install output, but when you are doing a massive upgrade or install,
these messages are easy to miss and you may have no clue to go looking for
files in the directory hierarchy.  It would be good to be able to go to the
package page and read about the significant changes taking place.  In the
case of this release of Sendmail, this might include a list pointing out:

	* File location migration to /etc/opt/csw/
	* The specific changes to the ostype and domain configuration files
	    and the need to update the references  in the site .mc file
	* Brief instructions for rebuilding the sendmail.cf file
	* Brief instructions for checking & restarting the sendmail service
	    (svcs and svcadm)

Earlier release notes would include:

	* Instructions on deactivating/reactivating the Sun Sendmail using
	    the oracle-sendmail-{de,re}activate.sh scripts

You get the drift.  This would be a common place to go for all packages
which would give users a heads up on changes and tips on how to address
problems.  I don't think this would be too hard to implement, as these
notes could be updated during the development cycle as changes were made,
and then published at the time a package was pushed out to testing.

Another tweak that might be a good idea is that pkgutil.conf could have
an admin email option added.  Then, during an install or upgrade, special
notifications could be logged to a file and then, at the end of the
process, have that log emailed to the user.  The log could contain the
same notes as on the package webpage, or even just a link to the relevant
pages for the user to review.  This would be another way of making sure the
important info gets before the user instead of rapidly scrolling off the
screen during the install/upgrade process.

Those are a couple of ideas that I think could significantly improve the
CSW experience.


C. Jeffery Small           CJSA LLC                       206-232-3338
jeff at cjsa.com              7000 E Mercer Way, Mercer Island, WA  98040

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