[lsb-discuss] Possible to get rid of /usr/bin/sendmail requirement in LSB 4.1?

Martin Pitt martin.pitt at ubuntu.com
Sat Jun 13 00:20:21 PDT 2009

Hello Jeff,

Jeff Licquia [2009-06-12 16:11 -0400]:
> > You mean "sendmail being guaranteed to be available"? I don't think
> > anybody proposed to deprecate the sendmail command itself, and I don't
> > think it's a good idea.
> The effect is the same, for two reasons: one, we're removing a
> requirement, which we've promised not to do except within the
> deprecation policy, and two, "optional" and "non-existent" in a standard
> are effectively the same thing.

Hm, TBH I don't understand this. Defining how /usr/bin/sendmail work,
and defining when it needs to be available are two different things?
And the former is very useful on its own?

> > But then the LSB fails to specify what happens if you call sendmail to
> > send a mail which it cannot handle. In particular, if it just sends
> > mail into oblivion, this wouldn't be a sensible interface for
> > applications?
> Actually, the LSB does specify that.  Per the specification, sendmail is
> supposed to return nonzero when there's been an error.  That, at least,
> tells the application that something's wrong.

Right, that's why I indicated that "exit 1" as a minimal conformant
implementation, and wondered whether it would actually be in or
against the spirit of the LSB.

> > IMHO it is much better to have a semantics like "if /usr/bin/sendmail
> > is available then you can use it" than the current "/usr/bin/sendmail
> > is always available, but it's totally undefined what it does".
> The "if /usr/bin/foo exists, you can use it" rule is implied in the LSB
> already for any command not explicitly mentioned.

Well, but if you don't talk about a command at all in the LSB, you
cannot rely on its calling conventions and exit code behaviour.



Martin Pitt                        | http://www.piware.de
Ubuntu Developer (www.ubuntu.com)  | Debian Developer  (www.debian.org)

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