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Wietse Venema Quotes

Adding functionality is not just a matter of adding code.

As of today, the Postfix mail transport agent has almost 50,000 lines of code, comments not included.

At the time the Sendmail program had a very poor reputation with respect to security, with four root vulnerabilities per year for two successive years.

Coming back to the topic of computer security, the TCP Wrapper is an example of such a safety net. I wrote it when my systems were under attack by someone who appeared to walk through walls.

Defect-free software does not exist.

For many people my software is something that you install and forget. I like to keep it that way.

However, writing software without defects is not sufficient. In my experience, it is at least as difficult to write software that is safe - that is, software that behaves reasonably under adverse conditions.

I don't expect an overnight change of all desktops to what the US Military used to call B3 level security. And even that would not stop users from shooting themselves into the foot.

I want to avoid locking people into solutions that work only with Postfix. People should have a choice in what software they want to use with Postfix, be it anti-virus or otherwise.

I was going to visit IBM for six months as a visiting scientist. Now, six months is a lot of time, so I came with a whole list of projects that I might want to work on.

In a previous life I wrote the software that controlled my physics experiments. That software had to deal with all kinds of possible failures in equipment. That is probably where I learned to rely on multiple safety nets inside and around my systems.

Lack of documentation is becoming a problem for acceptance.

Like all software, Qmail can survive only when it keeps up with changing requirements.

Most of the effort in the software business goes into the maintenance of code that already exists.

My reply is: the software has no known bugs, therefore it has not been updated.

One bug in an SMTP server can open up the whole machine for intrusion.

Postfix keeps running even if one Postfix process dies; Windows requires that someone restarts the service.

Qmail out of the box works fine, so people will want to use it regardless of licensing restrictions, even when the software does not ship with their system software.

Sure, but competition is good for the user.

The challenge with Postfix, or with any piece of software, is to update software without introducing problems.