the autocreate feature (Cyrus IMAPd 2.3.7 Released)

Greg A. Woods woods-cyrus at
Wed Jul 19 16:52:51 EDT 2006

At Tue, 18 Jul 2006 22:52:01 +0100,
Christos Soulios wrote:
> I have seen this issue come up several times in the info-cyrus list. The 
> answer to the question 'why isn't autocreate included in the cyrus 
> distribution' is 'because it does not support the murder architecture'. 
> The CMU developers do very well not to accept a patch that does not work 
> with all possible configurations, since if they did otherwise, that 
> would lead to a maintance nightmare.

The maintenance argument is just not true at all -- there's undoutably
already lots of code in there that's untested by the main maintainers
(we see evidence of such almost every day in posting to this list), and
there's also likely lots of features that have never been tested in
combination either.  Yet the code gets maintained very well and releases
are made and various sites report their successes and failures and
progress is made.

Also keep in mind that it is trivial to write the two lines of code
necessary to stop known non-working combinations of features from being
used together and resulting in a "failed safely" outcome.  Perhaps if
that were part of a patch providing the feature then it could be more
easily argued that an integrated autocreate feature is not a threat to
any existing installations.

The real maintenance nightmare is in having every site using a patch be
individually responsible for its re-integration and re-testing with
every release.  (and even scarier, most sites won't do anything other
than blindly apply the patch, perhaps with other patches untested in
combination, and if it compiles they'll throw it into production and
hope that it works)

Lots of small sites won't even think about using locally maintained
patches because they have no on-staff systems programmers and some don't
even have on-staff sys-admins and the idea just scares the heck out of
their managers, regarless of how illogical such a fear might be.

> The next question that comes to everyone is 'why don't you implement 
> murder support for the autocreate patch?'. The answer is 'because it is 
> not so easy to do it'.

I'm not sure that's the _real_ answer either.  I know that for the sites
I manage and all those I've helped set up there just isn't any real need
for anything even remotely like a full "murder" setup and so it doesn't
really matter how difficult or easy it would be to support "murder",
nobody is going to be paying me to write it and it's not nearly an
interesting enough problem for me to work on in my own spare time.  From
what you've said the same thinking seems to apply to your site as well.

Maybe some site will eventually want both autocreate and a murder
cluster and they'll find some way to pay for their proper integration.

						Greg A. Woods

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