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My early imaginings of a collaborative Open Source successor to qmail, let me assure you, did not include going nearly four years between releases. Well, at least it hasn’t been more than four. notqmail 1.09 is here:

For decades, due to each administrator needing to patch in their particular missing bits of functionality, the qmail source code itself has effectively been a public API. Some future release of notqmail will include everything most everyone needs. On that day, we’ll freely make desirable code changes without worrying about breaking people’s patches. On that day, notqmail will have become a relatively normal software project operating under relatively normal constraints.

This is not that day. notqmail remains a uniquely challenging legacy-code rehabilitation project, and 1.09 is merely a solid, long-overdue release that includes the work of a couple dozen new contributors.

Since this release took too long, our next development cycle will be

  1. Time-bounded
  2. Focused on process improvements

In legacy code, every time we can turn a vicious cycle virtuous, it’s a big win. By making the code easier and safer to change, we’ll have more fun; by having more fun, we’ll make more progress; by making more progress, we’ll get more feedback; by getting more feedback, we’ll have more fun; and so on.

Have fun with notqmail 1.09! Let us know how the upgrade goes for you. (I’ll be updating the pkgsrc package soon.) And if getting involved is your kind of thing, please feel welcome to join us.