The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

“Everybody lies” or “An update on the updated Greylist Daemon”

Since it's been eighteen months since the previous update of the greylist daemon, I best do a release of what I have so far, even if it's not what I wanted.

I know, I know … I said that 1.0.12 would be the last version in the 1x line, but … well … as House says: “Everybody lies.”

I never did get around to fixing the bulk transfer problem, and thus, the protocol hasn't changed, so there's no need for a major bump in the version number. And there have been a few changes in the past eighteen months. I converted the codebase to C99; there are more metrics being logged; there's better self-monitoring (it'll restart in case of a crash) but there are two large changes I need to mention.

The first one: no more recursive make. After reading “Recursive Make Considered Harmful,” I decided to give the non-recursive make a try. The greylist daemon isn't all that big, and listing the dependencies in one large Makefile shouldn't be that tedious. And even if so, it's pretty much a one-time thing.

The major benefit of doing a non-recursive make (and making sure all the dependencies are labeled correctly) is the parallel make. Making everything straight through on my development box takes around two seconds. A parallel make, on the other hand, only takes one second.

Okay, that may not sound like much (“Big whoop!”) but I converted one of the code bases I develop at work to a non-recursive make model, and on our slow Solaris development system, the parallel build time (which I couldn't even do before the change) takes 1/10th the time of a normal build. But the trick, like I said, is to list all the dependencies correctly, or else a parallel make will fail.

The other large change is probably more controversial: I removed a bunch of command-line options from the program, mainly the configuration options. I never used them, and given how little response I get about the project (I know of only one other person two other people using the software) I decided they should go. If anyone complains, I can always add them back. But for now, they're gone.

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