LCA: Lessons from 30 years of Sendmail
Posted Feb 3, 2011 23:38 UTC (Thu) by dskoll
In reply to: LCA: Lessons from 30 years of Sendmail
Parent article: LCA: Lessons from 30 years of Sendmail
Yet, people nowadays refuse to accept a negligible overhead over C (say, 20%, which is the goal set by the Go language), and this seems just bizarre to me. I believe that the main reason for sticking with C is simply inertia. "We've always done it that way!"
I don't think that's the reason for sticking with C (it's not my reason, anyway.) Here are my reasons:
- I have a lot of experience with C and I like it. There's certainly something to be said for familiarity.
- C is old and well-tested. The C standardization committee has done a superb job of keeping C true to the original C spirit while adding useful improvements.
- There are many C libraries and tools available, far more than for newer languages.
- In some cases, a 20% performance hit isn't worth it. An MTA on a busy mail system is one of those cases. While it's true that most mail systems are not that busy, MTA authors rightly attempt to make their MTA as fast and reliable as possible.
- MTAs in particular are an old and mostly solved problem. There's really no incentive for Yet Another MTA. Witness the extremely slow progress on Meta1. (Yeah, I knew you'd never heard of it. :))
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