Friday, December 26, 2008

My 2009 plans for Deadwood

At this point I'm thinking of holding off on MaraDNS 2.0 for the time being. Instead, I think I will concentrate on getting the last bugs ironed out of Deadwood, and then seeing if I can make it part of BusyBox. Deadwood has some final wrinkles I would like to resolve:Once I do that, I can send an email to the Busybox people and see what it would take to make Deadwood a Busybox module (probably merging as much of the UDP and TCP code as possible, having the option to strip out the parser, being able to remove the saving/loading of the cache from a file, etc). I think doing this will greatly benefit the kinds of embedded router makers who use Busybox a lot, and will give MaraDNS/Deadwood a lot more exposure, which is good for my future job prospects.

This allows Deadwood to fill a niche which other DNS servers don't really fill: The need for a tiny secure stub resolver so people get correct DNS replies when asking their router to resolve hosts.

The need for a somewhat bigger secure fully recursive DNS resolver is nicely filled by Unbound, Power DNS, or even MaraDNS (if you don't mind all of the threads being spawn). As an aside, don't use DJBDNS' "Dnscache"; even though the code is now public domain, it hasn't been updated for years and I don't see anyone stepping up to plate and making a supported updated version with security and other problems fixed.

The only way I can motivate myself to continue work on Deadwood making it a fully recursive resolver is by seeing a niche for it that hasn't already been filled. The "non-DNSSEC recursive resolver" niche is more nicely filled up than it was when I did the lion's share of work on Deadwood a year ago: I was not aware of Unbound when I started work on Deadwood. One niche that doesn't seem to be filled is the "small DNS recursive resolver with DNSSEC support" niche; this might be what I end up doing with Deadwood in the long run, which would result in an eventual MaraDNS 2.0 release.

However, I think I will wait until after the end of 2009 before adding recursion to Deadwood. MaraDNS will have no features added to it in the meantime, with the only changes being security and serious bugs being fixed.

As an aside, in my personal life, while my former neighbor is still a very close platonic friend, I now have another girl in my life today who is my girlfriend.