Friday, February 13, 2009

MaraDNS 1.3.13 released

I have released MaraDNS 1.3.13 today; I actually released it in the middle of the night but went to sleep before announcing it. I did the DNS stress test in the middle of the night when no roommates were online and MaraDNS did not crash nor exhibit any other problems. As an aside, newer Linux kernels handle threading much better and the level of resources used (memory, etc.) are a lot less than they were using older Linux kernels.

This release has the XeroBank-sponsored ability to give a bogus IP when a remote server gives a "this host does not exist" reply (which people have been requesting for years now; I would like to thank XeroBank for making it possible for the MaraDNS community to have this feature) via the new notthere_ip feature.

This release also has a test with a "borked zone" which we talked about on the list back in January; sometimes clueless DNS admins have poorly made zone files where NS records for subdomains point back to the parent NS servers instead of being their own nameservers. The test I made tests one possible configuration like this; the result was that MaraDNS was able to, after a bit of prodding, resolve the domain.

I have also updated the internal copy of the web page inside the MaraDNS tarball and the script that updates the download page.

There is no Windows binary of this release of MaraDNS; I am putting Windows support on the back burner. If people want better native Windows support, this is a sponsorship possibility.

One thing that people may observe is that I'm moving towards a sponsorship model of MaraDNS. I've been working on MaraDNS for years and have given away the majority of my hard work. That said, with a job and a girl in my life, I just don't have the time to answer support requests by private email, and getting the same feature requests over and over started to annoy me.

So now, I've finally got a sponsorship model in place that makes it so I can reply to feature requests and private support email in a professional manner; people who ask me for a new feature or for private email support will be told they have a chance to sponsor MaraDNS.

My prices are currently incredibly reasonable; sponsors will also get mentioned on MaraDNS' webpage and their donations make continued MaraDNS development possible.

I have fixed the problem with Ubuntu crashing. I made sure that my VMware images normally don't have poll the CDROM drive to see if it has been attached, and removed the offending gnome-screensaver package which looks to be unstable and to cause the crashes. I now use the xlock command in the xlockmore package to lock the screen; it's not glamorous, using mid-1990s technology to lock the screen, but works and it rock-stable.

I've also disabled all of the Compiz effects; they appeared to also be contributing to the instability I saw the other day.

One issue open-source software has is that there often times isn't a real SQA process in place; people develop and add new features because it's fun to do so, but don't do the boring stuff like fixing bugs. I have seen countless open source projects have a flurry of development, make some interesting but unstable software, then abandon the project before ironing the bugs out or developing a SQA process.

I will not post here tomorrow; it's February 14th, and yes I have a girlfriend in my life today.

Next week, I will post about, among other things, my adventures making a from-scratch image of CentOS 5.2 and adding the VMware tools to this image, about tricks to make VMware images compress better when being backed up, among other things.