Avrdude and the Butterfly bootloader

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The latest Avrdude, version 5.3.1, won't use Atmel's Butterfly bootloader unless the -u option is used. I believe the -u disables safemode, or something like that.

I tried the latest Avrdude with Atmel's latest bootloader from January 2007 and I tried it with an old Atmel bootloader from 2004. I tried it with a stock Butterfly with the mega169p and I tried it with the mega649 chip. Same problem.

An older version of Avrdude, version 5.1, doesn't have this problem.

I guess it's not much of a problem. Just use the -u option. But I'm wondering how this happened. I assume the programmer that made Avrdude version 5.3.1 tested it with something. I wonder what it was.

avrdude -p atmega169 -P com1     -c butterfly    -U flash:w:nightlight.hex 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Connecting to programmer: ..
Found programmer: Id = "AVRBOOT"; type = S
    Software Version = 1.4; No Hardware Version given.
Programmer supports auto addr increment.
Programmer supports buffered memory access with buffersize=128 bytes.

Programmer supports the following devices:
    Device code: 0x75

avrdude: AVR device initialized and ready to accept instructions

Reading | ################################################## | 100% 0.00s

avrdude: Device signature = 0x1e9405
avrdude: safemode: Verify error - unable to read lfuse properly. Programmer may not be reliable.
avrdude: safemode: To protect your AVR the programming will be aborted

avrdude done.  Thank you.