[Mailman-Developers] Excessive quote filtering [was Re: Copy some of the features from Freelists (ecartis) to the Mailman.]

Lawrence Weeks dev at anabasis.net
Sun Apr 4 12:46:41 EDT 2004

Once upon a time (Wed Mar 24), Andrzej Kasperowicz wrote:

> Bad quoting is also often a problem, so it would be good if Mailman
> could have similar solution to that used in freelists.

I've not looked at ecartis/freelists, but I have had quote filtering
on my mailing lists since the early 90s (originally in the Majordomo
pipe stream), via a Perl filter script I wrote, called the Mommy
filter. It's a real bear to keep up with. To support catching excessive
quoting generated by the various mail clients, I have dozens of tests
and cases. There is no elegant way to do it really. Then, you have
idiotic subscribers messing with the quote markers, in particular
the evil MS style bottom quoting, to circumvent the filters. There
are some people out there who just HATE the concept of being told
they cannot quote whatever the hell they want, despite doing so on
somebody else's dime.

My filter, tweaked over the last decade, does a pretty good
job. However, it still requires tweaking based on what you see
happening on the mailing list. It requires that feedback process to
be effective. It requires a plain-text mailing list. Doing this with
a HTML permitting list would be, um, complex.

If somebody would like to take up placing this capability into Mailman,
I'd be happy to share my (ugly) script if it would be of interest. I
actually started a little bit of exploration into doing that myself,
but decided that I'd rather to maintain my own filtering policy
external to Mailman, so as to be able to respond to events on the
lists rapidly.

Lawrence Weeks                                    lweeks at anabasis.net
Anabasis Consulting Ltd

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