[Mailman-Users] Spam to list-owner

Lindsay Haisley fmouse-mailman at fmp.com
Mon Dec 22 04:59:50 CET 2008

On Mon, 2008-12-22 at 11:25 +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> Lindsay Haisley writes:
>  > On Sat, 2008-12-20 at 19:35 +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
>  > >  > Courier doesn't need milters.  Maildrop can be run in what's called
>  > >  > "embedded mode" which is effectively the same thing.
>  > > x`
>  > > No, it's not the same, not for the purpose of deciding whether
>  > > *Courier* needs milters.
>  > 
>  > A "milter" is just an MTA component/plugin that reflects user-space
>  > (outside the MTA) decisions on spam/viruses back to the SMTP dialog so
>  > that a receiving server can reject an email for cause without generating
>  > a backscatter email to the envelope sender.  Maildrop in embedded mode
>  > _is_ a milter
> That's not what you wrote above; you wrote "effectively" which can
> mean *anything*, and usually carries connotations of "for the present
> purpose".  You've made it quite plain that your "present purpose" is
> different from those of most of the folks trying to advise you.
> I'm finding it really hard to understand what you are trying to say
> throughout this thread, because you don't answer questions as phrased,
> but rather use your own wording which you know is equivalent
> (presumably), but the rest of us have to assume you don't know what
> you're talking about because you don't use the accepted jargon.
> I'm tired of fighting the impedence mismatch, and will stop doing so,
> effective immediately.

Well Stephen, you can weight out if you wish, as we probably all ought
to on this thread, but just because I don't use "accepted jargon"
doesn't mean that I don't know what I'm talking about.  It simply means
that whatever I've learned about dealing with email, spam, and email
transport, which is not inconsiderable, may not have been learned from
the same sources you learned from.

I've come to have a great deal of respect for Sam Varshavchik and for
Courier, the MTA which he developed and very actively, capapably and
conscientiously supports.  It's a "minority" MTA, not considered
mainstream, but I have yet to discover any important capabilities which
it doesn't support, not to mention that it's extremely well crafted.  If
you have any doubts, don't post them here.  Go and check out Courier and
then email me personally and I'll be happy to discuss it with you.

My understanding of what a "milter" is depends simply on my reading of
the article at <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milter>.  I don't keep up
with sysadmin jargon, and had not previously been aware of the term.  I
only walk the walk and don't spend a lot of time talking the talk,
Stephen, although the concepts behind the term are quite familiar since
I've been working with email as an admin for 15 years.

I'll also be pleased to eat an serving of crow here, especially for
anyone familiar with Courier.  Milter-type support in Courier isn't
supported by Maildrop in embedded mode, which functions solely in the
delivery mode.  I was 100% off base in this.  It's best supported by the
courierfilter facility, which is capable of providing analytical filter
capabilities _during_ an SMTP session prior to the final acceptance of
an email.

IMHO, this discussion has gone OT for this list and I'd like to conclude
it.  I would like to thank you, Brad, J.A. Terranson and others who've
given me some insights and knowledge, and the impetus to start to
implement pre-filtering (what you might call "milter" capabilities) in
Courier on my servers so as to reject at the SMTP level any inbound
email with a SpamAssassin spam score of 10 or more.

Season's greetings, and ciao,

Lindsay Haisley       | "Everything works    |     PGP public key
FMP Computer Services |       if you let it" |      available at
512-259-1190          |    (The Roadie)      | http://pubkeys.fmp.com
http://www.fmp.com    |                      |

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