Graham's spam filter (was Lisp to Python translation criticism?)

Erik Max Francis max at
Wed Aug 21 05:11:11 CEST 2002

David LeBlanc wrote:

> > signature::a
> > signature::ago
> > signature::been
> <snip>
> What's the advantage of this?

Presumably he's trying to make a distinction between words that appear
in different places, which seems a reasonable approach (although trying
to divide things based on a the _signature_ is probably not going to be
very useful in spam).  I know for my own rules-based approach, it's
significant as to whether certain key words are within the (say) Subject
line or the body, and presumably this would be helpful for a statistical
filtration system as well.  It may well be that Graham's approach simply
doesn't need this level of detaill, but it certainly couldn't hurt to
think about when designing a system from scratch.

> I agree that a complete mail program should have the ability to sort
> mail
> into many categories and this phase of the operation is not where to
> do it.
> This is a pass/fail filtration step, not a sort step.

Yes, all that's being discussed here is a distinction between spam and
non-spam; any other filtering should be done by rules later on.

 Erik Max Francis / max at /
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