Lisp to Python translation criticism?

Erik Max Francis max at
Fri Aug 16 23:47:47 EDT 2002

Sean 'Shaleh' Perry wrote:

> I was pondering this myself (-:

Yes, I was thinking about it too.  I already have a Python-based spam
filter (which uses qmail) that I specially wrote for myself, but it's
your standard rule-based system (although highly customizeable, in
essence your spam rules file is a Python program that uses provided
routines to accept, reject, alter scores, etc.).  It would be nice to
include this scheme, at least in some way, in my spam filter before I
release it.

My former spam filter used mostly the same rules, but was implemented in
procmail using its scoring system, and so was unfortunately hard to see
exactly why things got spammed (the end result was the final score, but
it was hard to tell exactly which rules contributed to it).  The initial
motivation for my Python spam filter was better auditing of the reasons
(in the form of the log file).

> I was pondering doing this and then using a pickle to retrieve the
> tables.
> What were you considering?

The real "difficulty" (if you could call it that) with this scheme is
not so much the implementation, but rather with the collection and
maintenance of the sample set of spam and non-spam emails.  This
requires digging through emails, and/or altering the way you process
email as a user, and how you give that processing feedback back to the
spam filtering system.  The Python implementation itself, based on those
samples, seems pretty straightforward.

In either case I'll probably put something together as a sample and see
what it thinks about spam as I get it.

 Erik Max Francis / max at /
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 A lambda calculus explorer in Python.

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