Fighting Spam with Python

John J. Lee jjl at
Sat Aug 27 01:20:05 CEST 2005

David MacQuigg <dmq at> writes:
> I haven't used Spambayes, but my experience with Spamnix (an offshoot
> of Spam Assassin) is that statistical filters always have a few false
> rejects.  In my case, that's about two per week.

That is precisely the problem that Bayesian filtering was designed to

AFAIK, Spam Assassin is a non-Bayesian filter.  (Though I think I
heard they were thinking of grafting on Bayesian filtering to their
existing algorithms, I'm not sure if they did it, or even if that's
actually a sane thing to do.)

[David, in an earlier email]
> reject.  15% will get an immediate accept without filtering, because
> the sender is authenticated and has a good reputation.  Eventually,
> all reputable senders will join the 15%, and the 5% will shrink to
> where we can ignore it.

Two questions you seem to be implicitly assuming particular answers
to: Is widespread authentication a good thing?  Does it solve any
problem not solved by Bayesian filtering plus good mail client
support?  My first reaction is to answer "no" to both questions, so to
regard your effort as harmful.  Might be interesting to hear why you
think it's a good thing, though.


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