[spambayes-dev] Adding the ability to set an option for ham withthe Outlook plug-in

Seth Goodman sethg at GoodmanAssociates.com
Fri Oct 1 07:05:06 CEST 2004

> From: Tony Meyer
> Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2004 7:52 PM
> Since we're (well, me so far <wink>) discussing changes to the Outlook
> plug-in, what do people think about this one:
> [ 1036970 ] Allow Outlook plugin to move ham to a designated folder
> <http://sf.net/tracker/index.php?func=detail&aid=1036970&group_id=
> 61702&atid=498103>

The first scenario in the tracker makes a lot of sense to me, where exchange
does suboptimal filtering and Spambayes could recover ham from the spam
folder automatically.  I don't quite understand how it would help the second
scenario, where it would replace background mode.  You still wouldn't know
whether Outlook rules or Spambayes got to a message first, so the results
could be erratic.  I have a lot of list mail that never contains spam that I
don't want Spambayes to see.  If it saw the list mail some of the time, I
would have to train it on that mail, which would make the database
unnecessarily bigger and perhaps affect the classification of my other mail.

While we're talking about Outlook features and possibly avoiding background
mode, I have been using an add-in from Tech-Hit that accomplishes two things
that might be useful if Spambayes could do them.  The add-in is called
AutoRead.  The main thing it does is control the Outlook tray icon.  The
second potentially useful thing is that it is invoked as a custom action in
an Outlook rule.  When you write a rule that includes this custom action,
you can optionally mark a message as read and optionally turn off the
envelope icon only if it was previously off before the message.  I use it in
my list mail rules to keep that mail from turning on the envelope icon and
it seems to work well.  Whatever approach they use might be useful for
invoking a resident Spambayes process from an Outlook rule (if that is even
remotely feasible) and controlling the envelope icon depending on the
classification.  This would let you determine the order of actions in
Outlook without background mode.  While that works well enough, it is fairly
slow.  The first mail fetch in the morning can take a while to process at
one second per message.

BTW, I can understand the need for the first delay timer to wait for the
incoming mail to stop and the Outlook rules to complete, but what is the
reason for the second (message-to-message) timer.  It obviously needs to be
there or you wouldn't have added it, I was just curious why it is needed.
That's the time delay that is somewhat annoying.

> It's pretty self-explanatory really.  The steps would basically just be
> adding another option to the Filtering tab and another couple of lines of
> code.
> I think it's a good idea in general, and doubt that it would confuse many
> people, since I get the feeling that most of them use the Wizard
> results and never actually look in the SpamBayes Manager.

Agreed.  Overall a good idea.


Seth Goodman

Goodman Associates, LLC
tel 608.833.9933
fax 608.833.9966

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