[Spambayes] Email client integration -- what's needed?

Tim@mail.powweb.com Tim@mail.powweb.com
Fri Nov 1 00:56:15 2002

Well, a pop3proxy is certainly capable of running on a client machine.  See http://www.software.bisswanger.de/en/index.php?seite=smtp for an example of 
a similar proxy that inserts SMTPAuth into a non-SMTPAuth enabled mailer, such as Opera.  That said, it would certainly be simpler to plug into the individual 
mailers in a much more seamless manner.  I'm not quite sure that this is even possible with various mailers.  If it is, great.  If not, then running a proxy process 
locally is a reasonable solution, and easier to implement in the near term.

I found this SMTP proxy by checking the Opera site when my host converted to SMTPAuth.  The Opera folks felt like this was easy enough to install(which it 
was) to put in their faq as the answer to how to use SMTPAuth with their mailer.  I think most folks could pull it off...

The problem with plugging into mail clients is that the plugin architecture can change over time, which produces an ongoing maintenance effort.  There will 
also be multiple codebases to maintain, as each plugin architecture (if one exists) will be different.  There are dozens of different mail clients... consider AOL 
for example.  Can we plug into their mailer?  It's used by millions of people...

- Tim S.

On Thu, Oct 31, 2002 at 03:51:45PM -0800, T. Alexander Popiel wrote:
> In message:  <SRMJLJVPA8WQQ43874XEC51RQ1USNZX.3dc1bcb9@riven>
>              Tim Stone Four Stones Forum <tim@fourstonesforum.com> writes:
> >But can it be useful to the masses?  The pop3proxy is the right way to go
> >in my opinion.
> You folks make me feel like such a fuddy-duddy, still using MH
> from a shell account with the mailboxes fetched through the
> filesystem, instead of through some network mailbox protocol...
> Heck, I don't even have software to access a POP mailbox installed...
> I guess that raises the question: what is our target audience,
> and how strictly do we want to cater to them?  Do we want to
> offer support for processing in direct-delivery situations,
> even though it's only old-school fuddy-duddies like myself
> who use them, anymore?

The "itch" that I'm scratching is that I'm tired of seeing all my
non-techie friends using inferior technology because the quality
open-source solutions are too complicated for them and/or have
user-unfriendly interfaces. So I'm inclined to focus on solutions that
will cater to the general public's needs first; techies capable of
scratching their own itches are going to be a distant second on my
priority list, personally. Certainly we should offer support for as many
configurations as possible, including direct-delivery situations, but I
want to first focus on a solution for the general non-techie public.

I agree that pop3proxy is the optimal way to go, but it does require the
ISP's cooperation to install. I also want a solution that the end user
can install without needing the ISP's cooperation; something that could
integrate into, say, Outlook Express and add a "Block this junk mail"
button (which adds the message to the spam corpus) to the E-mail reading
interface. Taking this kind of approach will lead to more work for us,
but would make the project useful sooner for all kinds of users.

What would be needed for a user-install-only interface?

1. It must integrate into the user's email client as seamlessly as
possible. This means researching the plugin API of Outlook, Eudora,
Pegasus Mail, Mozilla, et al.

2. The algorithm and filtering component must also run in the background
without any user intervention required after the initial install. This
means being able to install as a Windows NT service or into the StartUp
folder of Windows 9x.

3. There *MUST* be good documentation. We all know the user is going to
run the installer program before reading the documentation, but we must
include a "How to train your filter to recognize junk mail" document
that the installer displays after finishing installation. This means
actually writing said documentation. :-)

Those are the three things that I think are essential to a version of
spambayes that can be installed and used profitably by non-techie
end-users. Meanwhile, I'll try to help out with pop3proxy.

Robin Munn <rmunn@pobox.com>
PGP key ID: 0x6AFB6838    50FF 2478 CFFB 081A 8338  54F7 845D ACFD 6AFB 6838

10/31/2002 6:37:12 PM, Robin Munn <rmunn@pobox.com> wrote:

- Tim