[Spambayes] "Un-classifying" a message

Seth Goodman nobody at spamcop.net
Mon Dec 8 20:09:20 EST 2003

> [Seth Goodman]
> > OK, but how about untraining a message that doesn't belong in either
> > database but was trained on by mistake?  If you do this, currently
> > you are stuck.
> [Tim Peters]
> Speak for yourself <wink>.  I keep all my training ham and spam in a
> distinct .pst file dedicated to holding training data, and I retrain from
> that.  There's no mistake I can't recover from easily that way.  I've also

OK, but if I understand this right (50% odds at best), you have to manually
copy each message you train on into these folders.  If you are talking about
the original training set, I agree with you and I do the same for exactly
the reasons you gave.  If you are talking about training during normal
operation, that's a lot of work with a lot of room for manual errors.

[Tim Peters]
> disabled all the "automatically train as this-or-that when it's moved from
> here-to-there" options.  Too much magic makes operation
> incomprehensible in
> the end.  So do too many UI buttons.

I also agree here.  I personally disable the "automatic classify upon move"
as it is way too dangerous.  I reluctantly agree that simplicity in the UI
often is more important than functionality.  It's your choice.

> [Seth Goodman]
> > This would suggest an "Untrain message" button.  In this case (sounds
> > like a lot of work, but possibly worth it), the toolbar would be context
> > sensitive to the message that is selected, not the folder.  This
> > obviously gets tougher for multiple messages selected, but you would
> > then display only buttons that are applicable to all selected messages.
> > ...
> [Tim Peters]
> I expect this is too complex for most users to understand, and
> that buttons
> that stay in the same place but change meaning based on what
> you've selected
> would cause more training errors than they help solve.

Yup, changing the functions at each button position will confuse many
people.  I didn't think of that.  See what working in hardware for too many
years does to your mind?  We generally build architectures that no one but
the software developers see, and they are not typical users.

> [Tim Peters]
> A simpler solution (one I wouldn't use, but ...) would probably
> be to add a
> single new checkbox option analogous to the existing "train on move"
> options:  untrain a message if it's moved to the Unsure folder
> from a Ham or
> Spam folder.

Yes, this would be simplest, but suffers from the same "invisible action" on
folder move that we both don't like.  How about a button that says, "Recover
to Unsure"?  At least it's unambiguous.

Seth Goodman

  Humans:   off-list replies to sethg [at] GoodmanAssociates [dot] com

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