[Spambayes] training

Meyer, Tony T.A.Meyer at massey.ac.nz
Thu Feb 20 11:50:19 EST 2003

(The problem with being on the nicer side of the world is that most of the mail arrives when you are asleep.  Apologies for the length of the reply).

> The problem here is that some mailers pretty much lose most 
> of the headers when you do a forward operation...
Which would be when they would have to place the id in the body - mailers might do strange things to the body when forwarding, but surely none of them actually remove content.

It would be nice if the smtpproxy could automagically change to including the id in the body if you started forwarding it messages without ids.  (Well, not nice for those of us who like control, but for the 'average-user'.

> Placing 
> something like a url in the body of 
> a message is another possibility that's been raised.  It's 
> somewhat dangerous, particularly in the case of multipart 
> messages, and for html messages may not 
> be visible at all.
I think the spoofing possibilties of a URL (as back in the November posts) removes it as a possibility, as nice as it would be.  A non-clickable message id, though, shouldn't be spoofable (a spammer shouldn't be able to generate valid ids).

> Also, consider the company that gets
> gigabytes of email every day.  How long do they keep a 
> message in their pool for future training?
This is a problem with the existing pop3proxy as well, of course.  Isn't spambayes still aimed at individuals, not organisations?  

> And anyway, forwarding a message to a special address is 
> still too much work.
If this is the agreed conclusion, then I don't really see any options other than:
(a) Don't get the user to train (they would have to start with some sort of pretrained database).  This does really kill all the power of spambayes, even if they could update their pretrained databases (that someone else trains for them).
(b) Integration into lots of clients, al la the Outlook plugin.

> Absolutely.  As things are right now, it's not useable by anyone but 
> people like us, which as dismaying as that may be, is not the norm.
Well, I would say that the Outlook plugin *is* usable by anyone, except that you have to install Python first, and removing the plugin is not simple.  Well, I guess some sort of automated training would be good too (Mark is working on this, I believe).

Anyway, since I've got the time, I'll go ahead and make the patches to get the smtpproxy to work, and then we can evaluate it.  If it gets thrown away, oh well never mind :)  It could at least make things easier for those that are currently using it, while we all build integrations into everyone else's favourite mail client.

=Tony Meyer

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