[Spambayes] Scoring Confusion

Tim Peters tim_one at email.msn.com
Tue Jun 3 23:49:12 EDT 2003

[Mark Hammond]
> ...
> There are 2 possibilities:
> * SpamBayes is simply not seeing some messages.  This can happen in an
> Exchange Server environment, and possibly in other cases we are yet
> to nail down.

It definitely misses seeing msgs when the box gets "too busy".  I see that
routinely when I'm running CPU-intensive tests as a large number of emails
come in (CVS spambayes + dict database + OL2000 IMO + Win98SE_or_Win2K).  In
that case the Spam score column remains blank for the messages that get
missed.  Closing and restarting Outlook gets them scored, thanks to the
scan-on-startup code you added.

There *may* also be some funky interaction with user-defined Outlook
move-a-message rules.  I don't have any of those anymore -- it dawned on me
that all my rules were really trying to find msgs that probably weren't
spam, and get them into other folders.  I don't need that anymore.  Maybe
Hadar has a bunch of Outlook rules, though.  If so, there have been other
reports  of flakiness in the presence of rules, and (as Mark knows too well
<wink>) the way Outlook rules actually work is severely, umm,
underdocumented.  In particular, spambayes uses an entirely different
mechanism (there doesn't appear to be an API to hook into the Outlook rule
subsystem in any useful way).

> * SpamBayes is seeing the messages, and the log will indicate what
> action was taken.  Immediately after seeing what you consider an
> error, get the spam clues for that message, and ensure it is the same
> as the "disposition" (ie, the "Yes/No/Maybe") shown in the log file.

It never ceases to amaze me how many user-specific never-before-seen failure
modes Outlook treats us to!  It started for me the first day with Sean
True's original plugin, which didn't work for me at all, and for at least
(what turned out to be) two distinct reasons, neither of which could
possibly have been guessed from the Outlook docs.  It's a good thing
spambayes is free, because you couldn't pay anyone enough to endure working
on it with Outlook <0.9 wink>.

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