[Spambayes] LONG POST: Log file and Outlook Rules analysis

Sean True seant at iname.com
Wed Jun 4 09:32:38 EDT 2003

> 2) I have 52 Outlook rules. Roughly 10 of them are spam
> related (from before SB), so I could reduce it. Turning them 
> off completely (as Tim suggests) would be too painful to 
> consider at the moment. I deal with many companies each day, 
> and auto sort email from each of those companies into 
> different folders, so that I can deal with them in priority 
> order. If I have to revert to everything coming into one 
> folder, and then filing them by hand, I would lose too much 
> time having to scan the lower priority ones. If this is 
> indeed the problem, that will be too bad for me.
> I wonder how this can be the problem though, as it seemed to
> me that the purpose of the plugin was to look at every
> message before the rules saw them, and only hand "clean" 
> messages off to the rule. Also, I wonder whether I should 
> forgo the concept of the plugin (as wonderful as it is to 
> incrementally train), and simply use the pop3proxy instead?
> 3) At Mark's suggestion, I looked at the log. I had 188 
> messages in my POP3 mailbox on the server waiting to be 
> downloaded. 40 went into the spam folder, 4 into the unsure 
> folder, and the rest went into the various folders according 
> to my rules. 87 of those were caught by SpamAssassin (SA) but 
> when opened individually, showed SB scores of at least .99, 
> with many at 1.0! This of course makes it all the more 
> frustrating, because the training has obviously learned my 
> patterns amazingly well!
> The problem is indeed in _losing messages_! Out of the 188 
> messages that came in, there were only 50 messages seen in 
> the log file. All 50 were processed correctly, meaning they 
> ended up in the correct folders as spam, ham or unsure after 
> being processed. The first three messages were all seen, and 
> were one of each kind. Then it became sporadic as to what was 
> seen and what wasn't. So, it is not the case that the first 
> 50 were seen, and then none of the others. It was either 
> message #4 or #5 that was already missed, before another was 
> seen, etc.

A general problem here is the inconsistent and variable time at which the
Outlook rules run. In general, on my system Outlook 2000 rules ran first --
and Outlook 2002 rules run last. But it's not predictable. For SpamAtBay we
are working on a (cough) hack to make sure that the Outlook rules always run
first, and then have the user "watch" folders that Outlook might move spam
into. For me, that amounts to all rules that move mail based on the mail
account. YMMV.

I ran with this change last night, and it seemed stable. I shared the code
with Mark, and will get it into the next beta for SpamAtBay (due out this

-- Sean

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