[Spambayes] More on Training Disparity Issues

Richard B Barger ABC APR Rich at RBarger.com
Mon Jul 19 22:35:03 CEST 2004

Tony Meyer wrote:

> > I occasionally load the Review messages page -- it works
> > fine with this version of ZoneAlarm -- but it already shows
> > mostly spam.
> There are some options to try and help with this.  You can set the default
> action for the various categories (defaulting to "discard" for spam, for
> example)

RBB:  Already had done that ...

> , and you can have different actions for ham below a threshold and spam above
> a threshold ("train as spam" for all spam below 0.7 and "discard" for all spam
> above 0.7, for example).

RBB:  If I understand correctly, that doesn't work in POP3 unless I train on
everything.  The Review Messages page still shows all the messages, it just
doesn't train on some of them, Right?  Or does this "discard" feature apply to
somewhere else in the program?

>  You can set the number of messages of each type (ham, spam, unsure) to
> display per page (this defaults to something like 100,000, so in all
> likelihood all messages for that day).

RBB:  I don't know where to do this in the POP3 Web interface.

> > In today's listing of untrained messages (for me, Sunday --
> > here -- isn't a "typical" day; most days, I get more hams and
> > unsures), the Review Messages page has 34 messages classified
> > as unsure, 15 hams, and nearly 1200 classified as
> > spam.
> For example, here you could set the rows per category to something like 50,
> and not see most of the spam (without clicking to the next page).

RBB:  Yesbut ...

> > I have to click on some of the messages and look at the View
> > Message screen.  No problem, of course, except that it's extra
> > steps -- remember the volume of mail that I'm dealing with
> > -- that I don't have to take if, instead, I'm looking at
> > the hard copy of the actual message in my inbox and can see
> > everything at a glance.
> <snip>
> A better alternative, but one that's not quite ready yet, would be the pop3dnd
> script (it's in the source archive, but really needs a bit more work and a lot
> more testing before it's ready for prime time and a binary release).  This
> lets you do drag-and-drop training in your regular mailer (without actually
> integrating into the mailer, so it's still unimportant which one you use).
> Not much use now, but some day...

RBB:  I'll look forward to it.

> <snip>
> Yes, that's correct.
> > 2 - There's no way to sort POP3 messages by ascending/descending
> > order of spam score using the Web Interface, is there?  I believe
> > I've noticed some conversation about this capability in Outlook,
> > but I can't figure out any way to do it with the Web Interface.
> There is, with some catches.  To do this you turn on the advanced option to
> add the "score" header to messages (in the "Headers" section on the Advanced
> Configuration page), and the advanced option to show the "score" column in the
> review page (in the "Interface Options" section on the Advanced Configuration
> page).

RBB:  I mentioned a glitch in this functionality in a previous message; once I
worked around the glitch, it works fine.

> The main catch is that there's a bug in all the current releases which means
> that the scores are sorted as strings, which means it goes something like  "1,
> 10, 11, 12, ..., 2, 20, ...".  I fixed this a few days ago, but the change
> won't make it out into a released version for a while.  Apart from that, it
> should mostly work.

RBB:  Works fine, thank you, although the explanation helps.

> > 3 - I'm not sure which folders are which.  I may have missed
> > this in the help files and FAQs, but it would be helpful to
> > have a list of file names and functions and the typical
> > folders in which they reside -- a sort of "typical"
> > SpamBayes hierarchy.  It might be necessary to do different
> > versions for the different flavors of SpamBayes, but you'll
> > know where and what and how.
> I'll try and remember to add this to the appropriate documentation.  It seems
> like a sensible addition - thanks!

RBB:  So cool.  You're welcome, of course.  (I also corrected one little item on
a Sourceforge post, which you directed me to in another message.)

> > This list is exceptionally helpful
> We try - note that there are periods when all the regular people doing the
> answering get quite busy at the same time, and so replies are slow to come.
> They do come eventually, though.  (And this is not one of those times).  The
> difference in time zones (e.g. I'm in NZ; I think Adam is in the US) can also
> mean that responses are delayed sometimes.

RBB:  You -- and your colleagues -- do a marvelous job.  Thank you again.

Rich Barger

=Tony Meyer

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