[Spambayes] More Error Messages in log file?

Tim Peters tim.one at comcast.net
Mon May 31 14:42:23 EDT 2004

[VBCoder, using Outlook 2K]
> 1). Does SpamBayes get control of the messages before any of my Rules?

This appears impossible to predict, varying by such things as system load,
processor speed, how fast email is coming in, Outlook version, and phase of
the moon.  It's possible that Outlook will tell SpamBayes about a new
message before your rules or after your rules, it's possible that this will
change from message to message, and, if you have a rule that moves a msg
from one watched (by SpamBayes) folder to another watched folder, it's
possible that Outlook will tell SpamBayes about the message twice -- or not
at all!

The good news is that enabling "background filtering" (on the SpamBayes
Manager's Advanced tab) pretty reliably results in Outlook rules running
first.  There's no known way to reliably get SpamBayes to run first.

If you are a VB coder, SpamBayes learns about new messages via ItemAdd
events on the watched folders.  So the answer to all questions is "easy" at
that level:  SpamBayes sees a new message when, and only when, Outlook fires
ItemAdd.  Unfortunately, ItemAdd isn't reliable:


Outlook 2003 introduced a NewMailEx event which *may* be a reliable way (and
a more efficient way) to learn about new messages, but it looks like that
fires before rules (and, of course, isn't available before OL2003).

> 2). Is it normal for a message to be processed by my Outlook rules and
> arrive in it's final destination (supposedly after being processed by
> SpamBayes and my Outlook rules) with the Spam field blank (no
> percentage)? If so, under what conditions could this happen?

You really have to ask Microsoft, and they won't answer you <wink>:  the
spam field is left blank if ItemAdd never told us about the new message, and
only MS can say exactly when Outlook fails to fire ItemAdd.

> 3).  What is the purpose of the Filter Timer?  How does it work?  Under
> what conditions should I use it?

Read the code.  You should use it if anything flaky is happening (like
messages not get scored).

> I am finding many messages that have no percentage in the Spam field yet
> a clues display will show a percent that is anywhere in the spectrum.

A clues display scores the message from scratch.  It doesn't matter to Show
Clues whether the message has been scored before, or, if the message was
scored before, what soore it got at that time.  Show Clues always recomputes
everything from the current state of training.

> Many are over the %90 Spam limit and should have been sent to the Spam
> folder.

"no percentage" means ItemAdd never told SpamBayes about the message.

> The messages that do arrive in the Spam and Unsure folders have a
> percent value and appear to be processed correctly.  I am trying to find
> out if this is normal, if there is a setting that will change this
> behavior if not, and if it is a bug that needs to be reported.

Turn on background filtering.  ItemAdd may still miss some messages, but far

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