[Spambayes] Exceptions in email

Tony Meyer tameyer at ihug.co.nz
Thu Sep 16 07:10:25 CEST 2004

[It doesn't appear that this messages to spambayes at python.org has been
answered yet - sorry about that! I've been away and so are catching up with
the messages. Please ignore if I'm wrong and this has been resolved

> Hi, all of a sudden I'm getting messages that have the following 
> X-Spambayes-Exception:
> "email\Parser.pyc", line 245, in _parsebody .BoundaryError: multipart 
> message with no defined boundary
> I googled for this and I found some related posts to spambayes-bugs 
> dating back to Jan 2003. Has this been fixed at all?

I'm not sure whether or not this particular malformation has specific code
to handle it or not (I would have thought so if there are messages from that
long ago, but given the results, it appears not).  The situation with
handling malformations is that the Python email library (which SpamBayes
uses) handles any malformed message in a nice way, which will avoid all of
these problems, in the latest version.

This means that anyone running from source and using Python 2.4 or above
will never see this problem.  For those using the binaries, future releases
(1.1a1 and above, I suspect) will be built with Python 2.4, and so also be
fine.  Until that point, it doesn't really make any sense for us to
duplicate their work and build in safeguards against specific malformations
- especially since the programs continue to operate fine and just have the
exception header added.

> If not, is it safe to have my client classify messages with this 
> exception header as spam? So far I've only noticed it in spam, but 
> that's because they showed up in my inbox. I don't know if 
> there's any ham exhibiting the same behavior. But if it's because of 
> syntax that's very very extremely unlikely to come up in normal mail,
> then perhaps it's safe?

Personally, I would think that it's extremely unlikely that you'd get
legitimate mail like that.  Certainly if you only get mail from people using
the mainstream mail clients, the chances are minute.  It's up to you to
decide, of course - but if you occasionally review your spam folder, then
this would be fine.

Otherwise, it would be reasonable to consider anything with the exception
header as unsure.

=Tony Meyer

Please always include the list (spambayes at python.org) in your replies
(reply-all), and please don't send me personal mail about SpamBayes. This
way, you get everyone's help, and avoid a lack of replies when I'm busy.

More information about the Spambayes mailing list