[Spambayes] Leaving for another tool.

Thomas Hruska thruska at cubiclesoft.com
Sat Dec 8 18:43:19 CET 2007

skip at pobox.com wrote:
>     Pete> Way too many false negatives (still running at around 7%, after
>     Pete> 13,000+ spam training messages and 50,000+ good training
>     Pete> messages), 
> Way too large a database.  Train on just mistakes and unsures.  If you've
> trained on over 60,000 messages you must be training on everything you
> receive.
> Good luck with K9.  Sounds like it's doing the trick.
> Skip

This only proves that Spambayes needs an autobalancing ham/spam feature 
built in by default.  Users train on everything in the hopes of 
eliminating all spam from the in-box.  Also, by _your_ logic, the 
default training mechanism in Spambayes should be to NOT train on spam. 
  VERY counter-intuitive.

In terms of usability, Spambayes is clearly designed "by geeks, for 
geeks" but since this tool has appeared in major computing magazines 
that _users_ read, the tool needs to change to fit the mindset of those 
who will actually use the product.  What Pete said has crossed my mind 
quite frequently while using the tool.  Your focus is on "training 
database size" rather than the user's actual complaint:  That the 
product is not _usable_.  I can use and understand the product only 
because I'm a geek.  However, it needs to be significantly simplified so 
a user can use it.

Maybe your goal is only to cater to geeks.  If that's the case, you need 
to state it somewhere at the top of your homepage and drop the support 
for the Outlook add-in - at which point I too will probably stop using 
the tool because there is no hope for it...ever,  Users will not take 
the time to learn to use the tool how you want them to use it.  If they 
see spam, they are going to train it as spam no matter how large their 
training database gets.  That is how users think.  Developing software 
is more about psychology than code:  Study the user and code accordingly.

Sorry for the rant.  I've been feeling the same way as Pete and wanted 
to put what he said into a little different perspective - perhaps one 
that you'd understand better.  You completely ignored Pete's very 
lengthy e-mail on what it means to be a user of Spambayes from his 
perspective and instantly focused on the one sentence that is useless to 
him but is "comfortable" for you.  I'm hoping this helps craft an 
improved tool rather than write Pete, me, and other users like us off as 
"annoying".  I know that you are going to be upset when you read this 
but I don't care if you hate me as long as you end up going back and 
pondering Pete's e-mail.  His words, from just that one e-mail, are 
capable of guiding how Spambayes should be developed for the next 5 years.

Thomas Hruska
CubicleSoft President
Ph: 517-803-4197

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