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02/22/2003 2:35 PM Spamassassin

02/22/2003 2:35 PM Spamassassin

I played around a bit with SpamAssassin yesterday. It's had a lot of press as being the best spam catcher to date, but I'm yet to be convinced that I need or even want spam filtering anyway.

Not that I don't get spam: my email addresses are very public and have been for many years, so I get hundreds of useless emails every day.

But I don't find it all that difficult to deal with them: a quick sort by subject lets me run through and delete the junk very quickly. All that SpamAssassin and other filtering does is let me automatically move mail to another folder when it thinks it has found spam. Well, no matter how good it is at identifying spam, I still have to look at that folder and do the same thing, so what have I gained? Junk mail still gets through, and now good mail sometimes ends up in the Junk folder.

Not worth the effort, and it is a fair amount of effort: a whole bunch of Perl modules to download and build, and I think there was some C code in there too, and when all is said and done you have a pile of code that you probably couldn't understand even if you did take the time to look through it all, and that always makes me uncomfortable. That's one of the reasons I don't like using other people's modules: what I write may be awful code, may not work as well, etc. but at least I know what it does and what it doesn't do. There's a lot to be said for that. Of course sometimes I just don't have the time or energy to do what I want: the Swish-e search tools I put up on my site are a good example. But usually I write my own code.

Kerio Connect mailserver builds in SpamAssassin but extends it by using the scoring to block those messages that rise above a user selectable score. You set a "Mark as Spam score and a (higher) "Block" score. This cuts down on what you need to look at.

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