[elspy] Thanks for elspy; X-Spam-headers

Greg Ward gward@python.net
Thu, 16 Jan 2003 22:02:25 -0500

On 16 January 2003, Gunter Mintzel said:
> It has
> been working in on the production system without any problems for
> two weeks now. The machine is a PIII-500 as it was before with
> Exim3 and without spam scanning but the performance is still fine.

Wonderful!  Glad to hear it's working for you.  Your stats sound very
similar to mail.python.org (10-20k messages/day, PIII-650 -- although
memory and I/O are probably more important than CPU speed on a mail
server), so I'm not *that* surprised that it works.  ;-)

> There is only one annoying issue, at least for me: If a mail passes
> the scanner several times, the X-Spam-Headers are added again even
> if the spam check gave the same results. So I make a few comparisons
> to prevent that:

Yes, I have seen that too, and also find it mildly annoying.  My
"solution" is to suppress running the message through SpamAssassin if
it's coming from a mail server I trust and it already has the X-Spam
headers.  That generally prevents duplicate headers on messages landing
in *my* inbox.  Not a very general fix though.  ;-(

>         if not headers.get(xss) == spam_status:
>             headers.add(xss, spam_status)
>         if not headers.get(xsf) == "YES":
>             headers.add(xsf, "YES")
>         if not headers.get(xsl) == spam_level:
>             headers.add(xsl, spam_level)

Hmmm, not a bad idea.  Can you submit this as a patch on SourceForge?
Would be nice to have it sitting there waiting for me the next time I
have some time to work on elspy.

> Still, if for any reason additional SPAM scans would give different
> results on each pass the X-Spam-headers would show up several times
> now. There should be a more elegant solution to that.

One alternative is to assume that the presence of X-Spam-* means the
message has already been scanned, and don't scan it again.  That'll work
fine until the spammers figure it out, so it's not a real fix either.  I
don't know what the right answer is.

Greg Ward <gward@python.net>                         http://www.gerg.ca/
Police arrested two kids yesterday -- one was drinking battery acid,
the other was eating fireworks.  They charged one and let the other one off.