diary at Telent Netowrks

I have spam filtering again, and this time it's filtered server-side#

Fri, 07 Nov 2003 14:09:40 +0000

I have spam filtering again, and this time it's filtered server-side. This makes me happy, or at least less readily depressed when I get up and see 200 new mails of which approximately 5 are at all likely to be interesting to me.

My mail is delivered to a shell host using SMTP. I pull it onto my laptop using fetchmail and "ssh shell /usr/sbin/imapd" when I want to read it. Then emacs Gnus splits it into folders for me. I like this setup: I have all my mail archives to hand locally when I'm away from the net, and if I have some form of shell access but no way to get my laptop on the net I can still read new mail using mutt on the server. So I added procmail on the server to pipe through spambayes then filter spam into its own folder, then added a line in fetchmailrc on the client to download that folder (not automatically, but just in case) then stuck two new keys in gnus to retrain spambayes when it misses something - by, uh, ssh into the server host and spitting the article contents into sb_filter.py. Yeah, I know, it's tacky.

(defun spambayes-train-spam (&optional arg)
  (interactive (gnus-interactive "P"))
  (let ((gnus-default-article-saver 
	 (lambda (x) 
	    "ssh eval.metacircles.com /home/dan/python/bin/sb_filter.py -s -f")))
	(gnus-save-all-headers t))
    (gnus-summary-save-article arg t)))

As is common with any kind of Unix mail setup stuff there are seven zillion possible different ways to do it and I tried several before settling on this one. Most of the wasted time was in trying to get Gnus to do disconnected IMAP support, which was basically pain. Some of it was installing Python from source three times (the debian stable packages are too old to run spambayes): the first two builds were missing dbm and zlib respectively owing to missing header files.

It seems to be working pretty well, so far, and should definitely makes mornings a bit less insta-bad-mood.