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Re: spam2.el

From: Teemu Likonen
Subject: Re: spam2.el
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 21:10:12 +0300
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.1 (gnu/linux)

On 2009-09-10 09:31 (-0500), Ted Zlatanov wrote:

> Anyone using spam.el:
> What parts of spam.el do you like?  How do you use it?

I like that it integrates with Gnus. After I found suitable
configuration I can mark spam easily with M-d and it will be moved to
configured spam folder as well as learnt as spam. I also like very much
that I can spam-autodetect also newsgroups.

> What parts are too complicated?

Well, configuring it with the manual. For example, the manual talks
about spam and ham groups a lot but it doesn't tell clearly what those
groups really mean. I have a collection of nnml groups (mailing lists,
default incoming mail, sent mail, spam-detected mail etc.). Should I
mark most of them or only some as ham groups? What does it _mean_ if
group is ham, spam or unclassified? There are some explanation about
moving messages but I had to read it like 10 times and then try what
actually happens when I read message, mark it as spam/read/killed, leave
the group etc.

It's also quite too much hassle that it needs separate Gnus registry
configuration to prevent Bogofilter from learning read messages several
times in ham groups (and probably unclassified too, I don't remember).
The same thing happens with spam group until the message is marked as

I tried and tried and tried and eventually I got the configuration I'm
satisfied with. So, while I'm quite happy now I think the configuration
is too difficult. It's hard to say what exactly should be improved
because all just seems to be a huge mess of unclear info pages, concepts
and configuration options.

It's always nice if UI designers can create a simple, expected usage
pattern which works with default options. Just add a fancy-mail-split
rule, tell Gnus that "I want to use Bogofilter" (for example) and
describe clearly how user can teach her spam back-end (registering and

> What does it not do today but should?

It seems that currently it can't unregister messages after they have
been (erroneously) registered as ham or spam. Adam's patch seems to
implement this feature (thanks Adam!) but from user's point of view I'm
not sure how it works. I think user wants/needs to understand when does
it unregister a message and how does it decide when to unregister
message as ham and when as spam.

Anyway, thanks for working on Emacs and Gnus and of course thanks for
your interest in users' opinions and experiences!

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