Re: [Asrg] Summary of junk button discussion

Alessandro Vesely <vesely@tana.it> Thu, 25 February 2010 17:02 UTC

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Subject: Re: [Asrg] Summary of junk button discussion
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On 25/Feb/10 07:22, Chris Lewis wrote:
> On 2/25/2010 12:45 AM, John Levine wrote:
>
>> The only think other than a junk button that appears useful is a
>> not-junk button to display when looking at stuff in a junk folder. I
>> suppose we could do that, but then we'd have to define what a junk
>> folder is.

I don't think John meant a "general" definition here... :-/

> [...]
> With more tweaking, such an implementation would be a bit more
> user-friendly, and can stand as a guide as to how you might spec out
> what the junk/unjunk button "means", and leave actions to the
> implementation.

I cannot help distinguishing between IMAP and POP3 here. For IMAP, 
synchronization of Bayesian data among several servers and clients may 
be viewed as a generic distributed database problem, possibly 
complicated by an amount of fuzziness. It is possible to send an abuse 
report as a consequence of particular user's actions; it is just 
similar to "move marked junk to junk folder".

For POP3, there are no folders. That's what makes that definition 
difficult. Users can look for X-Spam-* headers only after they've 
already downloaded the message. In case servers maintain _per-user_ 
Bayesian data --as they should-- the whole idea of filtering on the 
servers seems rather pointless.

To recap, junk buttons can be embedded within a more sophisticated 
architecture (as for IMAP). But not the other way around: anti-spam 
filter training cannot (in general) be based upon junk buttons and 
abuse reporting.