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Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] ezmlm has passed on a virus to me

Ron Catterall wrote, at 12/1/2008 10:28 AM:
> Surely it is not too difficult to scan a failure message to look for 
> strings containing things like parts of:
>  >>>>
> SMTP error from remote mailer after end of data:
>    host mailstore1.secureserver.net []:
>    554 The message was rejected because it contains prohibited virus or 
> spam content
> <<<<
> and decide it's not a good idea to include this material in another 
> generated email.

Surely not?  That's the same thing generations of AI researchers have
said about the problem, too.  :)  SMTP bounce messages are notoriously
hard to parse, and non-standardized; you're either asking for a solution
that misses a substantial fraction of the messages of that sort (and is
thus essentially worthless) by only handling a finite list of special
cases, or else you're asking for an implementation of strong AI capable
of parsing natural language.

Why can't your SMTP server just not include the virus when it bounces
back the message?  Since viruses typically sent out things with forged
"from" headers, your SMTP server is likely guilty of the same thing you
complain of ezmlm doing.  And that doesn't require any AI to fix.

In any case, the right place for this is whatever ezmlm has for a
bug/developer mailing list, not here.

- Brooks

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