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Matts (1087)

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I work for MessageLabs [] in Toronto, ON, Canada. I write spam filters, MTA software, high performance network software, string matching algorithms, and other cool stuff mostly in Perl and C.

Journal of Matts (1087)

Monday October 07, 2002
02:33 AM

Weekend work

[ #8208 ]

Through bits of Friday evening and Saturday I managed to get the new SpamAssassin codebase to a point where I can run individual rules. That rocks, as it means I've now got enough code to do what I personally need from it. However there's still a lot more to do:

  1. Tests. I have some tests for the individual components, but not nearly enough, and I don't really have tests for individual subsystems of those components, which is where I really want to get to.
  2. Re-written Configuration module. There's two things I want to achieve here - first there's a new Conf module in spamassassin's bugzilla that separates all the conf stuff into separate subclasses. That should get integrated. Second, there's some configuration parsing occuring in places other than the Conf class. That's really bad as it opens up a potential security hole, and of course it's doing work in the wrong place. So that needs fixing.
  3. All the supplemental tools and components need re-written. That means all the Razor, DCC and DNS integration (none of which I use), the spamassassin and spamd/spamc binaries, the mass-check tools, the SMTP and POP proxies, etc etc. Lots of work to do there.
  4. Integrate decision tree support (with Ken Williams' help) so that we no longer have to run all 600+ rules, we just run the ones we need to run. This has been the ultimate aim of this project (as it means spamassassin gets about 50x faster).

Phew. Lots to do!

Also this weekend I thought I was going to paint the railing that goes around the top of our flat garage roof. This railing is of the fancy cast-iron variety, and is very rusty and unmaintained, and white, so the dirt and rust show up very badly on it. So the aim was to paint it black. I stupidly thought I could get this done in a weekend. Wire brushing it down and removing all the chunks of rust that I could took about 3 hours - the shape of the railing makes it very hard to get in all the nooks and crannies. Then painting... I thought I could do the painting very quickly, but to get metal paint on there in all the tiny little detailed bits with enough coverage to go over the white... well lets just say I think it would take me a week to do the whole thing. Nightmare.

So I'm going to have another go next weekend. I got about 1 metre of it done so far (there's about 10 metres altogether I think). I'm also going to see if I can't get hold of a better painting tool to get in all the gaps (a toothbrush perhaps). I really hate DIY ;-)

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  • Did you consider spraypainting the railling?
    • I thought about that, but it's too problematic - I can't take it down as it's rusted in place, and I can't spray because there are cars and windows and wildlife nearby.
      • Why not just put a board on one side and spray from the other? A small piece of scrap plywood should do the trick. Or an old sheet might work as well since the propellant/gases could go through the fabric, leaving the paint,etc behind.

        Or are you so close to the neighbors that ANY overspray is bad?

        "Perl users are the Greatful Dead fans of computer science." --slashdot comment
        • Yes, we're very close to our neighbours (this is England!) - about 6 feet away I would guess. Plus you're probably over-estimating the british weather - it's way too breezy to be spray painting outside.
          • I live in Boston, so I know what living in close quarters to your neighbors is like. My neighbor's deck is directly behind the concrete wall that is the back of my patio. :-)
            "Perl users are the Greatful Dead fans of computer science." --slashdot comment