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A patch for a 14 years old project

So today I received a heart-warming email that ticks all the boxes for me:

  • First of all, they thank me for publishing the software on the Internet under the GPL license.
  • The author is user of one of my projects.
  • They are happy, bogom and the bogofilter are useful for us, I used it more than 10 years (sic).
  • And they are sending me a patch!

Bogom is a milter, which is a type of plugin for some MTAs –originally Sendmail, but later Postfix at least added support–, that is used to filter email.

My milter was an way of using bogofilter, a bayesian filter –yes, all this is about filtering– that can be used to filter spam. When I wrote the milter there were a few ways of using bogofilter with Sendmail, but all of them were filtering email after it was delivered. Bogom was able to filter and give a response to the MTA trying to deliver the email, so the sender knew that the email was rejected. I thought it was neat.

You didn’t have to use it to reject spam, because it could just add a header with the result of the classification, but that was the main idea. It had a few limitations, like only supporting a database for the whole system, but looks like by being simple, it has been functional for 14 years after I stopped working on it.

In fact, I have checked, and it still exist in the FreeBSD ports under mail/milter-bogom; and it doesn’t include any patches, so it is being used as I released it last time in 2008. Amazing!

The patch adds a flag to select the logging facility. Bogom uses daemon, and the idea is that you can use syslog to redirect the logs to any file you want, so the patch is not really that useful; but on the other hand, why not?

The only problem is that making a new release of a 14 years old unmaintained project would require testing of something that, honestly, I haven’t used for quite some time –not 14 years, but almost–. So we will see.

For now, this email has made my day!

Would you like to discuss the post? You can send me an email!