Re: Fwd: [ANNOUNCE] : Filters patch against 1.2.0 [e allaud wanadoo fr]

On Tue, 25 September 08:05 Raven wrote:
> On 2001.09.24 09:38 Brian Stafford wrote:
> > I agree with Melanie here - except for the procmail bit.  Procmail is
> > a horrible program and it should not be used if it can be avoided.
> That's a somewhat sweeping statement.

It is and I stand by it.  The filter rules are unreadable once you've forgotten
what they do.  Its source code is equally unreadable - it actually looks like
it was deliberately made unreadable, who knows?  Although the program serves
a useful purpose, the implementation is unbelievably ugly.  I have always taken
the view that if code is clearly written and neatly laid out then it will
have been thought through properly and will be easy to maintain.  If the code
is untidy then its likely to be buggy too.  Nothing in my programming
experience has ever broken this rule.

> You pointed out later in your note
> that procmail's recipe language is "modem noise", and I'll agree that it's
> rather arcane.

Its unreadability (and unwritability too) is my prime objection.  Single REs
in the rules seem to apply to entire header lines, i.e. both name and value
are matched by the RE.  I consider that approach to be wrong, it makes the
rules too complex (think about some of the shorthands for the header names
listed in the man page).  Procmail's implementation is my secondary objection.

> It's also not compatible with the IMAP view of the world,
> too.


> Do those consititute your objections, or are there other reasons to
> avoid it?

Mostly.  Bottom line is I consider procmail (and sendmail) way too complicated
to set up.  I wasted too much of my life trying to get to grips with them.
Effort is better expended on something else.

> > For filtering within balsa why not go with the standard and use Sieve?
> > Its described in RFC 3028 and it is a proposed standard.  An
> implementation
> > of sieve is available in the Cyrus project.  It is used by the Cyrus imap
> > server.
> <further discussion of sieve delted for brevity, but noted>
> Okay - I'd like to look at sieve. Where can it be found for download,
> besides as part of Cyrux. For that matter, is Cyrux available for download?

Go to and follow the links there.  A search
for sieve on freshmeat reveals a few more interesting links.


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