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  #11 (permalink)  
Old June 18th, 2003, 07:29 PM
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David,

That is not correct. I have the requirements and if I can present a solution that will meet those requirements - without an overwhelming cost- I have been told that an e-mail interface will be provided.

If you read James' posting you will see he was explaining each of the requirements- he was not saying a solution wasn't found for them yet.

Yes, We have a solution for the e-mail address problem- we can run each message through a replacement routine that strips out e-mail addresses. Great.

7 More to go...


Hal Levy
Daddyshome, LLC
NOT a Wiley/Wrox Employee
  #12 (permalink)  
Old June 18th, 2003, 07:43 PM
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My apologies, I read that as a list of outstanding problems.

regards
David Cameron
  #13 (permalink)  
Old June 18th, 2003, 09:27 PM
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Ok then, possible solutions:

1. Maybe by IP address. Most people will post from a limited range of IP addresses. If I'm posting from work there is just one IP address, if from home it is a little more difficult. Still most people will get their dialup IP address from a limited pool. The problem with this solution is how to find that IP address range. One possiblility may be to allow those people who *can* specify a few IP addresses to post be email. Also each time a person logs into the site, you could record that IP address and offer to set that as the email IP address if different from the current email IP address.

2. AFAIK headers follow a standard format, <name>: value. In email postings you could also get a number of >> in front of it. The nubmer of headers used can't be huge, so why can't generate a regexpr based on the known headers and remove them. eg ">{0:10}(From: |To: ).*\n". Furthermore you could update your list of headers from the incoming emails, which will give you a list of all the headers that are being used by differene email clients (and people using the email clients). This may not be a 100% solution, but should be worth a try. The worst problem that I can see is the chance of someone posting some text by email that looked like a header and the text being deleted.

3. Clear any lines that are prefaced by more than 2 >, and compare the earlier messages. If you get a match to a line in an earlier message, delete it.

4. Can't comment, but limiting posters to those who have accounts and if those email addresses are not shown on the site this should have some effect. Also if suggestion 1 is followed this should be less of an issue. The only danger is spammers signing up for accounts. Still I guess that is already an issue. If I cared enough I could write a perl script to automatically create a new account, login and post a message to all forums.

5. Don't know enough about the issue, but surely Out of Office messages generally conform to a pattern.

6. Ditto as above. Possibly for this and above you could add a button to the page to set the message as a new format that has slipped through. That way your filter can be "trained" with little work on your part.

7. Ditto as above + comments by Jeff.

I don't think that there will be a perfect solution, but there may be one that comes close to fitting the requirements.

regards
David Cameron
  #14 (permalink)  
Old June 18th, 2003, 09:38 PM
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I should clarify 3. Any lines that have more than 2 >> are assumed to be old quotes. One problem with old quotes is that as the > build up, more carriage returns get added and the lines get split up and harder to recogise as earlier quotes. Otherwise if any lines are prefixed with 1 or more > then they can be checked against earlier messages.

Note that this should be applied to the messages that are posted to the site *not* the messages that get emailed out. Reason being, as Ken said, the quotes make it a lot easier to thread the conversation back.

regards
David Cameron
  #15 (permalink)  
Old June 18th, 2003, 09:44 PM
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Hi Hal,

I wasn't trying to say that we should use Lyris or LSoft. I'm saying that these products already do most of what you need, so, we should look at how *they* handle these issues and replicate them, rather than rebuilding the wheel. I'm pretty sure you can still get evaluation editions of both of those two products.

Cheers
Ken

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  #16 (permalink)  
Old June 18th, 2003, 09:46 PM
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And the RegExpr in suggestion 2 is wrong:
">*?(From: |To: ).*\n"

regards
David Cameron
  #17 (permalink)  
Old June 19th, 2003, 06:13 AM
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David:

I'm sorry for the mis-understanding. Let me state for the record that I REALLY want to implement an email reply system. There were just some questions on why we put put those 8 constraints on Hal and for good or bad I wanted everyone to know our thought process.

As for Ken's post I have to agree with him that Lyris especially has solved most of the issues above, and looking to them for inspiration as a terrific idea.

As I've stated to Hal before, if there is any information I can provide or anything I can do to help on this project please let me know. I am not a programmer (stupid hardware guy) but I will do what ever I can to help.

Thank you

James Sample
Director, IT-Infrastructure
Wiley Publishing, Inc.
  #18 (permalink)  
Old June 19th, 2003, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by David Cameron
1. Maybe by IP address. Most people will post from a limited range of IP addresses. If I'm posting from work there is just one IP address, if from home it is a little more difficult. Still most people will get their dialup IP address from a limited pool. The problem with this solution is how to find that IP address range. One possiblility may be to allow those people who *can* specify a few IP addresses to post be email. Also each time a person logs into the site, you could record that IP address and offer to set that as the email IP address if different from the current email IP address.
You would rather connect to the web site to validate your IP address than use PGP to sign the e-mail that your sending? I was also thinking that perhaps we could have e-mail that is not identified attached to the user account sending it- and requiring a quick login to the web site to confirm the posting (or generate an e-mail to the poster to let them confirm via e-mail). Kind of self-moderation.


Quote:
quote:
2. AFAIK headers follow a standard format, <name>: value. In email postings you could also get a number of >> in front of it. The nubmer of headers used can't be huge, so why can't generate a regexpr based on the known headers and remove them. eg ">{0:10}(From: |To: ).*\n". Furthermore you could update your list of headers from the incoming emails, which will give you a list of all the headers that are being used by differene email clients (and people using the email clients). This may not be a 100% solution, but should be worth a try. The worst problem that I can see is the chance of someone posting some text by email that looked like a header and the text being deleted.
Yes, headers should have a pretty standard format and we should be able to catch most of them with a regex.

Quote:
quote:
3. Clear any lines that are prefaced by more than 2 >, and compare the earlier messages. If you get a match to a line in an earlier message, delete it.
As you said in another message- this is complex because of line breaking. We also need to deal with outlooks love of the "indented" reply and filtering that as appropriate. For that matter, we need to figure out how to filter all the HTML garbage that Outlook (and others) add to the e-mail.

Quote:
quote:4. Can't comment, but limiting posters to those who have accounts and if those email addresses are not shown on the site this should have some effect. Also if suggestion 1 is followed this should be less of an issue. The only danger is spammers signing up for accounts. Still I guess that is already an issue. If I cared enough I could write a perl script to automatically create a new account, login and post a message to all forums.
I agree- #1 covers this greatly unless a spammer signs up for an account. I would say the best way to prevent that is to use the system used elsewhere - create a graphic that needs to be human-read and entered into the form to create an account.


Quote:
quote:5. Don't know enough about the issue, but surely Out of Office messages generally conform to a pattern.
Honestly, I have no idea if they do or don't someone want to investigate this?

 
Quote:
quote:6. Ditto as above. Possibly for this and above you could add a button to the page to set the message as a new format that has slipped through. That way your filter can be "trained" with little work on your part.
Quote:

7. Ditto as above + comments by Jeff.
I agree that 4, 5, 6, and 7 merge together into "Filtering Unwanted messages"
I agree that problem #4 goes away If we implement #1 well.

I'd really like to come up with a way to meet Requirement #1 in a way that everyone is happy.





Hal Levy
Daddyshome, LLC
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old June 19th, 2003, 06:54 PM
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James:

I should be aplogising, I jumped in on this one late and wasn't up with some of the other feedback at the time. Sorry.

Hal:

Quote:
quote:You would rather connect to the web site to validate your IP address than use PGP to sign the e-mail that your sending? I was also thinking that perhaps we could have e-mail that is not identified attached to the user account sending it- and requiring a quick login to the web site to confirm the posting (or generate an e-mail to the poster to let them confirm via e-mail). Kind of self-moderation.
Yes. In my case I mostly post from work which has a static IP address. Also I tend to post a bunch of messages at once. So even if I were posting from home or somewhere else it would involve setting the IP address once. From then on I could just reply to emails. The disadvantage of signed pgp messages is that I'd need to remember to sign each message I send. Basically I am keen for something I set once (or once per day) and forget about.

Your suggestion would also work well, although it would mean that you couldn't really be part of a conversation unless you cleared the messages frequently each day. It would still be a great improvement.

Another thought, is it possible to have multiple authentication methods? Eg get pgp up and stable, then also allow posting authenticated by IP address. This would mean you could implement something that works and when you come up with something better, you could implement it for no loss except the time involved.

Quote:
quote:
As you said in another message- this is complex because of line breaking. We also need to deal with outlooks love of the "indented" reply and filtering that as appropriate. For that matter, we need to figure out how to filter all the HTML garbage that Outlook (and others) add to the e-mail.
The HTML problem is easy. Block multipart messages. Failing that block multipart emails that don't have a plain text component. I'm biased because I don't like HTML emails, but still this would be an easy fix. Also if emails only go out in plain text you are more likely to get plain text back.

regards
David Cameron
  #20 (permalink)  
Old June 20th, 2003, 02:50 AM
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WRT to point 1 and IP address suggestions:

I think the IP address thing could be a problem.
The only IP address you can definately authenticate is that of the SMTP server that is sending the mail to your (ie Wrox's) SMTP server. That will probably be the IP address of the ISP's mailserver.

Every other IP address can (and, with spam, is very often) spoofed. Dialup users will also have multiple IP addresses (and potentially a lot of them if they belong to a large ISP that has many b-Class or C-class subnets).

One possibly alternative would be for the moderators to only allow certain posters to "reply via email" (ie people you trust). They could be given a pass-phrase to include at the top of each message (it could be included automatically when the original message goes out to the "trusted poster"). When I reply, this pass-phrase is automatically included in the reply, and checked for by the Wrox email system (this is kinda similar to how LSoft's Listserv allows administrators to change list configuration/moderate via email).


Cheers
Ken

www.adOpenStatic.com
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