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Re: Who uses @packages.d.o mail?

Stephen Gran wrote:
> So I've looked through a few weeks of mail logs to packages.debian.org,
> and it looks like it collects some useful mail from automated scripts
> on various debian.org machines (primarily ries), and about 1000 spams a
> day from elsewhere.  I haven't done an exhaustive survey, but it seems
> pretty clear so far that the domain does not get any significant amount
> of legitimate mail from machines other than the debian.org hosts.

It's not uncommon for package's to have documentation that says to mail
to p.d.o. See for example aptitude, base-passwd, debian-faq,

Some packages even emit it at runtime:

	cron@packages.debian.org fscked up. Send him a nasty note [1]
	How odd.. The sizes didn't match, email apt@packages.debian.org
	print_fill('Printer on %s was detected by Debian using the ad-hoc method.  Please submit the following information to foomatic-db@packages.debian.org:', device)

Other packages, including reportbug --kudos, BUGBASH, and debconf-updatepo
directly send mail there.

Personally, I generally use it as per its original intended use; for contacting
a package's maintainer w/o looking up their actual email address; generally
when CCing them about a related bug report. More often, someone will CC a bug
report to me via p.d.o, or contact me directly via those addresses.

This gives a pretty good idea of my volume, though it won't list all mails.
No mails listed here are from automated scripts AFAIK.

joey@gnu:~/mail/archive>echo "year\tin\tout"; for y in $(seq 1997 2009); do echo "$y\t$(zegrep '^To:.*@packages.debian.org' inbox/$y-* |wc -l)\t$(zegrep '^To:.*@packages.debian.org' Sent/$y-* |wc -l)"; done
year	in	out
1997	14	4
1998	53	20
1999	37	26
2000	24	16
2001	51	20
2002	36	16
2003	17	14
2004	12	3
2005	15	1
2006	151	4
2007	151	6
2008	134	1
2009	35	0

And here's the per-package breakdown:

joey@gnu:~/mail/archive>zegrep '^To:.*@packages.debian.org' inbox/* Sent/* | perl -ne 'while (/([-\w]+)\@packages.debian.org/g) { print "$1\n" }' |sort|uniq -c | sort -rn| head -n 20
     91 debhelper
     67 debconf
     43 ikiwiki
     37 alien
     24 devscripts
     21 debian-maintainers
     16 etckeeper
     15 nslu2-utils
     14 sleepd
     14 mr
     13 lintian
     12 pdmenu
     11 archivemail
     10 znc
     10 xaw-wrappers
     10 pristine-tar
     10 jetring
     10 dpkg-repack
     # 195 more packages not listed

Anyway, this feels like it may be a false optimisation to me. You know
that p,d.o gets 1000 spams a day, but you don't know how many spams a
day are sent directly to each of the email addresses that p.d.o forwards
to. My suspicion is that each *individual* package maintainer email
address could easily be getting 1000 spams a day. If on average one or
two more spam come through p.d.o, that's very minor. Unless spam coming
through p.d.o is somehow harder to filter?

see shy jo

[1] Disappointingly, based on strings, this specific example is optimised
    out of the actual crontab binary.

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