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Re: packages with invalid maintainer fields

Thomas Bushnell BSG <tb@becket.net> writes:

> Debian maintainers are required to provide a valid email address in the
> maintainer field for package uploads.  Some maintainers have adopted the
> policy of various arbitrary filtering rules of their own invention,
> under which they will not receive some proper email from perfectly
> legitimate senders communicating about their packages.

> I believe such packages should be treated exactly as if the developer in
> question has simply put no email address at all in the package.

I adopt no particular spam filtering rules at the SMTP layer, but I use
bogofilter (a Bayesian-trained spam filter) to pre-process my mail and
weed out the spam.  The chances of me noticing a false positive are
non-zero but fairly low.  It is plausible that some users trying to
contact me about my packages would have their mail filtered out and
thereby receive no response from me.  (It's unlikely, or I wouldn't use
this spam filtering method, but bogofilter is not immune to false

Should an e-mail address so filtered be considered equivalent to no e-mail
address at all?

If so, I'm not sure how many Debian packages are going to be left with
valid e-mail addresses by this formulation.  If not, by what objective
criteria would you distinguish between what I do and what someone else
might do for spam filtering?

You may want to bear in mind the false-positive rate of purely manual
human spam filtering.  My experience is that bogofilter does a better job
than I would do myself at a task that's mind-numbing and particularly
ill-suited to human cognition.

Russ Allbery (rra@stanford.edu)             <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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