dealing with dictionary attacks

Dhawal Doshy dhawal at
Mon Mar 12 19:02:27 CET 2007

Rick Chadderdon wrote:
> Res wrote:
>> I'm not asking for any leeway, OT = OT, my point was made, that being
>> some people seem to think some unrelated to MailScanner crud is OK,
>> where other unrelated topics are not. 
> I agree, Res.  OT=OT.  That said, I still don't think that OT posts are
> a bad thing.  In fact, it's the OT posts that build a sense of
> community.  Without this kind of discussion people with strong opinions
> and a lot of attitude (like myself, maybe, or...  maybe someone else in
> this discussion) become known for just their opinions and not for what
> kind of person they are, what their background is, etc..  Without
> off-topic discussions, nobody would know to tell me that you're a "nice
> guy under the prickly surface", something which I already knew - from
> reading the off-topic posts. (And obviously I don't post enough, because
> if I did, Glenn would have known that I don't need to "chill out" - that
> one certainly wasn't one of my "unchilled" posts.  :) )  I wouldn't know
> that you're an old-timer like me.  We wouldn't know that English isn't
> Glenn's native tongue.  (It's refreshing to know that native speakers
> are still better at mangling the language. :) )
> It is, of course, up to the owner of any mailing list to set the policy
> for their list, but I believe that a strict rule barring off-topic posts
> stifles the usefulness of such things.

it all depends on the signal-to-noise ratio.. once any list starts 
reducing in usefulness, there are people who'll either complain OR 
simply quit..

For something like anti-spam, there are bound to be 
off-but-related-topics once in a while and at some times out-weigh 
relevant topics.. For instance mailscanner without a MTA is mostly 
useless (unless you use it with squid OR a blog).. similarly mailscanner 
without spamassassin is a yes/no approach rather than a probabilistic 
approach. There are always going to be questions about integration / 
installation issues with $MTA, SA, AV etc.. there is not much you can do 
about it.. no matter how well it may be documented in the wiki, FAQ, MAQ..

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