Junk management for newsgroups in Thunderbird 3

Thunderbird since version 3 has had experimental support for junk filtering in newsgroups. The feature basically works fine, but the user interface mostly fights against your attempts to use it. I’d like to give brief instructions here for anyone who wants to try it.

You’ll need to install my addon JunQuilla to enable one critical piece of user interface. JunQuilla supports a folder property that lets you selectively enable or disable junk processing for a tree of folders. So after you’ve installed JunQuilla, enable processing of junk for a newsgroup:

This will run future posts sent to [...]

Combining Thunderbird with SpamAssassin

For anyone who gets lots of spam mail, I typically recommend that their anti-spam management plan must consist of a multi-stage process. A common open source solution to that (and the one that I use personally) is a server-based SpamAssassin (SA) front end, followed by a client-based bayes filter, in this case the Thunderbird (TB) default filter. Both filters are tuned to never give false positives, with Uncertain emails show in an Uncertain folder that I regularly watch.

In the Thunderbird 3.0 / SeaMonkey 2.0 series, I snuck in a little hidden preference to allow modifications to the way that [...]

JunQuilla version 1.0.0 released

Today I released a version of JunQuilla that supports SeaMonkey 2.0, and the latest versions of Thunderbird including the upcoming 3.0RC1 and 3.0.0 The new version can be downloaded from the AMO site here. I’ve also submitted this version for review so that it can get out of experimental status.

JunQuilla is my attempt to extend the user interface in the Mozilla mailnews product to provide the information that I believe is needed to properly manage the bayesian junk filter. I suppose that most of these features should really be in the core product, but I found that support for [...]

Inherited Folder Properties – revisited

In a previous posting, I introduced the concept of inherited folder properties in the Mozilla mailnews products (Thunderbird and SeaMonkey). In the months since, I have incorporated these into my extensions quite significantly, so here I would like to show the UI I am currently using for this, and also discuss some of the issues that I face.

(All references to extensions in this posting refer to the 1.0.0 versions, which as of this writing have not been posted to AMO yet. But they should be available in a few weeks.)

Implemented UI

Briefly, inherited properties are a property that [...]

Managing spam with “after classification” filters

Nightly builds after 2009-08-19 of Thunderbird (or upcoming 3.0 beta 4) and SeaMonkey (or upcoming 2.0 beta 2) include a new ability to apply message filters after the internal spam filter has classified the message. Previously, filtering was always done before spam classification, which meant that you could not use any results of the spam classification in a filter.

The default spam processing that is available without using filters (whitelisting, move or delete messages with a sufficiently high threshold) should be sufficient for most users. But for people with special requirements you can now implement those requirements in a filter [...]

Extension status for Thunderbird 3.0 beta 3 (and Seamonkey 2.0 beta 1)

I’ve just bumped the allowable Thunderbird (and where applicable Seamonkey) version on my extensions to allow them to work with the new version numbers in the nightlies and release candidates. I had hoped to have new releases available by now, but have not yet done that.

Major changes are planned for FiltaQuilla (new custom searches) and ToneQuilla (switching to ogg Vorbis as the standard format). JunQuilla should have bug fixes, TaQuilla and GlodaQuilla will be virtually unchanged.

Updated ToneQuilla, FiltaQuilla, and JunQuilla posted

Recently I posted new versions of ToneQuilla, FiltaQuilla, and JunQuilla to mozilla’s addons site that support Thunderbird 3 beta 2, and Seamonkey 2 alpha 3 (SM is not supported in JunQuilla). In addition to version support, extensions have these changes:

ToneQuilla mostly gets an important bug fix to stop playing from ending prematurely. JunQuilla gets the new Junk Detail Analysis view that was mentioned in a previous post. FiltaQuilla gets three new filter actions: Run a Process with parameters, Train as Good, and Train as Junk.

The description page for each of the extensions has updated descriptions of the extensions, [...]

Extension plans for Thunderbird beta2

Now that Thunderbird beta2 has entered slushy code freeze, it’s time to update my extensions to match. Here’s my plans, which I will try to accomplish near the time that beta 2 releases (currrently scheduled for 2009-02-24):


The published version has a bug that interrupts the playing in some cases. I’ll fix that, but otherwise no changes. Prior to TB3 though I would like to implement support for Ogg Vorbis files in TB core, and add that to ToneQuilla as well. I’ll try to add some more tones at the same time – though possibly in a separate extension [...]

Viewing junk tokens

I implemented this week an interface to view the details of the bayesian filter calculation (bug 451405). It will be part of JunQuilla and TaQuilla eventually. Although I was mostly motivated to add it because of the interest users might have in understanding the categorization that TaQuilla will do, I’ve found the viewing of junk tokens also very interesting.

Here’s a typical result for a spam email, using a modified version of JunQuilla:

The columns may need a little explaining. “Token” is the string that was detected as a token. If it is shown as a word followed by a [...]

JunQuilla available in AMO

The initial version of my extension JunQuilla, which provides improved information for training the junkmail filter, is now available here. JunQuilla gives you more information about the junk (aka spam) status of each email (its percentage match in the statistical calculations, and reasons why a message was marked junk or good). Also, an Uncertain folder of messages needing training is added.

See http://mesquilla.com/extensions/junquilla for details.