C-Command Software Forum

SpamSieve not seeing all my mail

I just installed SpamSieve (OS X 10.5.2, Thunderbird, an IMAP account), and it doesn’t seem to be seeing all the mail I receive. I have two identities in this account, and message filters in TBird move mail related to the secondary identity from the inbox to another folder as soon as it arrives. I also have some procmail recipes running on the server that catch obvious spam and move it to the spam folder before TBird sees it (but they’re letting enough through that I’m trying out SpamSieve).

I’ve received fifteen or so messages (that got through the procmail filter) since I started SpamSieve this morning, but the statistics window reports a total of only 5 filtered messages. I have both TBird and SS set to notify me of new mail with Growl, and I saw Growl notifications from both programs for those five, but for the others I saw notifications only from Tbird. I do have all relevant SpamSieve Growl options enabled: Good Messages (in Address Book), Good Messages (Not in Address Book), and Uncertain Spam. The combination of no Growl notifications and the statistics window’s count of Filtered Messages not increasing makes me think that SS is simply not seeing about two thirds of the mail I’m receiving.

(It may be relevant that SS has not seen any of the messages to the secondary identity, which a TBird filter moves out of the inbox as soon as it arrives. However, it hasn’t seen half of the messages to the primary identity, either.)

This can’t be right. Can anyone suggest what might be going on?

The best way to determine this is to look in the log.

That doesn’t sound right. My understanding is that Thunderbird should apply the junk filter (SpamSieve, in this case) to every message. I would not expect having multiple identities to affect this.

If your procmail rules move good messages out of the inbox, it’s possible that Thunderbird won’t see those messages as new, and so it won’t run the junk filter on them.

Thanks for pointing me to the log! It confirms that SS is not seeing a lot of my mail.

Section 7.1 of the manual (“Why is SpamSieve not catching my spam?”) says that when using TBird, “Make sure that Do not mark mail as junk if the sender is in… is not checked” – but I did have it checked. (In my defense, the manual’s setup instructions for TBird at 3.11.1 don’t mention this checkbox, so I didn’t think to uncheck it when installing SS.) I’ve unchecked it both for the IMAP account and for Local Folders, and quit and restarted both TBird and SS; all other aspects of my setup seem correct. Since then I have received ten messages: six to the main identity in the inbox, all of which the log shows SpamSieve saw, and four to the secondary identity, moved out of the inbox by a TBird message filter (not by a procmail rule), which SpamSieve did not see. As I’d expect, I got Growl notifications from SS for the six, but not for the four; but I got Growl notifications from TBird for all of them. (One of the four was spam, and was filtered out by TBird, I guess; like the other three, it does not appear in the SS log.)

How can I figure out why SpamSieve isn’t seeing some of my mail?

It has been applying its built-in junk filter to every message; its filter just hasn’t been good enough. It has failed to identify a lot of the spam that gets past my procmail rules, so I’m trying SpamSieve.

No, the procmail rules do not move good messages out of the inbox, and it’s not the messages moved by procmail that SpamSieve is failing to see. (I mean, no, it doesn’t see them, but that’s fine; the whole idea is to have the obvious spam weeded out on my server, so nothing on the desktop has to deal with it at all.) The problem is that SpamSieve isn’t seeing messages that are untouched by the procmail rules.

Well, it’s up to you whether to have it checked, but 7.1 is saying that if it is checked, SpamSieve won’t see those messages.

Could you clarify what you mean by “to the secondary identity”? My understanding is that Thunderbird identities really only apply to outgoing messages. Do you mean that the To address matches the address that the second identity uses for sending?

You could check the Console log to see whether the SpamSieve plug-in is reporting any errors. It’s possible that Thunderbird is trying to junk-filter the messages with SpamSieve but that the plug-in is encountering errors sending them to SpamSieve. I think that’s unlikely, though.

Other than that, it’s really out of SpamSieve’s hands whether Thunderbird asks it to filter any messages. It would be interesting to see whether you can manually Run Junk Mail Controls on the messages that weren’t run through SpamSieve automatically. And, secondly, perhaps it would help to disable or delete the message filter, since that seems to be the difference between the messages that are being sent to SpamSieve and those that aren’t.

Yes, that’s what I mean. All mail to the address associated with my secondary TBird identity is moved to another folder by a message filter.

Nope, no console errors. Thunderbird seems to be throwing an occasional error: “unrecognized command line flag -psn_0_[various six-digit numbers],” but a quick Google hasn’t helped me figure out what that means…

Indeed it would, and indeed it was. I could Run Junk Mail Controls manually on that filter, and SpamSieve saw and processed the messages when I did. So clearly the problem is with Thunderbird, not SpamSieve, and I will go ask for help in the relevant Mozilla forum. Thanks for helping me track this down!