Mail Filtering

Monday, 2 September 2002, 12:25 PM EST

There are many ways to filter your e-mail with Perl. Two of the more popular and interesting ways are to use PerlMx or Mail::Audit. Michael Stevens took a long look at both, and this is what he thought of them.

During testing, PerlMx was significantly more reliable, both in terms of the amount of mail bounced due to configuration problems (none), and in terms of the load put in the mailserver (minimal) than Mail::Audit. Although Mail::Audit appears able to be setup for good performance, the obvious suggested configuration showed extremely poor scalability during testing. Also, as Mail::Audit requires writing some filtering code, bugs, mostly in this code, resulted in nontrivial quantities of mail being bounced during testing due to code/configuration errors, a problem that simply didn't occur with PerlMx's more pre-supplied, configuration file based system.

Both PerlMx and Mail::Audit provide good mail filtering solutions using Perl, but are targeted at entirely different markets. PerlMx is a systemwide solution providing drop-in functionality on mailservers, with Perl extensibility as well, whereas Mail::Audit is a more low-level tool, mostly focused on use by individuals, designed to let users build their own mail processing tools more easily.

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