[rescue] spam WPOISON

Curtis H. Wilbar Jr. rescue at hawkmountain.net
Mon Sep 8 17:54:45 CDT 2003

>From: Dave McGuire <mcguire at neurotica.com>
>On Monday, September 8, 2003, at 05:27 PM, Curtis H. Wilbar Jr. wrote:
>   I think you just hit upon the root of our disagreement.  If I were to 
>write such a program, I'd want to release it for free so that everyone 
>could use it, not just me...no matter what hardware they're running and 
>no matter what their hit rates look like.

If that is your target it will influence implementation decisions
differently than another target.

>   I know plenty of people who are running web servers on things like 
>Sun3s and very old VAXen...A MicroVAX-II, for example, I'd guess would 
>take several seconds just to start a Perl interpreter...but they run 
>good C code like the dickens.  Such an anti-spam program, if written in 
>C, would likely also be useful for that crowd.

sure, but on older systems like that, the process/memory management of
the fork/exec process to run the external program is going to take a
hit as well... admittedly not as much of a hit as a perl interpreter
(although if you have enough memory and your perl interpreter was resident
for web browser use via something like modPerl, it might be more efficient
on slower systems depending on the platform and overhead for external cgi

>>  but for what most would see the
>> efficienty of speed is not necessary for such an application.  I really
>> don't think that C is going to do the job so much more amazingly well
>> such that it is necessary for this task.
>   I think it would, but there's really not much point in arguing about 

OK... lets not argue.

>> What about maintainability ?  What about portability ?  What about
>> development time ?  etc...  the decision of what language to use to do
>> the job "right" is not simply a decision of program speed or 
>> efficienty...
>> their are other factors.
>   Maintainability?  Sure.  Portability?  Yes.  Development time...eh, a 
>concern, but a minor one.  Personally, as a professional developer, I'm 
>happier spending time actually *writing code* than trying to figure out 
>new ways to avoid work.

You are assuming that using the features in interpreted language X is
avoiding the work involved in using language Y.  Maybe some people
would make decisions on work avoidance, but not me.

>   But, as I said in an earlier email, I believe I illustrated that 
>point a bit too strongly.

I probably illustrated mine to strongly too :-)

>   Maintainability and development time indeed...Keep in mind the fact 
>that we're talking about bogus-address generator to make spammers' 
>lives difficult.  If someone writes this in C, and it gets to be more 
>than 2000 lines, there's something very, very wrong.

oh god... I'd hope nobody would need more than that to do it...


>> I was taking the efficiency thing to an extreme to make a point.
>   Well, so was I. :)
>> Sure, 'C' is portable in a source form, but if you were making the 
>> solution
>> and were not going to distribute source, you could write in assembly 
>> for
>> each target platform you chose to support... maximal efficienty... 
>> maximal
>> effort.
>   Agreed.  I guess I'd assumed we were talking about writing stuff 
>that'd be released in source form, like pretty much everything else.

And given what started this conversation your assumption is probably
the conditions under which I should hve made my comments/etc :-)

>> Depending on what you want to do with a program, the effort to do it in
>> C "efficiently" can be much greater than doing it in another language
>> (like Perl, PHP, etc) in less time and with more readability, 
>> maintainability,
>> and possibly with less debugging (as some languages make things much
>> easier to do than doing it yourself in C).
>   Agreed.  There's more to life (and software development) than 
>avoiding effort, though.

And much more in life to be able to be done by taking advantage of
people who have already invented the wheel (code, high level language
features, etc) than do redo it again.

>> Time to market, etc is not important ?  Maybe not from a technical 
>> aspect,
>> but from a business aspect it sure is.
>   We're talking about a little piece of [presumably] free software to 
>fight spammers, man.  People who worry too much about "business aspect" 
>ARE the spammers.

Well, if you run a business or are a owner or part owner of one, then
you best worry about business aspects, as they are important to a
succesfull business.

I could write the best windowing operating system ever seen... but
by the time it is done, nobody will buy it because it will be obsolete,
out of favor, etc... even if it was technically superior for the
platform that was popular when development began :-)

>> So maybe for this task, PHP is the best language for the job.  I echo
>> that there is no one language good for all jobs.  I don't believe the
>> C is necessarily the best for this job (that we were discussing).
>   PHP is usually a buttload faster (and more efficient) than Perl, and 
>embedding it into a web server is far less kludgy.  I'd say it's a 
>better choice than Perl, but (and I fully acknowledge that THIS is an 
>opinion) I'd still choose C to write something like this.  If you'd 
>choose PHP instead, I'd not really argue with you about it (even if it 
>were my business what language you write your software in, which it 
>certainly isn't).

I would say PHP is a better choice than Perl for this situation.  And
your choice to write it in C is your choice.  I have PHP at my disposal,
could write it faster in PHP, and for the hit rates and everything I'd
see from it, I'd simply do it in PHP.

Curtis Wilbar
Hawk Mountain Networks

rescue at
t       a
e       w
n       k

My e-mail is protected against viruses and spam by MailGuardian
          Top notch protection at unbelievable prices

More information about the rescue mailing list