Once a month, web developers from across the Mozilla Project get together to try and transmute a fresh Stanford graduate into a 10x engineer. Meanwhile, we find time to talk about our side projects and drink, an occurrence we like to call “Beer and Tell”.
Osmose: SpeedKills and Advanced Open File
First up was Osmose (that’s me!) presenting two packages for Atom, a text editor. SpeedKills is a playful package that plays a guitar solo and sets text on fire when the user types fast enough. Advanced Open File is a more useful package that adds a convenient dialog for browsing the file system and opening files by path rather than using the fuzzy finder. Both are available for install through the Atom package repository.
new_one: Tab Origin
Next was new_one, who shared Tab Origin, a Firefox add-on that lets you return to the webpage that launched the current tab, even if the parent tab has since been closed. It’s activated via a keyboard shortcut that can be customized.
Potch: WONTFIX and Presentation Mode
Continuing a fine tradition of batching projects, Potch stopped by to show off two Firefox add-ons. The first was WONTFIX, which adds a large red WONTFIX stamp to any Bugzilla bug that has been marked as WONTFIX. The second was Presentation Mode, which allows you to full-screen any content in a web page while hiding the browser chrome. This is especially useful when giving web-based presentations.
Peterbe shared premailer.io, which is a service wrapping premailer. Premailer takes a block of HTML with a style tag and applies the styles within as style attributes on each matching tag. This is mainly useful for HTML emails, which generally don’t support style tags that apply to the entire email.
ErikRose: Spam-fighting Tips
ErikRose learned a lot about the current state of spam-fighting while redoing his mail server:
- Telling Postfix to be picky about RFCs is a good first pass. It eliminates some spam without having to do much computation.
- spamassassin beats out dspam, which hasn’t seen an update since 2012.
- Shared-digest detectors like Razor help a bit but aren’t sufficient on their own without also greylisting to give the DBs a chance to catch up.
- DNS blocklists are a great aid: they reject 3 out of 4 spams without taking much CPU.
- Bayes is still the most reliable (though the most CPU-intense) filtration method. Bayes poisoning is infeasible, because poisoners don’t know what your ham looks like, so don’t worry about hand-picking spam to train on. Train on an equal number of spams and hams: 400 of each works well. Once your bayes is performing well, crank up your BAYES_nn settings so spamassassin believes it.
- Crank up spamc’s –max-size to 1024000, because spammers are now attaching images > 512K to mails to bypass spamc’s stock 512K threshold. This will cost extra CPU.
With this, he gets perhaps a spam a week, with over 400 attempts per day.
We were only able to get a 3x engineer this month, but at least they were able to get a decent job working on enterprise software.
If you’re interested in attending the next Beer and Tell, sign up for the firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list. An email is sent out a week beforehand with connection details. You could even add yourself to the wiki and show off your side-project!
See you next month!