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Strollin' around
Status: New idea

This post is about the "adaptive junk filter", its log and a file called "training.dat".

Here is what happened to me:

  • The "adaptive junk filter" was activated (both "globally" and for my e-mail-account), and "adaptive junk filter logging" was activated.
  • All e-mails, which I receive, are checked for spam by my e-mail-provider. If an e-mail is considered spam, then it shows up in a folder called "Spam" (not in my "Inbox"-folder).
  • Some time passed and I marked e-mails as junk and "Not Junk".
  • My "Log" ("Settings" -> "Privacy and Security" -> "Junk" -> button "Show log") was still empty. The file called "training.dat" (Path: C:\Users\MyWindowsUserName\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\abc12de3.default-release\) existed and had about 30 MB.
  • I thought, that something was wrong:
    • The training/learning of the "adaptive junk filter" works correctly, but the log is not displayed correctly.
      That would make sense, because training.dat exists and is big.
    • ... or ...
    • The training/learning of the "adaptive junk filter" does NOT work correctly. It does not learn and it does not do anything. The log is displayed correctly.
      That does not make sense, because training.dat exists and is big. Maybe training.dat is used for something else?!
  • I tried some things, but none of them helped.
    • I clicked on the button "Clear Log" (in the log-window). I waited for some time, but the log was still empty.
    • I clicked on the button "Reset Training Data" ("Settings" -> "Privacy and Security" -> "Junk"). After some time training.dat was back and big again.
    • I deleted training.dat manually with Windows Explorer. After some time training.dat was back and big again.
  • I manually moved a spam-e-mail from my spam-folder to my "Inbox"-folder. That e-mail was then automatically marked as junk by the "adaptive junk filter".
  • I opened my log again. Now the log was not empty anymore. Now there was one entry for this one e-mail from a minute ago.
  • -> The "adaptive junk filter" works correctly. The log works correctly. No problems or bugs. I just misunderstood (even after I did some googling (that is how I heard about training.dat) ).


My "idea"/suggestion:
Prevent what happened to me by informing the user better about this topic. Just a small amount of information would be enough:

  • The log shows all actions, which the "adaptive junk filter" has done (= moving an e-mail to a different folder or deleting an e-mail). If there have not been any actions yet, then the log will be empty. The log contains nothing else.
  • The file training.dat stores all the data of the training/learning of the "adaptive junk filter". That means, that this file grows as the user marks more e-mails as junk or "Not Junk". This file is NOT the log of the actions of the "adaptive junk filter".
  • Optional info: One way to test the "adaptive junk filter": A spam-e-mail is marked as junk and is not in the default "Inbox"-folder. The user has to manually mark it as "Not Junk". Then that e-mail is automatically moved to the "Inbox"-folder. Then the "adaptive junk filter" should automatically mark that e-mail as junk. Now the log should not be empty. If that happens, then the "adaptive junk filter" works correctly and is trained correctly. (That is exactly what I did. See above.)


Where/How could this information be added?


I know, that this is very specific. It's probably not important and only a low priority, but this could be fixed rather easily/quickly I think.

Sorry for the long post 😅

1 Comment
Status changed to: New idea
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