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The Lego approach

by robartes (Priest)
on Nov 15, 2002 at 10:53 UTC ( #213108=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

The Lego approach

Musings on the comprehensiveness of the Comprehensive Archive

I have recently come to appreciate just how comprehensive CPAN actually is. I have been thinking about writing a sort of knowledge base application for my email (current and archives), inspired by Zoe.

I currently manage my email using a fairly classic combination of fetchmail, procmail and mutt, with junkfilter as a spam antidote. What's sorely missing in this picture is a facility to easily retrieve old mail from archives, based on a number of criteria. Sure, grepping through mbox files goes some way towards this issue, but having seen Zoe, I wanted something more.

So, a new solution was sought after. It would still rely on procmail/mutt as a MUA but would need to add good spam filtering (junkfilter was scoring almost 50% false negatives) and a conveniently searchable archive backend to the equation.

Being of the camel persuasion, I of course turned to Perl for this solution. Initially, I thought that I would have to write a major part of it myself, which is not an attractive proposition with other hobby and real life activities stealing away most of my free time. That was not counting CPAN however. Literally everything I want my app to do has a module for it.

Let's see - I need to:

It seems that I can use a Lego approach to building my app. I'll just take the blocks mentioned and stack them in just the right way and presto - a new mail application! My app will basically only be the glue to hold stuff together, proving yet again that Perl is the ultimate glue language.

So, I'd like to conclude with a heartfelt thank you to all module authors out there for making the C in CPAN really mean something. You drag noble concepts such as code reuse and modular development from the nebulous realms of fantasy into the day to day reality of actual programmming use. And it's almost as fun as real Lego blocks :).


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Re: The Lego approach
by jbisbee (Pilgrim) on Nov 16, 2002 at 02:54 UTC
    You may want to look at Simon Cozens' Mail::Audit::Miner. It's not very well documented but its the same idea of mining your e-mail. Take a look at this journal entry of his that I happened to read awhile ago.


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