Brad Fitzpatrick (brad) wrote,
Brad Fitzpatrick

why 80% isn't good enough.

In the Linux community there's a vocal crowd always saying how Konqueror or Opera are kick-ass web browsers and Mozilla's just bloat. Mozilla people reply pointing out that Konqueror and Opera both don't do everything, and lack the foundation to do everything. The Mozilla people are so correct...

After installing junkfilter, I can now see what percentage of my spam is caught by my original rules and what percentage is caught by junkfilter. My filters catch about 8 messages for every 2 that junkfilter catches... but looking at the junkfilter messages, I realize it would've been really difficult to filter it the way I've been doing things. Compare the sizes of my procmail recipes vs. junkfilter's ... mine are about a page long. Junkfilter's are 1,500 lines long. Mine are about 100. So, consider that 1/15th of the code does 80% of the work... of course this isn't always the case with every problem, but clearly it shows that there is a basis to the maxim "it takes 80% of the time to do the last 20% of the project".

I don't want a somewhat good solution --- I want a perfect solution. I don't want to see a single spam message ever, and I don't want to see crappily laid out web pages ever.

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