I recently explained my decision to start packaging and distributing my own version of WordPress in order to make my life simpler, as to the distribution of Spam Karma 2.

Simultaneously, I had to deal with an outbreak of issues (or more exactly vocalizations on these issues: it’s unlikely the issues have been any more common than before. They were just given more attention on these pages) with Spam Karma 1.

I have taken the time to write a very detailed response to cover all aspects of the False Positives problem, and provide anybody coming to me with a comment denied by Spam Karma, with the Why?, How? and What Now? of their problem. The bottom line being that, while I’m sincerely sorry about these, I am not responsible in the slightest for the use people make of this program (especially considering how easy it is to screw up the install when you hold yourself too smart to read the docs) and even less so now that there is an upgrade available.

But I care, and think I have proven it in the past, to whoever bothered contacting me without resorting to death threats immediately.

There is, however, one way to make me not care about your problem… It goes a little bit like this:

As I just lengthily explained, I have very little love for corporate hierarchies and all the folklore that goes with it. Ironically, the ostensibly “free” world of major Open-Source development never fails to irk me in the exact same way…

I have my theories about that, and they mostly have to do with the fact that Open-Source is full of the very same people, who, for one reason or another, might not have made it at the top of the corporate ladder in the traditional world, but are fiercely decided to enjoy the exact same privilege in their own version thereof. Less money, therefore a void to fill, usually by inflating the ego until it touches on all sides. These are all theories… But I do not care to expand on them right this second, if only to add very quickly that Open-Source Software is also filled with an overwhelming majority of selfless, dedicated, bright people, who, in the end, bring the balance way into the positive.

Yet, I do have my beef with many OSS practices in general, and practitioners in particular, but because I have yet to find the recipe for immortality (and just in case you are looking for it too, I can tell you so far that neither baths in young virgin’s blood, nor daily consumption of half a gallon of gin, work), I do my best to spend as little time as humanly possible on such crap. Sure I yammer. a lot. but I am also quite good at packing my marbles and moving to another side of the playground without sulking too much, whenever I really can’t take my little playmates’ bullshit any more…

This entry was originally gonna be a comment posted on Dave’s Chalkboard in response to this post. But then I realized it had taken the size of a novella, and furthermore, most of its content is probably relevant to other people too. So here goes another entry about Spam Karma
Sorry, I know this is getting tedious, I’m tired of talking about it too… I promise this is the last time you hear about it until I finally get off my ass and release SK 2.0

You know, despite my best efforts, I have never managed to reach celebrity status in Japan… and when I see the kind of humiliation my friend the “talento” has to go through, every time he is featured on TV (full story for another day), I am quite happy with that.

However, I can now die a happy man, since a small part of my work has finally been recognized for what it’s worth, and featured in a Fijian Newspaper. Yea, you read correctly: I am a star in Fiji.

Well, kinda.

Found this awesomely dorky time-waster through Cosmic Buddha and here is what it’s got to say about Spam Karma:

This new pizzle is destined ta become tha permanent news repository fo’ all th’n Spam Karma
[…]
Spizzay Karma in tha dogg pound.
[…]
Spam Karma cuz this is how we do it.
[…]
Spizzam Karma . Ya fuck with us, we gots to fuck you up.
[…]
You can leave a response, or trackback fizzy yo own site fo gettin yo pimp on.
[…]
S-P-to-tha-izzam Karma has gizzle nuts . Relax, cus I’m bout to take my respect!
Chosen excerpts from search results

Now I ask all the spammer beeatch out there, you sure you wanna fuck with my homies?

Yea, me too.

As I mentioned many times before, recent development and support on both Spam Karma and WPPM have taken a serious toll on a schedule that certainly didn’t need the extra excitement.

On an average, I receive over a dozen emails/comments a day regarding SK or WP-related support. A good 90% of which are usually RTFM-related and not in any way due to a bug in SK. Lately, I have spent upward of two hours, every single day, dealing with plugin development issues (mostly SK). Very often to come to the conclusion that the bug I’m going after has been introduced by some changes in WP’s code, user hacks, exotic server configurations or any of the hundred parameters I have little control over.

And this, of course, for the mere glory of it all. Because it is doubtful I will ever make a buck off it (and that’s really not the goal), nor is this type of development ever likely to impress anybody reading my resume (the kind of people who employ me usually, ignore until the very meaning of the word ‘blog’).

But this is quite alright.

The many thank-you notes, sincere props, pitches in the tip jar, as well as the personal benefit from using these tools on my own blog, definitely go a long way toward making it worth my time. And I am certainly not gonna start complaining because a project of mine gets some amount of popularity. User adoption is indeed the greatest form of appreciation for one’s work.

Why am I putting Spam Karma’s development on hold, then?

From my childhood readings I remember this particular chapter off Jules Verne‘s visionary masterpiece From the Earth to the Moon.

The first volume would go over the fabrication of a humongous cannon being built to send a few adventurers on the Moon (yea, this is 19th century science-fiction all right, but not as far off as one would think) and included an historical background of both the main character: Impey Barbicane, founder of shots during the Civil war, and his personal nemesis-turned-ally: Captain Nichols, founder of armored plates. That one chapter described extensively the armament race that opposed the two men through their new inventions on the battlefield.

Every time the cannon grew bigger, the armor became thicker, and vice-versa.

Anyway, spam strongly reminds me of that. Just when everybody started enjoying a deceivingly quiet reprieve in the Spam Wars, the filthy baboons come back and hit again, harder, and nastier. This time using a different angle.

Update: Please note that this was originally written for Spam Karma v.1 and therefore some elements (licensing especially) no longer apply to SK2. Same spirit overall though.

OK, so before I go any further, let me make things as clear as I can:

Spam Karma is and will always be absolutely free. Free as in beer, free as in love.

So free, actually, that you could practically take it, change twenty lines and start selling it as yours. Except your own karma would probably shrivel as a result.

Anyway, the gist of it is that you are under no obligation, legal or moral, to pay anything for its use. In fact, you are entirely welcome and encouraged to use it for free. Though a supportive e-mail or comment is always nice too.

Now that we got that part out of the way:

First thing: there is now a static page entirely dedicated to Spam Karma. Among other things, it will always contain the current version number as well as links to other relevant piece of information.

Now that we pretty much got Spam Karma 1.x nice and stable, it’s time to get ready for 2.0!

Below is what I have more or less already planned for it, please feel free to add your own wishes, desires and suggestions in the comments.

Picture spam_sandwich.jpg
UPDATED: 12/09/2004 15:46 JST From now on, please check the central Spam Karma page to get the latest updates and news on this plugin.

Yet another techy update for my fellow bloggers using WordPress.

Now that it’s reached version 1.4 and that most (all?) major bugs have been ironed out, I feel it’s time to introduce the latest member in the ever-expanding WordPress plugin family

Spam Karma is a mean critter that truly enjoys killing

In fact it is so mean that we had to keep it in a special military-grade containment unit on this server.

Genetically engineered in the dark recess of our Secret Spam Research Labs and trained through months of reflex conditioning and shock therapy, this thing, once unleashed on your comments, will only let go of its death grip after the last spam has been shredded to pieces.

We haven’t fed it for a week now, and it could smell spam miles away in its sleep.

But while a fierce and merciless spam killer, this plugin is also a perfect companion for your kids and friend’s comments. Only the unmistakable foul stench of spam will trigger its ire… while questionable, yet potentially legit, comments will always be given a chance to clear themselves before being irremediably disposed of.

If you are using WP Plugin Mgr, install is as easy as a click on the “Check Updates” button and a click on the “One-Click Install”… Yep, that’s all.
For those still stuck in the last century, a manual install archive is available here. Please, please, RTFM: it’s short, sweet and contains essential details.

Once installed, make sure you check at least once the Option screen (in wp-admin, click on Options >> Spam Karma).

I strongly recommend you check for updates (if you are using WPPM it will do it automatically for you) at least once a week so as to make sure you benefit from the latest bug fixes I might make.

Spam Karma v. 1.4 is now compatible with WordPress 1.2: however due to the lack of certain functions in WP 1.2 Plugin API, some of the features are missing (Option Page integration etc). It is fully enabled for use with any fairly recent release of WP alpha 1.3.