Feeds

Lamson - email app coding without the palm sweat

Doing what Java never did

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Lamson actually tackles the problem of e-mail development being hard, instead of taking the pathological attitude of the Java community to leave everything as an exercise to the reader.

A good example is an e-mail list. A user subscribes by sending a message to subscribe@manpanties.com, expressing his interest in joining a list for men who prefer the comfort and style of ladies' underwear. The list server then sends back a confirmation message to which this gentleman must reply. After a successful reply, he is free to discuss silk vs. cotton with his brethren. This interaction can be modeled by a state transition diagram, which I'm sure you will remember from computer science class. A user transitions from START to PENDING to POSTING, depending on how he has interacted with the system. Lamson applications make heavy use of finite state machines and allow you to program them in a silky soft, Pythonic way.

Now, that's a clean example of the type of application Lamson encourages. The dirty example is spam, of course. Perhaps some of the greatest minds on e-mail specifications and programming have devoted their lives to selling penis pills, weight loss pills, and pyramid scams. It's possible that a framework like Lamson already exists in the discount Viagra underground, but is considered a competitive advantage, so it stays under wraps. Even so, Lamson will make it very easy for spammers to track their victims' interactions with the campaigns, but that may actually be a net positive for the internet.

As Zed explains, "I totally think Lamson will be used more for spam than for anything really useful. My hope with Lamson is that it acts like a modern sewage system for the internet. Everyone's gotta poop. You can't escape it, so why not try to do it in a clean fashion that improves the general health of everyone involved?

He adds: "With Lamson, you have a simple system for either blocking or sending spam, but more importantly for doing it in a modern high quality smart way. Rather than blasting out billions of junk ads nobody wants, I'm hoping that smart spammers will become "marketers" and start sending clean advertisement to people who might actually want it."

With easier stateful e-mail programming, it's possible that spammers will concentrate more on conversion rates than number of impressions. If that's possible, it may also be possible to convince them that you can get a cheap and quick buzz by inhaling the fumes released when you mix ammonia and bleach. Hey, a man can dream.

Lamson is yet another iteration of the Cycle of Hard Stuff. In programming, there are many protocols and standards that are ill understood by the masses. Every now and again, and alpha programmer will come along and put a nice API on top of one of these protocols, which opens the field up to anyone with a computer and enough denial power to turn that humility into self-confidence. Rails did this to web development, JQuery did it to Javascript, and now Lamson is doing it to e-mail. With a fresh tarball of Lamson and your copy of Learn Python in 24 Hours, you'll be up and spamming in no time.

Either that or you can use it to integrate your company's helpdesk system with e-mail. Take your pick.

You can visit the Lamson Project home page here. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.