There is a mailing list for STUMP users. You can subsrcibe and ask your questions there. They will likely be answered within a day or two. To subscribe, send email to majordomo @ algebra.com and say in the message-body "subscribe stump-users".
I do monitor that list and help you get your questions answered. The submission address for sending messages is stump-users @ algebra.com.
For non-Unix people, I perform a service whereby I install STUMP on their system. I also provide them with a five month warranty, which means that if something breaks, I will be there to help.
Note, however, that I encourage you to take the free route and do it by yourself, and am not trying to make a sale. Installing STUMP is almost always a useful experience.
Second, and more important, reason for having a separate account for personal work and robomoderator is security. Internet is a wild and dangerous place full of people willing to inflict serious harm on others just for the sheer fun of it. I have proofread and verified all moderation scripts for security, and built extensive protection against malicious attacks aiming to hack robomoderation account. However, I cannot give you a 100% assurance that robomoderation process is secure.
If you operate robomoderator from your private account and someone manages to hack it, all your private files will be open for prying eyes of people whom you do not even know. If it happens in an isolated account, the damage will be much more limited.
All in all though, you can get along with just using your Unix account.Note: If you do not want to deal with setting up a Unix account, I offer a complete moderation site hosting service called ReadySTUMP.
If you do not have superuser privileges, you cannot set up a legitimate
account. Please ask your system administrator to do it for you. A good
name for such account would be comprised of first letters of your
newsgroup name. For example, account for soc.culture.russian.moderated
email@example.com (I am the sysadmin of algebra.com).
You may call the robomod's account
/etc/aliases. You should ask your systems adminiastrator to establish these aliases for your group. Below is the example of the part of aliases file for Comp.Sys.FooBars.Moderated.
Note also, that if you have only one address and a sendmail-based system, and a non-cooperative sysadmin, you can try to get around the requirement to have several sendmail aliases. If addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org work, then you can use addresses like "email@example.com" instead. Make sure that they do in fact work (it is not guaranteed) and then edit your stump/etc/procmailrc accordingly.
Procmail binary is provided for Linux and FreeBSD, see the main STUMP page for the reference.
Look at the sample .procmailrc file that is used by soc.culture.russian.moderated.
Set up and familiarize yourself with PGP, an excellent third-party encryption and authentification program.
Download it from this link. If you are not residing in the US or cannot download PGP from that page, try this link and try to find PGP there.
Another link (in Norway) is this: download PGP from Net sites outside.
PGP binary is provided for Linux and FreeBSD, see the main STUMP page for the reference.
stump-....tar.gzfile that you just downloaded. Do this command:
$HOME/stump, there is directory
$HOME/stump/etc.dist. It should be renamed to
$HOME/stump/etc, and you should do the same with bin.dist, tmp.dist and data.dist directories. etc contains files that you need to customize. The reason for such renaming is that when you receive upgrades of the robomod, the upgrade does not override the files that you customized.
Go through files in etc directory, and edit them carefully.
Most of them are self explanatory. I put lots of comments in them. You should begin with editing the stump/etc/modenv file.
Create a symbolic links for procmail:
IMPORTANT: Later you MUST make sure that procmail processes all
your incoming mail correctly and that all rules are written right. For
logs of all procmail activity you may look into $HOME/Mail/from logfile.
You can set
VERBOSE=ON in the
file if you want to see detailed output.
NOTE: file Mail/from is an excellent source of debugging information.
You can (and should) edit some of the files in the data directory. These files are good.guys.list, bad.guys.list, bad.words.list. They contain Perl's regular expressions for detecting messages from preapproved and blacklisted posters, and suspicious words, respectively.
Edit them and leave them blank (no spaces).
modenvfile from the etc directory in your .profile (or .login) file. You need to have several environment variables, including PATH, to be set correctly in order to support robomod properly.
Put this in your .profile or .login file:
According to the specification of the robomod, you have to have one PGP key - for signing approved articles with PGP Moose application.
Pick a passphrase that is not too hard to type and remember. Usage of
these PGP keys is not a very high-security application, so you can
select 512-bit key sizes. Save this passphrase in file
. Make sure that this passphrase is not readable by anyone except the robomod user.
Name the key by analogy with the key used for SCRM (see modenv file and user names there). Your PGP Key must be named like this:
pub 512/ABB554F5 1996/02/26 CSFM Approval Key <firstname.lastname@example.org>
PGP Keys are generated using command
etc/rejectand edit part that consists of calls to subroutine
addReason. Customize it to your taste. After that, go to directory
etc/messagesand make sure that files there have exactly the names that you listed as first parameters in calls to
addReason. Make sure they have comprehensive and polite messages corresponding to the broad reasons for rejection that you made up.
These messages will be sent to users when their articles are rejected for specified reasons. The messages that I supplied are not bad.Make sure that you keep the following files:
rejection-reasons.lstand put there the reasons that your moderators are allowed to choose for rejections. They should have names corresponding to the filenames in etc/messages, separated from comments by double colon ::.
offtopic::Message is grossly off topic (spam, turks, etc) charter::Technical violation of charter (binary, exc. quoting) harassing::Message of harassing/insulting/hatemongering content
To test your newsgroup, first write to
ichudov @ algebra . com
, and ask me to create a newsgroup account for you in
webstump. Please tell me your newsgroup name and the approved address
(such as email@example.com). Free WebSTUMP is located at
You should test your setup of the robomoderator very extensively. If the robomod fails when your group goes to production, you will be ashamed. When you are testing, look at file $HOME/Mail/from, which contains all standard error output of your programs. Try to send submissions by email to your moderation address. Do
misc.jobs.miscfor your testing. It is a dead newsgroup infested by spamsters. Nobody will bother and complain about your postings.
etc/modenv and put
misc.jobs.misc in the assignment to NEWSGROUP, for
|Test Case||Test Goal|
|Moderators' list||Moderators receive all message submitted to the address for thir private list.|
|Ackonwledgments of Receipt||Submitters receive polite and informative messages for every message that they submit (you can turn ack mode off for individuals or even altogether)|
|Distribution of Submissions||Each message submitted to the robomoderator gets sent to a randomly selected human moderator in an appropriate format.|
|Approvals work||Messages approved by human moderators actually get posted.|
|Rejections Work||Messages rejected by human moderators do not get posted; submitters receive polite and informative explanations of the reasons of rejection, and pointers to FAQ and Charter of your newsgroup.|
|White List Works||Messages sent by users whose "From: " addresses match regular expressions in the good.guys.list file.|