massDeleteManila: AppleScript for mass spam deletion

After the carpal tunnel moment earlier today, I decided to look on the bright side of spam. I updated my hoary old ManilaHandler AppleScript to add support for the Manila.message.delete method (and at the same time bundled the support script SOAPXMLRPCHandler into the body of the script). And I wrote a simple AppleScript, massDeleteManila, that takes a comma delimited list of message IDs and deletes them.

The UI isn’t elegant. You need to type or paste a comma delimited list into a dialog box. Plus no progress bar. But it works, and it is a lot faster than deleting spam through the web UI.

My suggested workflow for using this on your own Manila blog:

  1. Copy and paste the table for your discussion group topic listing page showing the spam messages into Excel.
  2. Copy just the message IDs and paste them into BBEdit (or another word processor).
  3. Search and replace: replace paragraphs with commas.
  4. Run the massDeleteManila script and paste the comma-delimited list of message IDs into the first dialog box.
  5. If you haven’t filled out your blog URL yet, type it in, along with your username and password.
  6. The script runs silently until all the messages have been deleted.

The massDeleteManila script is available for download. I provide it so that other Manila users, such as the Berkman bloggers, can benefit. Please use it carefully—there’s no easy way to undelete messages in Manila, and I cannot provide support if you accidentally delete important content. Note that you may need Tiger to run the script—I haven’t been able to test it under Panther.