Re: Alternate name

Subject: Re: Alternate name
From: Sandy Harris <sandy -at- storm -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 08 Jan 2002 23:04:18 -0500

Christopher Clunas wrote:
>
> Hi,
>
> We have a feature currently called "Out of Office". It's similar to the
> feature in Outlook.

Just please make sure it works correctly. I'm not sure if Outlook does.

It should not send these messages in response to things from mailing lists,
or at least not if the list software is correctly configured.

Despite that, I get about a half dozen such responses to mailing list
posts a week, but I am on a lot of lists and a fairly active poster on
some of them.

There are several ways a mailing list or other sender can ask not to get
"Out of Office" messages. Details are in:
ftp://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc2076.txt

For example. some mailing lists add a header to all messages:
Precedence: bulk
and 'vacation' programs should not send these out-of-office messages in
response to messages with that header.

Checking headers for various lists I'm on, I find about half have the
header and half don't. techwr-l doesn't, and at one point I asked Eric
to add it.

However, the RFC describes this header as "non-standard, controversial,
discouraged", so I guess Eric's right not to use it. However, since some
folks do use it, methinks the old "be conservative in what you send and
liberal in what you accept" rule implies that any "out of office" program
should respect it.

>From the discussion on another list where I learned of this header,
some "out of office" programs ignore it even if it is there.

I think a careful reading of RFC 2076 would reveal better headers to use
for this function. Your program should respond to them too.

One list I'm on just automatically unsubscribes anyone who sends a
"vacation" message to either the list or the list manger. They can
re-subscribe when they get back.

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References:
Alternate name: From: Christopher Clunas

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