Shoaib Tanvir/IS_TS/TSE is out of the office.

Tim Writer tim-s/rLXaiAEBtBDgjK7y7TUQ at
Wed Nov 9 16:42:19 UTC 2005

lsorense-1wCw9BSqJbv44Nm34jS7GywD8/FfD2ys at (Lennart Sorensen) writes:

> On Tue, Nov 08, 2005 at 05:17:19PM -0500, Leigh Honeywell wrote:
> > Some employers require the use of an auto-reply if you're out of the
> > office.  That's why I don't use my work email for /any/ mailing lists.
> Well it should still only send one message to each email address for
> each vacation period you go on.  To do any more is plain stupid and can
> cause infinite loops.
> Imagine you go on vacation and enable your auto reply.  I send you a
> message 30s before leaving on my vacation and enable my auto reply.
> Your auto reply comes back to me, and my auto reply replies to the auto
> reply, and your auto reply responds to my auto reply, and so it goes
> until either one of us comes back (to a million messages) or one of the
> mail admins gets a clue and fixes the auto reply system in general. :)

I'm constantly amazed that the makers of proprietary software don't even
bother to look at the prior art before cobbling together their
solutions. Procmail has been around since 1990 (well before the Internet was
on Microsoft's radar) and I would guess that its vacation recipe, documented
in procmailex(5), has been around almost as long. That Outlook (and I'm sure
there are other culprits) would come out with an auto-reply feature in 2000
(or thereabouts) that fails to detect or avoid mail loops is
astonishing. What's even more astonishing, is that people who should know
better (IT managers with a solid technical background) embrace this garbage.

tim writer <tim-s/rLXaiAEBtBDgjK7y7TUQ at>                                  starnix inc.
647.722.5301                                      toronto, ontario, canada              professional linux services & products
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