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

John Macdonald john-Z7w/En0MP3xWk0Htik3J/w at
Wed Nov 9 17:44:49 UTC 2005

On Wed, Nov 09, 2005 at 11:42:19AM -0500, Tim Writer wrote:
> 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.

My company implemented a rule in its Exchange server a few
years ago that email would only be forwarded to addresses
within the company, and attempts would be discarded when the
forwarding was going to an outside address.

I was told that Exchange was able to detect and break mail
loops when all participants were within its domain, but not
when there was an outside link.

I'm pretty sure that I saw sendmail instances configured in
the late 80's to insert a header into messages that were being
forwarded, so that loops could be detected automatically and
the message discarded if it ever returned to the same address.

Surprisingly, last week I started receiving forwarded messages
at home again after 4 years.  (I had left the forwarding rule
in place.)  I don't know whether they had accidentally disabled
the restriction or whether Exchange has been modernized to
the 1980's and they have determined that it was now safe to
allow forwarding and removed the restriction deliberately.

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