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Re: Addressing "Out of office" Vacation accounts

2005-04-15 07:49:24

If there any standard, past proposal, effort or otherwise for detecting
auto-reply "vacation" or "out of office" messages?

I don't know of a good way to _detect_ autoresponses, however there are some
tricks that can be used to discourage autoresponses.

some autoresponders will not respond when they see
"Precedence: junk" or "Precdence: list" in the message header.

another trick is to use a unique MAIL FROM address (different from the 
list address) and to filter mail that is sent to that MAIL FROM address.  
this tends to catch most bounces and some automatic responses.
All mailing lists should be doing this.

of course I recommend testing for RFC 3834's Auto-Submitted field and
also for the Auto: prefix, but that's based on an assumption that people
will actually implement RFC 3834.   It's too early to tell, but I've had
a lot of positive feedback.  And of course part of the reason for writing
this RFC was to encourage more uniformity and thereby enable separate
processing of such notices.  At any rate I don't think it will hurt to
check for these in addition to OOF and other tokens.


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