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sieve: vacation extension

1997-11-20 18:55:36
I was asked to put together a vacation extension.  I'm attaching it
here since some didn't like the last draft I posted as base64-encoded
MIME enclosure.

I'll put a copy at
as well in case a mailer mangles it.  It's six pages, but I wanted to
try and get all the weird cases not to mail correct.

This hasn't been submitted to the Internet-Drafts repository because
I'm not sure it's quite right; I'll probably do it tomorrow after the
first round of nits.

Hope this helps -- thanks...

                                           Tim Showalter 

Network Working Group                                       T. Showalter
Internet Draft: Sieve Vacation                           Carnegie Mellon
Document: draft-showalter-sieve-vacation-00beta.txt        November 1997
Expire in six months (31 May 1998)

                      Sieve -- Vacation Extension

Status of this memo

   This document is an Internet-Draft.  Internet-Drafts are working
   documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), its areas,
   and its working groups.  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as ``work in progress.''

   To learn the current status of any Internet-Draft, please check the
   ``1id-abstracts.txt'' listing contained in the Internet-Drafts Shadow
   Directories on (Africa), (Europe), (Pacific Rim), (US East Coast), or (US West Coast).

   The protocol discussed in this document is experimental and subject
   to change.  Persons planning on either implementing or using this
   protocol are STRONGLY URGED to get in touch with the author before
   embarking on such a project.


   This document describes an extension to the Sieve mail filtering
   language for an autoresponder similar to that of the Unix "vacation"
   command.  The extension is offered in the hopes of making frequently
   used commands availible (and discouraging users from implementing it

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0. Meta-information on this draft

   This information is intended to facilitate discussion.  It will be
   removed when this document leaves the Internet-Draft stage.

0.1. Discussion

   This draft is intended to be compared with the Sieve mail filtering
   language, an internet-draft being discussed on the MTA Filters
   mailing list at <ietf-mta-filters(_at_)imc(_dot_)org>.  Subscription requests
   can be sent to <ietf-mta-filters-request(_at_)imc(_dot_)org> (send an email
   message with the word "subscribe" in the body).  More information on
   the mailing list along with a WWW archive of back messages is
   available at <>.

1. Introduction

   This is an extension to the Sieve language defined by [SIEVE] for
   notification that messages will not be immediately answered.

   Conventions for notations are as in [SIEVE] section 1.1, including
   use of [KEYWORDS].

2. Capability identifier

   Sieve implementations that implement vacation have an identifier of
   "VACATION" for use with the capability mechanism (i.e., "support").

3. Vacation Action

   Syntax:   vacation <reason-string>

   The "vacation" action implements a vacation autoresponder similar to
   the one availible under many versions of UNIX.  Its purpose is to
   provide correspondants with notification that the user is away for an
   extended period of time and that they should not expect quick

   Vacation is similar to reply as defined in [SIEVE].  There are a few

   First, "vacation" SHOULD NOT respond to a message sent from the
   user's address.  Therefore, the Sieve implementation should know what
   the user's address is.  If the user has more than one address for a
   given site, all addresses should also not get a reply message.

   Second, "vacation" MUST NOT reply to mail from "postmaster" or any

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   other address where the left-hand side ends in "-request" (that is, a
   mailing list administrative address).

   Third, "vacation" MUST NOT reply to a message that does not list the
   users' address in the "To:" or "Cc:" header.  The intention is that
   mail to a mailing list that the user is subscribed to should never
   get a "vacation" response.

   Finally, "vacation" MUST keep track of all of the addresses that it
   has responded to in the past seven (7) days and MUST NOT respond to
   them a second time within this period.  The "vacation" action may
   send out notifications less frequently, but should not send them out
   more frequently.

   The simplest way to use vacation is just this:

   Example:  vacation "I'm away until Octber 19.  If it's an emergency,
             call 911, I guess." ;

   By mingling vacation with other rules, users can do something more

   Example:  if header "from" contains "boss(_at_)frobnitzm(_dot_)edu" {
                forward "pleeb(_at_)xanadu(_dot_)wv(_dot_)us";
             } else {
                vacation "Sorry, I'm away, I'll read your message when I
                get around to it.";

4. Formal Grammar

   The grammar used in this section is the same as the ABNF described in

   action =/ vacation         ;; "vacation" is now a legal action

   vacation = vacation WSP string

5. Author's Address

   Tim Showalter
   Carnegie Mellon University
   5000 Forbes Avenue
   Pittsburgh, PA 15213

   E-Mail: tjs(_at_)andrew(_dot_)cmu(_dot_)edu

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Appendix A.  References

   [ABNF] Crocker, D.,  "Augmented BNF for Syntax Specifications: ABNF",
   Internet Mail Consortium, RFC 2234, November, 1997.

   [KEYWORDS] Bradner, S., "Key  words  for  use  in  RFCs  to  Indicate
   Requirement Levels", RFC 2119, Harvard University, March 1997.

   [SIEVE] Showalter, T.  "Sieve: A Mail Filtering Language",  Carenegie
   Mellon, Work in Progress.

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