ID10T out of office responders (was Re: Yahoo DMARC breakage)

Larry Sheldon LarrySheldon at
Fri Apr 11 01:36:45 UTC 2014

On 4/10/2014 6:29 AM, Rich Kulawiec wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 09, 2014 at 05:15:59PM -0400, William Herrin wrote:
>> Maybe this is a good thing - we can stop getting all the "sorry I'm
>> out of the office" emails when posting to a list.
> I entirely support that goal, but my preferred solution is the complete
> eradication of the software (a lot of which makes mistakes that have
> been well-known as mistakes for decades) and thus the entire practice
> of setting up "out of office" messages.

[relevant discussion]

> But I think by now everyone who is capable of being educated has been
> educated and realizes that the one of the reasons for the absence of a
> response is that the recipient hasn't seen the relevant message yet.
> There's really no need to spin the roulette wheel and hope that the
> combination of MUAs and MTAs on both ends is functional enough to enable
> the out-of-office software (optimistically presuming it's halfway sane)
> to figure out what it should do.

And the truly paranoid that are scared to death that nobody will miss 
them, have learned to forward the flow to a device that is never "out of 
the office".  (I have filters on the two accounts whose mail I EVER read 
that forward mail from named sources to my BlackBerry.  My Kindle gets 
copies af all mail sent to those two accounts (mostly since I have been 
to lazy to set up the filtered stream and I almost never look at it anyway).

> And that's before we even get to the security and privacy issues
> that are in play, which are substantial.

And that is where I started.  In every other part of my life the 
conventional wisdom has been "do NOT put a thing on the Sassiety page 
about your up-coming around-the-world cruise and the camera equipment 
you have bought for the trip",  "Leave lights and a radio on timers", 
"stop the mil and the newspapers", "get somebody to mow the lawn and 
pick up the trash every few days", "have somebody down the street park 
their car in your driveway"and so on.

Why on G*ds blue Earth would I want put up posters and flyers that say 
"need a stapler?  I just got a new one.",  "I won't be looking for my 
desk chair for a while.", and "If your keyboard fails,......"?

> So while there are numerous approaches to solving the problem of
> errant out-of-office messages, and some of those approaches work
> pretty well in the field, I would prefer to kill the problem by
> attacking the source: the *existence* of out-of-office autoresponders.


Requiescas in pace o email           Two identifying characteristics
                                         of System Administrators:
Ex turpi causa non oritur actio      Infallibility, and the ability to
                                         learn from their mistakes.
                                           (Adapted from Stephen Pinker)

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