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From Danny Angus <Danny_An...@slc.co.uk>
Subject rfc 3834
Date Mon, 29 Nov 2004 14:26:44 GMT

I don't know if its just me who's had my head in the sand, but I only just
heard about rfc 2834 (http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc3834.txt) which
seems supremely relevant to several aspects of James.
I'm not suggesting that we behave badly, however we might want to review
how compliant James' behaviour is and how much effort would be required to
make it 100% compliant in its "out-of-the-box" config.

The abstract & intro sum it up well..


   This memo makes recommendations for software that automatically
   responds to incoming electronic mail messages, including "out of the
   office" or "vacation" response generators, mail filtering software,
   email-based information services, and other automatic responders.
   The purpose of these recommendations is to discourage undesirable
   behavior which is caused or aggravated by such software, to encourage
   uniform behavior (where appropriate) among automatic mail responders,
   and to clear up some sources of confusion among implementors of
   automatic email responders.

1.  Introduction

   Many programs which automatically respond to email are currently in
   use.  Although these programs vary widely in their function, several
   problems with this class of programs have been observed, including:
   significant numbers of useless or unwanted response and responses
   sent to inappropriate addresses, and occasional incidences of mail
   loops or "sorcerer's apprentice" mode.  This memo recommends behavior
   for programs that automatically respond to electronic mail in order
   to reduce the number of problems caused by such programs.

   (Note: the term "sorcerer's apprentice mode" is defined as a bug in a
   protocol where, under some circumstances, the receipt of a message
   causes multiple messages to be sent, each of which, when received,
   triggers the same bug.) (From [I1.JARGON])"


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