This thread seems to have drifted. I think the original complaint was that
list postings were generating out-of-list vacation responses directly to
posters, and not to the list or any list admin address.
I don't really care about manifestos on what other people's email software
ought to do. We will never be able to control that. This is a list
managers list and the focus ought to be on what can do as list managers to
avoid the problem or cope when it arises.
One drastic option is to cloak the email address of the author of each
posting so that vacationing members' mail software, however rudely
configured, will only be able to respond to the list addresses. This can
be done so that human beings wanting to send a private response to a list
poster can 'figure out' where to send it, while autoresponders are out of
Another technique, as I said before, is to make sure you post fairly
frequently (definitely once per week, preferably Mondays or Fridays) to
lists you administer, so that you see any autoresponses that other posters
Also, you can impress upon your members (in whatever periodic FAQ-type
posting you have) that they should suspend their delivery when they're out
of the office rather than using 'vacation', AND that they should
immediately forward any vacation autoresponses they receive straight to you
as list manager, so that you can deal with it.
My personal policy is this:
* Direct-to-poster vacation autoresponses result in an instant nomail for
the offender, because I can't have that inflicted on my members.
* To-list (posting or admin address) vacation responses are caught and
held for inspection.
* If someone is (a) a Digest recipient and (b) on a SHORT vacation (a
couple of days, like a business trip) then I do nothing. I don't mind
eating a couple of messages in exchange for not getting into a big thing
* But if someone is (a) getting individual messages or (b) away for more
than a few days, I nomail them. When they get back, they either silently
reactivate themselves or send me an inquiry; in the latter case I tell them
what happened and why, and suggest they do it themselves next time.