On 9 Apr 1997, Rich Pieri wrote:
> When a person on a mailing list sets up an autoresponder (commonly the
> vacation program), every message sent to the list (thus the subscriber)
> automatically generates a reply. When there is no Reply-To header the
> reply is sent to the originator of the message. When there is a Reply-To
> header the reply is sent to that mailbox instead.
The vacation program does not function as you describe. From the man page:
VACATION(1) BSD Reference Manual VACATION(1)
No message will be sent unless login (or an alias supplied using the -a
option) is part of either the ``To:'' or ``Cc:'' headers of the mail. No
messages from ``???-REQUEST'', ``Postmaster'', ``UUCP'', ``MAILER'', or
``MAILER-DAEMON'' will be replied to (where these strings are case insen-
sitive) nor is a notification sent if a ``Precedence: bulk'' or
``Precedence: junk'' line is included in the mail headers.
4.3 Berkeley Distribution June 16, 1993 2
As you can see, this is not new. Majordomo adds a ``Precedence: bulk''
header and the ``To:'' is the name of the list; vacation does not respond.
We run several mailing lists here and we tested all sorts of vacation
message variables; vacation never once sent a reply to a list. I use it as
a matter of course, as I get 200 to 300 pieces of email a day.
If you have problems with mail loops due to a broken auto-responder, it
behooves you to find out from the user what it is, and pass along a
friendly (or perhaps not-so-friendly) word to the author. The answer is
*NOT* to let broken software continue to exist by whining about it and
chastising people who find using ``Reply-to:'' convenient for their needs.
Your other argument about not being able to reply to the author if you
want to is specious, as the ``From:'' header shows clearly who sent the
message, and if you really want to send a response to that person, then,
you're perfectly able to. If your MUA is unable to perform that simple
task, then you should change. Try Pine -- it works fine.
Jim Dawson firstname.lastname@example.org
GCN Communications, Inc. http://www.navi.net
2305 NW Kearney St. Ste. 239 voice: +1.503.531.1978
Portland, Or 97210 USA fax: +1.503.531.1979