[Mimedefang] auto reply / vacation

Kevin A. McGrail kmcgrail at pccc.com
Tue Feb 2 11:11:27 EST 2010

> Ah.  Well, we stop our spam at the server, so vacation(1) never sees it.
> I can see it would be a big problem if you run a tagging-only spam filter.

Having yet to see a 100% accurate spam filter, you are correct.  I run a 
tagging-only spam filter and strongly recommend the use of tagging-only spam 
filters.  Philosophical debate and I'm sure we both have strong and valid 
opinions not worthy arguing here ;-)

> AFAIK, vacation(1) already has protection against your specs #2-#7:
>> #2 Do not reply to message of "precedence of bulk"
>> #3 Do not reply to mailing lists.
>> #4 Do not reply to NDR and DSN messages.
>> #5 Do not reply to more than one time per day.
>> #6 Do not reply to Vacation and other out of office messages.
>> #7 Do not reply to Daemons

I last worked on this in 2004 according to my notes but at the time I know I 
used the FFR_RESPOND_ALL feature which I think figured in to part of the 
issue.  Additionally, I believe you'll find the FROM_DAEMON regex for 
procmail to be far more comprehensive.  For example, precedence: list was 
not blocked by vacation.

Anyway, I know I had a quite a long patch for vacation.  It's a bit of 
conjecture and recalling emails from 7 years ago, but I seem to remember 
that they referred to vacation a bit as an unloved stepchild.  A quick 
review shows that 8.14.4 has nothing but trivial changes going back to Nov 
of 2004 where I stopped comparing.  But I believe they moved -j from FFR to 
release though because of my input.

In short, they listened but adding flexibility to vacation to deal with (or 
not deal with as the case may be) spam, etc. was not on their list of goals 
and they pointed me towards procmail.


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