Browse Prior Art Database

Recommendations for Automatic Responses to Electronic Mail (RFC3834)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000030741D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Aug-25
Document File: 23 page(s) / 53K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

K. Moore: AUTHOR

Abstract

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.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 5% of the total text.

Network Working Group                                           K. Moore

Request for Comments: 3834                       University of Tennessee

Category: Standards Track                                    August 2004

       Recommendations for Automatic Responses to Electronic Mail

Status of this Memo

   This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the

   Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for

   improvements.  Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet

   Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state

   and status of this protocol.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004).

Abstract

   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])

Moore                       Standards Track                     [Page 1]

RFC 3834               Automatic E-Mail Responses            August 2004

   This document is limited in scope to Internet electronic mail

   messages and many of its recommendations are specifically tailored

   for the protocol elements and data models used in Internet electronic

   mail messages and SMTP transport envelopes.  Use of these

   recommendations in other messaging contexts such as instant

   messaging, SMS, or Usenet has not been considered, and is outside of

   the scope of this document.

1.1.  Types...