[imp] [horde] Out of office autoreply

Otto Stolz Otto.Stolz at uni-konstanz.de
Tue Feb 12 11:54:58 UTC 2008

Hello Mauricio,

you have written:
> email server is 
> using horde, but i cant fidn the way to set up an out of office auto 
> reply mesage,

Please address question as this one to the pertinent
discussion forum; there are lots of experts listening
who can probably help you.

And please do not quote passages of text you are not going
to comment on.

In this particular issue, I guess, Horde/Imp is the
wrong place to implement an autoreply: When you are
out of office, you will not invoke Webmail, hence
you would not trigger the reply.

The right moment to reply automatically is when a
message is delivered, hence the right place to implement
autoreply functionality is the IMAP server, not a mail-
user agent like Imp. In our shop, we provide a WWW
interface to activate an automatic vacation reply;
this interface will enter the time-span of the vacation,
and the text for the reply, into our users’ database.
On the IMAP server machine, the SMTP server (Postfix)
will check, via LDAP, for each incoming message, whether
the addressee has activated the vacation reply, and if
so, it will send a copy of the message to a home-brewn
autoreply script.

If you plan to implement an autoreply, you should take
pains to avoid unneccessary, or unwanted, replies:
do not reply,
- if the sender address in the SMTP envelope is <>,
- if the message is marked as spam, or as bulk,
- if the message comes from a mailing list,
- if the message comes from a service that will
   answer automatically (such as a trouble-ticket system),
- if the sender has recently been notified about the
   addressee’s vacation (this bit needs yet another data base).

If you wish to include into the Horde framework the users’ inter-
face for activating the automatic reply, try Sork/vacation,
cf. <http://www.horde.org/sork/>. I have never tried it,
so cannot comment on it. Or you could try to express as
a Sieve script the rules from the previous paragraph, and
use Ingo to relate that script to your IMAP server, cf.
<http://www.horde.org/ingo/>. I haven’t tried this either.

Our vacation interface is independent of Horde, so all users
can take advantage of it, both Webmail users and users of
other MUAs (such as Mozilla Thunderbird).

Best wishes,
   Otto Stolz

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