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Re: AUP/autoresponders, rehashed

  • From: Deepak Jain
  • Date: Tue Jun 26 17:11:01 2007

Jo Rhett wrote:

On Jun 12, 2007, at 6:02 PM, Martin Hannigan wrote:
You act on an issue that affects about 5
people once every 2 years and you ignore the massive overload on the
list of off topic posting?

While I mostly agree with what you are saying, it doesn't hurt to be honest about reality here. I get between 6 and 12 "vacation" responses for every post I write on this list. I'm sure everyone else does too. That's not 5 people every 2 years.

Second: off-topic while dear to my heart to stop, is harder to gain consensus on. Even harder to get consensus on what the right answer would be.

Everyone agrees that autoresponders are bad, and the solution is very simple. Since the situation is simpler, sometimes its easier to focus on something like that and get it done.

Is ignoring 6-12 messages really that hard? I can't imagine that anyone on this list really ignores less than 60 emails daily. Yes, if a machine could know what is a waste of your time, it would save a fraction of human time that it takes to press the next button. But if a machine could know that, I can think of a lot better ways I'd task it.

However, a tremendous amount of time is wasted just by discussing these sorts of "small" problems. Plenty of people contribute to nanog daily and don't feel the need to complain about it. It seems to me, the ones who contribute in spurts sometimes separated by months seem to have to less to complain about.

That said, a very simple way to handle it is to separate your mail (whether its procmail, a separate mailbox, a + rule in your name, or what have you) to automatically catch these "horrible" autoresponders into a box that doesn't clutter your critical mail. I think that's how most of us do it.

I think someone suggests the above everytime a discussion comes up. In the spirit of "a very simple solution", everyone can be their own dictator of their own mailbox -- they don't need to protect the rest of the list, or develop a consensus for change. Just fix it for yourself. This is a time-honored NANOG tradition, at least when it comes to email.

Deepak Jain