Re: [ietf-smtp] CC'ing ticket systems

Valdis Kl ē tnieks <valdis.kletnieks@vt.edu> Thu, 09 July 2020 21:57 UTC

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To: Michael Richardson <mcr+ietf@sandelman.ca>
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Date: Thu, 09 Jul 2020 17:57:15 -0400
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Subject: Re: [ietf-smtp] CC'ing ticket systems
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On Tue, 07 Jul 2020 06:55:40 -0400, Michael Richardson said:

> Hi, have you had the experience of starting an email thread where one of the
> participants is a ticket system?  As the initiator you get a ticket open,
> and then each person who was in the To/CC, as they reply, get their own
> ticket open.

The vast majority of the time, it's the result of somebody subscribing to a
fairly active list like NANOG, and then leaving their organization, at which
point some low-lumen bulb forwards the departed's mail to the trouble ticket
system.

Hilarity and hijinks ensue.

Surprisingly enough, if the mails carry some chaining indication, such as a
'TICKET AG7342'  in the Subject: header, usually the ticketing system *does*
aggregate all the replies into one ticket - and still sends out another
notification for each addition to the ticket.  I don't know of any that use
the References: or In-Reply-To: headers to determine if a mail is related, but
that would also be a sane behavior, except the chances of a MUA breaking
the threading by nuking those headers is pretty high.  In fact, one of the
replies in this thread is lacking a References: header.

And if the ticket system is being fed multiple mails that *don't* look like
they're part of a thread (by whatever method the system uses), it's hard to
argue that starting a new ticket is always a bad idea (and sometimes it
may even be required for regulatory compliance purposes)...

So I suspect there's two orthogonal issues here, and you're looking at the
less problematic one.