Pruning email responses

The environment I’m about to roll out RT into is pretty much 100%
Outlook/Exchange. Something I’m noticing is that when I respond to a ticket
via email, not only is my response included, but the entire thread
underneath it. I’d like to RT to drop everything beginning from the pattern
of:

/^----- Original Message ----- .*/

I’m having a hard time tracking down where exactly to do this trimming…
I figured out rt-mailgate is just feeding a parsed mime object to the
server, so somewhere in the server code that handles responses I’d need to
prune that. I can’t imagine I’m the first person to want this, but I can’t
find an extension or config option. Can someone point me in the right
direction - either to the correct area in the source to consider, or to docs
about config options I’m missed?

Thanks in advance.

-Rob

This isn’t exactly what you are wanting, but a suitable workaround, and is actually what I believe to be RT’s intent.

There are 2 ways to initiate a communication out of RT to an end user. What I like to call Global reply button, and Inline reply button.

Global reply button, located at the very top of the page when displaying a ticket, just opens the comment form with a blank text area(unless you have a signature it is including).

Inline reply button, located beside each transaction within the history of the ticket, opens up the comment form with the transaction associated to the reply button you clicked copied into the message area.

The reasoning behind this(I believe) is so that you can specifically reference a transaction(typically a previous communication from the customer) when replying OR asking something new of the customer related to the ticket itself.

Now, out-of-the-box, RT doesn’t allow you to control what is being pulled into the ticket from the external actions(customer replying to your correspondence). But, if you are controlling what is going out, that will “somewhat” control what the customer will reply back with. If you teach your RT users to use the 2 different ways of replying, it can save you the hassle of having to strip old messages.

The reasoning behind the 2 replies can also be applied to how the customer would reply to RT as well. Most customers will simply hit reply, which will include what they are replying about…

Should for whatever reason that customer’s reply be related to a previous communication… it will be included in their reply… I personally wouldn’t want to strip that out, it provides context to their communication.

Again, just my personal opinions above, but I think it makes a solid case for not having to do any customization to RT…

Good Luck!

Mike Johnson
Datatel Programmer/Analyst
Northern Ontario School of Medicine
955 Oliver Road
Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5E1
Phone: 807.766.7331
Email: mike.johnson@normed.ca
Technology assistance: email nosmhelpdesk@normed.ca
Technology Emergency Contact (TEC) Mon-Fri, 8am to 5pm excluding stat holidays:
Off campus toll free 1-800-461-8777, option 8, or locally either
(705)-662-7120 or (807)-766-7500

Robert Nesius nesius@gmail.com 25/11/2009 2:30 pm >>>

The environment I’m about to roll out RT into is pretty much 100% Outlook/Exchange. Something I’m noticing is that when I respond to a ticket via email, not only is my response included, but the entire thread underneath it. I’d like to RT to drop everything beginning from the pattern of:

/^----- Original Message ----- .*/

I’m having a hard time tracking down where exactly to do this trimming… I figured out rt-mailgate is just feeding a parsed mime object to the server, so somewhere in the server code that handles responses I’d need to prune that. I can’t imagine I’m the first person to want this, but I can’t find an extension or config option. Can someone point me in the right direction - either to the correct area in the source to consider, or to docs about config options I’m missed?

Thanks in advance.

-Rob

Thanks very much, Mike.

My experience with ticket systems in the past is a bit different from RT,
and your post illuminated that more clearly. The work flow i’ve used in
the past is:

Customer -> Support - Help
Support -> Customer - clarifying question (which creates an email)
customer -> support - response (via email)
support -> customer - another question or detail (via email)

During these interactions happening in email, the ticket system is CC’d and
silently logs each new iteration into the ticket history, from which the
entire history can be replayed. Additionally, the ticket system always
displayed all past interactions underneath the new data… so it could be
referenced if necessary.

I see now more clearly RT isn’t quite intended to work that way and that the
intent is for ticket owners to really use the web application as the
interface versus email. I think that’s a paradigm shift I can make. I’m
not sure I like it, but I think that feeling of discomfort stems from a lack
of experience, and over time I may even like RT’s approach better.

Thanks again for your very articulate and illuminating response.

-RobOn Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 2:13 PM, Mike Johnson Mike.Johnson@normed.cawrote:

This isn’t exactly what you are wanting, but a suitable workaround, and
is actually what I believe to be RT’s intent.

There are 2 ways to initiate a communication out of RT to an end user.
What I like to call Global reply button, and Inline reply button.

Global reply button, located at the very top of the page when displaying a
ticket, just opens the comment form with a blank text area(unless you have a
signature it is including).

Inline reply button, located beside each transaction within the history of
the ticket, opens up the comment form with the transaction associated to the
reply button you clicked copied into the message area.

The reasoning behind this(I believe) is so that you can specifically
reference a transaction(typically a previous communication from the
customer) when replying OR asking something new of the customer related to
the ticket itself.

Now, out-of-the-box, RT doesn’t allow you to control what is being pulled
into the ticket from the external actions(customer replying to your
correspondence). But, if you are controlling what is going out, that will
"somewhat" control what the customer will reply back with. If you teach
your RT users to use the 2 different ways of replying, it can save you the
hassle of having to strip old messages.

The reasoning behind the 2 replies can also be applied to how the customer
would reply to RT as well. Most customers will simply hit reply, which will
include what they are replying about…

Should for whatever reason that customer’s reply be related to a previous
communication… it will be included in their reply… I personally wouldn’t
want to strip that out, it provides context to their communication.

Again, just my personal opinions above, but I think it makes a solid case
for not having to do any customization to RT…

Good Luck!

Mike Johnson
Datatel Programmer/Analyst
Northern Ontario School of Medicine
955 Oliver Road
Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5E1
Phone: 807.766.7331
Email: mike.johnson@normed.ca
Technology assistance: email nosmhelpdesk@normed.ca
Technology Emergency Contact (TEC) Mon-Fri, 8am to 5pm excluding stat
holidays:
Off campus toll free 1-800-461-8777, option 8, or locally either
(705)-662-7120 or (807)-766-7500

Robert Nesius nesius@gmail.com 25/11/2009 2:30 pm >>>

The environment I’m about to roll out RT into is pretty much 100%
Outlook/Exchange. Something I’m noticing is that when I respond to a ticket
via email, not only is my response included, but the entire thread
underneath it. I’d like to RT to drop everything beginning from the pattern
of:

/^----- Original Message ----- .*/

I’m having a hard time tracking down where exactly to do this trimming… I
figured out rt-mailgate is just feeding a parsed mime object to the server,
so somewhere in the server code that handles responses I’d need to prune
that. I can’t imagine I’m the first person to want this, but I can’t find an
extension or config option. Can someone point me in the right direction -
either to the correct area in the source to consider, or to docs about
config options I’m missed?

Thanks in advance.

-Rob

I see now more clearly RT isn’t quite intended to work that way and that the intent is for
ticket owners to really use the web application as the interface versus email. I think that’s
a paradigm shift I can make. I’m not sure I like it, but I think that feeling of discomfort
stems from a lack of experience, and over time I may even like RT’s approach better.

I actually do almost all of my interacting with RT via my inbox.
But, I trim email messages before replying.

-kevin

Robert,

To confuse things even farther, RT can be installed with Incident
Tracker (RT::IR) that extend’s RT’s functionality. The company I work
for uses it to process incoming abuse tickets. The work flow for that
looks roughly like this:

(In this example, I’ll use an incoming Spamcop message as the example)

SpamCop -> RT Incident Reports Queue -> Support Rep via Web -> Outbound
Investigation Ticket to our Customer
Customer Fixes Issue causing Abuse
Customer Replies Via Email To Investigation Ticket -> Support Rep via Web
Support Rep via Web responds back to original Incident Report, and
Investigation tickets and then closes all of them at once.

One of the great features about RT::IR is it’s ability to link the
different tickets together. So the incoming ticket from the abuse
reporter is linked to an incident ticket(that can be linked to RTFM
articles and other tickets), which is then linked to an outbound
investigation ticket to our customer.

I send this just to demonstrate that RT is very powerful and can be set
up MANY different ways. Just takes time tweaking it to work the way you
want.

Max

Robert Nesius wrote:

HI Robert,

You can interact through email as well, but it’s a learning curve that your crew must go through. They need to know that RT will take whatever it is getting and log it in the history.

As the ticket owner, instead of using RT’s 2 methods of replying, you can mimic that through your email itself. I’ve used a few different clients in my day, and all of them have had the option to reply with either including or not including the previous message.

This would essentially get you what you were looking for without having to be in RT itself.

The point of logging into RT itself is valid, and I’ve heard it many times throughout my organization whenever we bring new users on, and I actually explain what I did in the previous email, with both options(manually doing it through email, or doing it through the interface). Typically, my users have chose to adopt the interface… but that isn’t always the case :smiley:

Good luck, and glad I could be of some help!

Mike Johnson
Datatel Programmer/Analyst
Northern Ontario School of Medicine
955 Oliver Road
Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5E1
Phone: 807.766.7331
Email: mike.johnson@normed.ca
Technology assistance: email nosmhelpdesk@normed.ca
Technology Emergency Contact (TEC) Mon-Fri, 8am to 5pm excluding stat holidays:
Off campus toll free 1-800-461-8777, option 8, or locally either
(705)-662-7120 or (807)-766-7500

Robert Nesius nesius@gmail.com 25/11/2009 3:37 pm >>>
Thanks very much, Mike.

My experience with ticket systems in the past is a bit different from RT, and your post illuminated that more clearly. The work flow i’ve used in the past is:

Customer -> Support - Help
Support -> Customer - clarifying question (which creates an email)
customer -> support - response (via email)
support -> customer - another question or detail (via email)

During these interactions happening in email, the ticket system is CC’d and silently logs each new iteration into the ticket history, from which the entire history can be replayed. Additionally, the ticket system always displayed all past interactions underneath the new data… so it could be referenced if necessary.

I see now more clearly RT isn’t quite intended to work that way and that the intent is for ticket owners to really use the web application as the interface versus email. I think that’s a paradigm shift I can make. I’m not sure I like it, but I think that feeling of discomfort stems from a lack of experience, and over time I may even like RT’s approach better.

Thanks again for your very articulate and illuminating response.

-Rob

This isn’t exactly what you are wanting, but a suitable workaround, and is actually what I believe to be RT’s intent.
There are 2 ways to initiate a communication out of RT to an end user. What I like to call Global reply button, and Inline reply button.
Global reply button, located at the very top of the page when displaying a ticket, just opens the comment form with a blank text area(unless you have a signature it is including).
Inline reply button, located beside each transaction within the history of the ticket, opens up the comment form with the transaction associated to the reply button you clicked copied into the message area.
The reasoning behind this(I believe) is so that you can specifically reference a transaction(typically a previous communication from the customer) when replying OR asking something new of the customer related to the ticket itself.
Now, out-of-the-box, RT doesn’t allow you to control what is being pulled into the ticket from the external actions(customer replying to your correspondence). But, if you are controlling what is going out, that will “somewhat” control what the customer will reply back with. If you teach your RT users to use the 2 different ways of replying, it can save you the hassle of having to strip old messages.
The reasoning behind the 2 replies can also be applied to how the customer would reply to RT as well. Most customers will simply hit reply, which will include what they are replying about…

Should for whatever reason that customer’s reply be related to a previous communication… it will be included in their reply… I personally wouldn’t want to strip that out, it provides context to their communication.
Again, just my personal opinions above, but I think it makes a solid case for not having to do any customization to RT…
Good Luck!
Mike Johnson
Datatel Programmer/Analyst
Northern Ontario School of Medicine
955 Oliver Road
Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5E1
Phone: 807.766.7331
Email: mike.johnson@normed.ca
Technology assistance: email nosmhelpdesk@normed.ca
Technology Emergency Contact (TEC) Mon-Fri, 8am to 5pm excluding stat holidays:
Off campus toll free 1-800-461-8777, option 8, or locally either
(705)-662-7120 or (807)-766-7500

Robert Nesius nesius@gmail.com 25/11/2009 2:30 pm >>>

The environment I’m about to roll out RT into is pretty much 100% Outlook/Exchange. Something I’m noticing is that when I respond to a ticket via email, not only is my response included, but the entire thread underneath it. I’d like to RT to drop everything beginning from the pattern of:

/^----- Original Message ----- .*/

I’m having a hard time tracking down where exactly to do this trimming… I figured out rt-mailgate is just feeding a parsed mime object to the server, so somewhere in the server code that handles responses I’d need to prune that. I can’t imagine I’m the first person to want this, but I can’t find an extension or config option. Can someone point me in the right direction - either to the correct area in the source to consider, or to docs about config options I’m missed?

Thanks in advance.

-Rob

There is a blog post about extending MakeClicky to go a Gmail-like
collapse/expand of things that look like inline quotes of previous
messages. It is here:

http://tylerlesmann.com/2008/nov/21/collapsible-quotes-request-tracker/

The thing that I didn’t like about it is that it seemed to require
"top posting" in order to work,since everything after what looks like
the quote boundary becomes collapsed.

Even though you can control how your staff use RT (to trim out useless
quoted text), you can’t really control your customers to do so. In my
organization, we changed the “On Correspond” scrip not to include the
transaction content, which forces the customer to login to the
SelfService Web UI in order to see what happened. There, the "Reply"
link that would normally quote a transaction has a local customization
not to do so. This way, we eliminated repetitive useless quoting.

Allen