[Mailman-Developers] Reply-To: handling

J C Lawrence claw@2wire.com
Fri, 19 Oct 2001 20:50:05 -0700

On Fri, 19 Oct 2001 20:31:26 -0700 
Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui@plaidworks.com> wrote:
> On 10/19/01 4:04 PM, "J C Lawrence" <claw@2wire.com> wrote:

>> By doing reply-to extension we're changing practice as follows:

>> -- Posters can _add_ to a posts disposition list via Reply-To.

>> -- Posters can attempt to move threads to a different forum.

> Which, IMHO, should be done via a To: or CC:, with a paragraph in
> the message saying "we should move this to foobar. Please reply
> only to that list after this". Reply-to can't replace that form,
> IMHO, but might help to enforce it (or maybe not. To try without
> explanation is a covert operation, not one I'm overly enthused to
> encourage, and if they DO do it this way, reply-to coercion is
> optional at best.

I agree, except that as a moderator who regularly moves threads
about, having the abilty to coerce, or minimally force initiation of
the thread move as a Good and Useful Thing.

>> -- Under reply-to extension the original poster who sets reply-to
>> has the ability to expose an additional address to all subsequent
>> thread posts.  This can be abused, but can also be a Very Good
>> Thing as it allows, for instance, a non-list-member to track and
>> aprticipate in a specific thread.

> Agreed, but I consider this at best a niche feature/sitaution, and
> don't feel any real need/interest to support it.

True, but its a pleasant windfall even if minor.

>> This centers on the old debate:

> Yes, I know. Which is why I figure we won't solve it this time,
> either...  (tee hee)

<bows to the worthy opponent>

>>> How is the typical user to understand how this all works
>>> together, and why when they reply to a list, this happens,
>>> except when it's fred's message?

>> The arbitrary user is not affected.  He replies exactly as per
>> normal and, as far as his perception is concerned, it Just Works.

> Does it? 


> What about the case where a list is not coerced reply-to, but one
> fo the subscribers feels it should be, so he coerces reply-to
> covertly, which is propogated out and through the list.

Which is actually orthogonal to the case under discussion and is
thus a red herring.  You're asking:

  What should happen, MLM wise, to a post to a non reply-to munging
  list when a poster sets Reply-To to something else.

That's very different to what is under discussion;

  How should reply-to munging should be done for lists which coerce
  reply-to, if a poster sets Reply-To on a posts.

> The list now operates differently for postings by that one
> user. And the typical user won't know why, or even necessarily
> recognize it until they reply privately to that message, and due
> to the covert reply-to, sees their message splashed all over the
> list.

Right.  That only affects lists which don't munge reply-to.  It
explicitly doesn't affect lists which do munge reply-to.

What you seem to be asking for is reply-to stripping for lists that
don't munge reply-to.  I can see the reasoning, but also see
considerable danger/pain in that direction.

> Which, IMHO, I've seen happen, with truly explosive results, a few
> times. It can be, frankly, even more destructive than the bubba
> hack, especially if one of your users gets into a nasty fight with
> someone, and then starts throwing covert reply-tos at the person
> to embarrass him in public. Or, as has happened in one case, got
> an engineer into a private discussion, and then threw in a covert
> reply-to that forced an untimely message back onto a list, which
> caused an NDA leak, which caused untold embarassment.


Right.  A problem of posters to non-reply-to munging lists having
full control over post disposition, and thus the ability to
massively change post disposition for their posts outside the norm.

BUT, for lists which reply to munge, adding reply to exension allows
posters to extend post distribution outside of the list, but does
not allow them (directly) to change the base assumed pattern of post
disposition for a list post.  

> If you allow users to override list options, all sorts of mischief
> can happen. And will.


Please note that that is not being discussed or proposed.  What is
being proposed is the ability for users to EXTEND list options as
regards post disposition, but ONLY for lists which munge reply to.

What to do about disposition overrides for lists that don't munge
reply to is ratehr another matter, and one I don't know has an easy

J C Lawrence
---------(*)                Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas.
claw@kanga.nu               He lived as a devil, eh?
http://www.kanga.nu/~claw/  Evil is a name of a foeman, as I live.