[Mailman-Users] BIG FAT MESSY HEADERS, REPLY TO, and the problem with programmers.

Fred Craven fred at cffh.com
Sat Dec 9 18:59:33 CET 2000

I was happy to notice the little discussion about the how to remove 
the extended headers that came with Mailman 2. Thanks to the response 
I now know what part of the problem is: the programers.

In the previous threads on headers it was recommended that the new 
headers be kept even if some antiquated email clients don't know what 
to do with them. Why? Because we need to move forward, and those 
headers are helpful--Just provide a FAQ on how to make the changes to 
your browser...

Such statements may be fine with programmers, but not with normal 
human beings. Normal humans don't know where to find those 
preferences. They (we) like to work in comfortable environments, and 
THEY are the end user, THEY are the customer.

Personally, I'm not that technically savvy myself, but I know enough 
to get myself in trouble. In fact, I didn't even know how to get 
Eudora to "Reply to" this blasted list to post this message. HEY, I 
always reply to the list, like a normal person. If I want to reply to 
an individual I actually copy their email address. Sure this isn't 
the most efficient way to do things, but it's the way normal people 
handle email. It is the only way all of my subscribers no how to 
operate. No matter what I try to do, no matter what I try to tell 
them, only a few will get it.

The problem with programmers is that they don't think like the rest 
of us. There's nothing wrong with this--this is what makes 
programmers special. But trying to convince a programmer to change a 
product to meet the needs of the END USER, can be... difficult.

There should be a way for administrators to set their mailing lists 
to suit the audience--the END USERS--of the list. Sometimes that 
means changing the default "reply to" address, which (despite its 
detractors) is (in the words of Martha Stewart) a GOOD THING. And it 
also means cleaning up big fat messy headers.

Hey, who needs annoying adds when you can have Mailman headers!

I appreciate the big fat messy headers but, I don't like them messing 
up my email. I don't want to change my email client to get rid of 
them, and I don't want to to have to re-educate my users on how to 
change their clients. It's bad enough that I will get a bunch of 
complaints over the way the digests come as a mass of attachments.

Fred Craven

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