[Mailman-Users] Re: [Mailman-Developers] Re: Reverting question

Chuq Von Rospach chuqui at plaidworks.com
Tue Nov 14 18:49:53 CET 2000

At 11:40 AM -0500 11/14/00, Barry A. Warsaw wrote:

>That's the key thing that I don't like about Reply-To munging: it
>makes it much more difficult to do private replies.  Maybe it's just
>the lists I manage, but my users are just as heated about /not/ doing
>reply-to munging as apparently other users on other lists are about
>doing it.

It's a religious issue to some level, but I've done any number of 
studies (at least half a dozen) on it with my users over the years. 
I've never found *any* list or user population where the majority 
wants reply-to coerced. What you really end up with, if you survey 
the *entire* user base, is a noisy minority that wants it, and that 
minority is under 20-25% of those that have opinions.

So what ends up happening is that because they're the ones making 
noise, the list gets set that way. But if you survey the entire user 
base and get a non-biased sample, they're the minority viewpoint (the 
same is true of Subject line tweaks, like the [Mailman-users] flag. 
Only with those, I've never found a list where even 5% of the users 
wanted it, and there's usually a solid majority that hate the damn 
things.... But again, you tend to run into noisy minorites that push 
their preferences, and unless you take the time to go out and run 
formal list surveys (which are time consuming), it's hard to tell 
whether it is a squeaky wheel or whether it's a list consensus...

>The only grumblings occur when people don't
>trim their CC headers (like I've done here) and folks start getting

Another vocal minority. Less than 1% of a typical subscriber base 
cares about this. Those that do tend to be very sensitive to it and 
vocal, but whacking the server for that group isn't a smart idea 
(IMHO), since there are client ways of doing it, like message-ID 

>  That can be handled in other ways (e.g. the list /could/
>suppress deliveries to list members that it sees explicitly in the
>recipients list, although as we've discussed before, that has some
>potential for abuse).

True, but it's what I'd like to see happen down the road, at least as 
a configuration option for the server admin. If you know they're 
getting it direct, why send them a second copy? or maybe tag this to 
a users "metoo" flag? If they've told the server not to send them 
copies of their own posts, assume they also don't want duplicates? 
That might be the easiest way, and leave it by default off, but then 
users can set it if they care.

>I've slept on this one and I'm prepared to change things for 2.0 final
>so that if Reply-To munging is turned on, it'll override any existing
>Reply-To field in the original message.  The deciding factor for me
>was realizing how difficult it was to send private replies with
>munging turned on, so it might as well be equally difficult for every

I think that's the right thing to do, and it sets you in line with 
how other MLMs work, so it better matches user expectations, I 

It's a touch issue, because there are personal preferences, because 
Reply-to is used for different things (not always correctly), and 
because it just plain old isn't all that well defined as a header, 
despite it's long-standing usage...

Chuq Von Rospach - Plaidworks Consulting (mailto:chuqui at plaidworks.com)
Apple Mail List Gnome (mailto:chuq at apple.com)

Be just, and fear not.

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