[Mailman-Users] Re: [Mailman-Developers] Reverting question
marc_news at valinux.com
Wed Nov 15 07:34:41 CET 2000
[Reply-To set to mailman-users at python.org]
On Tue, Nov 14, 2000 at 06:13:53PM -0800, Chuq Von Rospach wrote:
> At 5:50 PM -0800 11/14/00, Marc MERLIN wrote:
> >2) If you don't want to take that advise, you certainly shouldn't overwrite
> > a users' reply to with the list's
> I'll disagree. If you feel you must coerce reply-to, coerce it
> unconditionally. You've already decided the list's needs outweigh the
A few others mentionned that.
The problem here, is that by putting a reply-to, you are already trying to
prevent me from replying directly to the poster (well, not quite since mutt
lets me tell it to ignore all those reply-tos), but by munging reply tos
unconditionally, you are completely preventing me from replying to someone
who has a non valid from address and set a good reply-to, or someone who'd
like me to reply to him at another address.
Doing a reply-to rewrite also prevents me from Ccing a second list and
setting a reply-to there to move the discussion.
That said, I could see why others would prefer unconditionally overwriting
Well, in both cases, you lose, which is yet another reason why lists should
not set a reply-to :-)
I think I agree with JC in saying that short of removing the reply to
misfeature altogether, unconditional rewriting should probably be an option
On Wed, Nov 15, 2000 at 12:27:14PM +0800, Gregory Leblanc wrote:
> Fine, that's all well and good, munging reply to is harmful. Sometimes
> the harm that it causes is less than the harm that it prevents.
I've yet to have a single person show me what harm not munging reply-to
creates... It's all about users that have been trained to do the wrong thing
and some of them who then believe it's the only way to go.
> This is a good policy in most cases, but there ARE some where it doesn't
> make sense.
Yep, the only one I know is onelist which tries to force as many traffic
back to the list in order to spam you with more messages which each contain
a small add they make money on.
Ok, more seriously, the only downside of group replies is that for MUAs that
don't support list-reply, like mutt does, the sender gets two copies of the
answer (which are easy to get rid off by removing duplicate messages that
contain the same message id)
> I'm sorry, but this is silly. If you're going to write reply-to headers
> via your MLM, you need to write them ALL the time, otherwise you end up
> with strange and un-predictable behaviour. Keep the reply-to header
Point taken. The other option is wrong too though, for the reason I
explained. But I guess if you choose to shoot yourself in the foot, it'd be
nice to be able to chose which gun you're going to use (i.e. make the
unconditional rewriting an option)
> certainly, but if headers are sending mail back to the list, the user's
> reply-to really doesn't make much difference, unless you need to send a
> private reply. If you're sending a private reply, you can get it out of
> the x-reply-to header.
Great, I need to patch my MUA some more to attempt to deal with all this
On Tue, Nov 14, 2000 at 11:42:53PM -0500, Tanner Lovelace wrote:
> Marc MERLIN wrote:
> > The irony of this coming back over and over again...
> > http://www.unicom.com/pw/reply-to-harmful.html
> One good URL deserves another (straight from the
> "reply_goes_to_list Option" documentation):
Yeah, except that the author is full of shit.
Ok, I'll bite.
- "Reply-To gives the respondant an option which would not otherwise exist:
namely the ability to reply only to the list."
false, see list-reply function in good MUAs (mutt is one)
- "If you use a reasonable mailer, Reply-To munging does provide new
functionality, namely the ability to reply only to the list"
(the author completely ignores list-reply, and says that MUAs should all
be patched to allow overriding reply-tos so that they can continue to be
- "Reply-To munging adds additional functionality, it actually increases
freedom of choice"
*cough* bullshit *cough*
For one, it prevents a thread across two lists and the redirection to one
list or a third list.
- some mailers apparently do not have a separate reply to all function
Ok, 1) I have yet to see one
2) in the point above, the author was saying that any MUA that can't
override a reply-to is not a reasonable mailer and shouldn't be
used. The irony...
- "For discussion type lists, I would estimate that ninety percent of the
time, people want to reply to the list"
Yeah, so? That's why you have several reply functions, where one does not
require more work than the other
(the author mentions having to type addresses by hand, I'm not sure why)
- "Some administrators claim that munging Reply-To headers is harmful because
it surprises people, and can cause damage when things go awry"
If you reply to the list by mistake due to reply-to munging, you look like
an idiot, or worse.
If you reply to the sender only by mistake, no harm is done, the mistake
can be fixed.
- "It's What People Want"
Yeah, there are misguided people out there, and they are often vocal.
Users typically know nothing about mail standards or what header sender
vs envelope sender means. I don't think there opinion is that relevant :-)
Ok, more seriously, users do matter but if they're trained the wrong way
when they start, some get very resistant to change, regardless of whether
it's a good thing or not.
We did get a bit off topic here, I apologize to all the people who already
know about all this, but since we have lots of listmasters here, I'm hoping
a few with switch, and hopefully more will configure their lists the right
way in the first place (that's when it's easy, changing is hard)
> There are arguments on both sides for this issue. I personally think it
> depends a lot on what the people on your list prefer. I run a large
> non-technical mailing list where we tried making the "Reply-To" point to
> the list for a while. Unfortunately, it resulted in someone accidentally
> posting a very unflattering message about someone else on the list.
Yep, this happens all the time. Many of us have seen this.
> the "Reply-To" not point to the list. For other lists, however, I think
> it could be advantageous. Because of that, I think that letting the list
> administrator decide, rather than the software, is the best method.
While I'm very much against reply-to munging (duh!), I'm for freedom of
choice. I do think that mailman should offer a reply-to option, but with a
very big disclaimer and maybe this discussion (or another one) so that
inexperienced listmasters realize what they're doing.
> I also think, though, that sometimes setting the "Reply-To" and sometimes
> not, depending on whether or not it has already been set has the
> potential to confuse a lot of people. If you're going to provide *that*
> functionality, you should make sure it is *extremely* well documented.
Microsoft is to operating systems & security ....
.... what McDonalds is to gourmet cooking
Home page: http://marc.merlins.org/ | Finger marc_f at merlins.org for PGP key
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