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

Chuq Von Rospach chuqui at plaidworks.com
Wed Nov 15 08:45:43 CET 2000

I'll note  for the record that the above subject line is a great 
example of why subject line munging is stupid....  But I digress, and 
haven't even started....

>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)

And my research shows that only 1-2% of a typical user base cares -- 
and for those that do, it's fairly easily fixed on the client side, 
so I consider that a major non-issue. Although  do think the MLM can 
be taught to be intelligent here, too. and I posted a note to 
-developers suggesting a way to extend the "metoo" flag in the user 
record to allow users to configure this if they care...

>Point  taken. The  other option  is  wrong  too  though,  for the  reason  I

I think this entire argument explains why coercing reply-to is bogus 
-- because all of us, who happen to be fairly experienced in running 
lists and writing list software and (at the least) using lists -- 
can't even begin to agree on how it ought to be done. If there's that 
much disagreement on the basic issues surrounding it, then we really 
don't know how/why to use it properly, which means we shouldn't. 
IMHO, of course.

But if reply-to were really useful, ti'd be obvious how to properly 
use it, and basically, it's not. Which is what started this whole 
thing, since the way Mailman does it is ambiguous.

>  > 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
>misconfiguration nonsense.

What we *really* need is to fix this for real -- which means MUAs 
need to be taught to honor the List-Post header from RFC 2369, and 
that header gives the MUA the option to add a "reply to list" option, 
and that fixes things for real -- becase you now have reply-author, 
reply-list and reply-all. The big problem boils down to us trying to 
force reply-to to force what is relaly a tri-state operation into a 
two-state operation, and sort of by definition, there's no right way 
of doing that, because nyou can't squeeze three into two (period).

>- "If you use a reasonable mailer, Reply-To munging does provide new
>    functionality, namely the ability to reply only to the list"

and "reasonable mailer" is defined as "any mailer that does things 
the way the author prefers them", I guess.

>- "Reply-To munging adds additional functionality, it actually increases
>   freedom of choice"
>   *cough* bullshit *cough*

Yes, it gives you the freedom to do exactly what the list admin 
wants, and only that.

>- "For discussion type lists, I would estimate that ninety percent of the
>   time, people want to reply to the list"
>   Yeah, so?

and even that -- isn't true. He ought to actually sit down and do 
scientific surveys instead of estimating... I know people hate real 
numbers because facts get in the way of their opinions, but....

>- "Some administrators claim that munging Reply-To headers is harmful because
>   it surprises people, and can cause damage when things go awry"
>   Damn straight.

So it's the stupid user's fault that we made them do something they 
weren't expecting to do, and they got burnt by it...

>- "It's What People Want"
>   Yeah, there are misguided people out there,

again, that's an opinion. He ought to go find some facts to prove it. 
My facts disagree with him.

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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