[Mailman-Users] Can admin do this?

ECOLING at aol.com ECOLING at aol.com
Thu Jan 24 23:31:18 CET 2002

We are still discovering the new social world of email lists,
and what is needed to maintain respect for all list participants,
to receive more or less what they want to, and to be able to
manage the email effectively.  Here are two questions which
you may be able to answer immediately with your existing software,
or which may require an upgrade.  I and others will greatly appreciate
any assistance you can offer.

Thanks much for any help,
Lloyd Anderson
Ecological Linguistics


An email list that I subscribe to introduced a prefix
several years ago, so that any message coming from
the list will begin

[ANE] ...

This is enormously appreciated, as it facilitates sorting
messages by their subject lines for finding and filing.  
However, the automatic operation of this,
with, as usual, some less-than-careful users, is strings like this
as subjects:

<<[ANE] Re: [ANE] RE: [ANE] Re:Seth animal and ma'at>>

It would be desirable to change it to simply

<<[ANE] Re: Seth animal and ma'at>>

by some string operation which enforces the list name indicator first,
in this case [ANE]
and that no more than one copy of that occur,
and that no more than one "Re:" occur,
and that the "Re:" occur, if at all, after the list name,
so no "Re: [ANE] "
but only "[ANE] Re: ".

Can this be done easily?
Could you forward instructions that I can pass on to the list
administrator?  (That administrator gave me your web site 
address to follow up on this possibility.)

For the future, could you include such a possibility as a single
check-box in for list administrators to use, 
even make it the default operation which a list administrator
can turn off if desired? (Thus encouraging all list administrators
to choose a two-to-four-letter abbreviation for their list name,
with a reminder that each extra letter detracts from the amount
of the remaining subject line that users will see.)


A second question arises on the function of "reply to sender" vs. 
"reply to all" choices, for example in AOL software.

"Reply to sender" should ideally go back to only the one individual
sending the message being replied to, it should not go to the list as a whole.
The reason is of course that one should have to make a deliberate choice
if one is going to burden an entire list with a message, that should not be
the default.  An error made in sending to only one receiver, when an entire
list was desired, is not as serious as an error made in sending to an entire 
when only an individual receiver was desired.  

Can list administrators affect this in how they set up their list?
Can they specify what information goes into which fields of a message header?
For example, are there three sets of information in the header 
(which I as user receive at the end of each message)?
(a) original sender, individual
(b) list as relayer (kind of sender)
(c) list of all recipients

Some list adiminstrators believe that this is controlled by email software,
not by list administrators.  Is this true?  
What is the default behavior (or unmodifiable behavior) of various
email programs?  Do they differ much in this?

This may be relevant to one of your 'to-do" items,
as well as to the previous question I was asking.  
Rather than allowing complete freedom to modify headers etc.,
which you point out might be dangerous, can you provide
particular choices pre-packaged in your next release?

<<Allow admins to control and set individual headers, 
adding, removing, or overriding those in the original message 
(sometimes very useful, but could be dangerous!) >>


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