personalization features (was Re: [Mailman-Users] Archive URL in postings (2.1b3))

Chuq Von Rospach chuqui at
Tue Oct 29 20:44:45 CET 2002

On Tuesday, October 29, 2002, at 11:27  AM, Gerald Oskoboiny wrote:

> I agree with almost everything Jay Sekora has written in this thread.

it's too bad these issues didn't come up as this got hashed out on 
mailman-developers. it's good that it's going to get hashed out while 
it's still in beta. there's probably a "hint hint" in there somewhere...

> When I look at the headers of a message, I expect to see them as
> they were composed by the message author. I don't think MLMs
> should alter the contents of important headers like To:, From:,
> Cc:, Subject:, Message-Id:, Reply-To:, except in very rare cases.

Except MLMs have a long tradition of modifying them. If you CC or BCC a 
list, it generally rewrites itself into the to line. We've changed that 
to CC. there's a long tradition of modifying subject (list flags for 
one, cleaning up "Re:" issues for another) and reply-to. These 
modifications are quite common and accepted.

I don't think what's being done is out of the ordinary. I do  think 
it's not "what we're used to", but I think that's because there are 
some basic assumptions about how this stuff works have been rethought. 
the key one is "mailing list manager as bulk e-mailer". Traditionally, 
true. But a basic requirement? I don't think so. Instead, it was more a 
situation forced on us by capacity limitations, which are rapidly being 
relaxed. Since (most of us) have increased processing capability and 
network, we should figure out how to properly operate in that 
environment, where we're doing what a server OUGHT to do once the 
shackles are removed (and since we know not everyone has those 
capabilities, it's not a requirement to use them...).

to me, saying we shouldn't innovate here is like telling HTML people to 
stop at HTML 3.2 and GIFs, and forget all that newer stuff. The reality 
is, most MLMs act pretty much like they acted back in the early 80's. 
the net and e-mail itself have changed radically, this is the first 
step in trying to make sure the MLM environment adapts to and takes 
advantage of all of those changes and innovations, too.

There are a lot of things we're trying to do to get away from "it was 
good enough for my grandfather...." mode in MLM. another area you folks 
haven't even started yelling about yet is in the MIME world. 2.1 is 
taking the first steps from dealing with MIME as a pain in the ass that 
should be thrown out to something that is an integral part of e-mail 
that has to be managed (and can be taken advantage of). The days when 
mime is handled by simply stripping it out are ending, because it's 
time to sell that old black and white TV and buy a color one... 

Chuq Von Rospach, Architech
chuqui at --

Very funny, Scotty. Now beam my clothes down here, will you?

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