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

J C Lawrence claw at
Wed Oct 30 04:43:24 CET 2002

On Tue, 29 Oct 2002 14:27:16 -0500 
Gerald Oskoboiny <gerald at> wrote:

> When I look at the headers of a message, I expect to see them as they
> were composed by the message author. 

You've lead a sheltered mailing list life.

> 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.

There's a core debate here, which is as old as mailing lists, and was
old when I first ran into it 18 years ago:

  Is a message distributed by a mailing list a new message or merely a
  redistribution of an prior message?

Depending on the answer to that question you can justify (or not) things
like Message-ID being rewritten by the list server, as well as To: etc.
Its comparatively easy to frame cogent and sound arguments for either
side.  The worse and most comforting thing is that in practice both
sides are correct.  Mailman is merely marginally extending this debate
to also enclude the To: header -- which you should care to note is not
original to Mailman, but has been a fairly dead aspect of the debate for
some years (due more to apathy than resolution).

J C Lawrence                
---------(*)                Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas. 
claw at               He lived as a devil, eh?  Evil is a name of a foeman, as I live.

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