[Mailman-Users] How to allow Poster to change default reply to fromthe list to the poster

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Thu Jan 6 18:09:15 CET 2011

Jason Bilbrey wrote:

>I have a mailing list and the default if a recipient chooses reply or
>reply-to-all in their mail client is for the reply to go to the list.  (This
>is great for 99.9% of the time and exactly what I want).  However in certain
>situations I'd like to be able to send to the list but change the default
>behavior when someone chooses reply or reply-to-all to reply only to the
>original poster.
>Is that possible?

Probably not in the way you envision.

>Let give you an exact example to clear it up.  I have a mailing list for
>trivia enthusiasts and generally speaking I want people to be able to
>discuss topics and everyone on the list to see the replies.  Everyone once
>in a while a person on the list makes up a trivia quiz and they want users
>to reply with the answers only to the creator of the quiz...  Inevitably
>everyone once in a while someone clicks "reply" and replies with their
>answers to the list instead of manually typing in the quiz creator's actual
>email address.
>Is there a way that the quiz creator/poster (a member of the mailing list)
>could send certain messages that alters the reply-to address from the
>default of replying to the list, to reply to them directly instead?

This is a problem of user education and there is no good solution in
Mailman. As I see it you have two choices, neither of which will do
what you want.

One choice is to not mung reply-to at all. I.e. set
first_strip_reply_to No and reply_goes_to_list to Poster. Then users
need to reply-all or otherwise include the list in replies that should
go to the list, or posters could include a Reply-To: header with the
list address in every post whose replies should be on the list.
Repliers would need to do this too. Obviously, your users have already
proven that they cannot reliably address their mail appropriately, so
this won't work.

The other choice is to set reply_goes_to_list to This list as you have
done, and this doesn't work in all cases either. In order to make this
work better, you could moderate all users (or maybe just the slow
learners) and reject their posts that shouldn't be on the list, but
you may not want to do the moderation work.

So you have to decide whether choice 1 - some replies that should be on
the list aren't - or choice 2 - some replies that shouldn't be on the
list are or a much increased moderator workload and the attendant
moderation delays - is the lesser of two evils.

Mark Sapiro <mark at msapiro.net>        The highway is for gamblers,
San Francisco Bay Area, California    better use your sense - B. Dylan

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