[Mailman-Users] Questions on Mailman list administration.

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Sat Dec 14 18:52:22 CET 2013

Richard Damon writes:
 > On 12/14/13, 5:23 AM, Joe wrote:
 > > One more question I forgot to ask on my original post:
 > >
 > > Is there a way to configure Mailman so that when users select
 > > 'reply' the message goes to the list and when they select 'reply
 > > all' the message goes to both the list and the poster wrote the
 > > message they are replying to ?

No, there isn't.  A "smart" MUA has a "reply to list" function that
replies to list if the List-Post header is present, and otherwise to
the poster.  Such a setting is then undesirable, because users of such
MUAs almost never want the reply-to-poster function (but can use it if
appropriate), and the reply-to-all function does the Right Thing.

On the other hand, the header that Mailman (ab)uses to control this
behavior is the Reply-To header, but it is interpreted by the
recipient's MUA.  Standard-conforming MUAs simply substitute the
Reply-To address for the poster address, because the *definition* of
the Reply-To header is "where the *author* wants replies sent, if not
to the From address."

There is no standard way for a mailing list to say where *it* wants
replies to go, and no "best current practice" to arbitrate between
list and poster when their wishes conflict.

 > Be aware that if any of your subscribers use the reply to header to
 > indicate where they want replies sent to, you will break this for them.
 > (The are links to fuller discussion on this at the option).

It also prevents *any* standard-conforming mailer from addressing
replies to the poster, period.  (Of course you can cut-and-paste, and
the mailer will *send* to the poster.  But that's way inconvenient.)

In theory Mailman could have a setting to include the poster's address
in Reply-To, but that's not what Reply-To mungers usually want (it
ends up PO-ing their subscribers who get tons of duplicates), and it's
not what Mailman does AFAIK.

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