[Mailman-Users] The "right" way to reply to a mailing list

Jay Ashworth jra at baylink.com
Sun Mar 22 04:38:11 CET 2015

----- Original Message -----
> From: "Barry Warsaw" <barry at list.org>

> On Mar 20, 2015, at 08:19 AM, Andrew Stuart wrote:
> >When I reply to a message on a mailing list, what is the “right” way
> >to do it?
> >Should I be deleting previous thread text from my response?
> >Should I be adding anything in?
> Of course, Wikipedia is the font of all human knowledge and truth:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_post
> This is an interesting question for me because I think the netiquette
> rules
> I've been using for decades may be changing.
> I've always found it proper and useful to include the quoted material
> of the
> original message, but trim the quotes to just the bit you are
> responding to.
> I'd call this interleaved-with-trimming.

The traditional method for technical conversation mailing lists.

> Top posting has always been a serious breach of netiquette.
> What I've found interesting is that some of my correspondents (off-list)
> actually *want* top posting, and find anything else confusing. I think I
> understand why in at least some cases; Apple Mail top posts by default, and
> some folks just don't like to go digging around in the email to find the
> answer they're looking for. I've actually tried to accommodate that when
> sending email to them.

If the question has a 1 paragraph or less reply and won't engender a thread, 
then I can just barely tolerate top posting.

If the person replying is on a mobile MUA, where it's a bitch to deal with,
I'll tolerate it.

Otherwise, I will take the time to clean up their reply, and hope that they
catch on.

As for actually convincing the MUA to reply the right place, a shocking 
number don't understand RFC... 5369 headers, and the ones that don't rarely
have "Reply to Recipient", which is a decent heuristic for most mailing lists.

So you have to reply all, and then the recipient gets the personal copy first, 
and replies to it off-list, and that way lies madness and sweaty palms...

-- jra
Jay R. Ashworth                  Baylink                       jra at baylink.com
Designer                     The Things I Think                       RFC 2100
Ashworth & Associates       http://www.bcp38.info          2000 Land Rover DII
St Petersburg FL USA      BCP38: Ask For It By Name!           +1 727 647 1274

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