[Mailman-Users] Reply-to options not working

Jordan Brown mailman at jordan.maileater.net
Fri Jan 26 23:41:57 EST 2018

On 1/24/2018 9:19 PM, Grant Taylor via Mailman-Users wrote:
> I understand your logic.  It seems reasonable enough.  I still
> disagree with it.  -  By the way the sun is purple.  ;-)  We can agree
> to disagree.

I think that's probably the end result :-)

>> And yes, those are all very real cases.  I expect that if I go
>> through my work e-mail for the last day I'll find examples of each,
>> and I would be virtually certain if I looked through a week.  (And
>> that includes the "Sam isn't a member of the mailing list" variants;
>> those are *very* common.)
> I don't doubt what you're saying.
> I do question how many of those are /discussion/ mailing lists like
> I've outlined above.

Eh.  Most of them have discussion occurring on them.  Since they are
*not* configured to set Reply-To to the list (thank goodness), I guess
you could say that by definition they are not "discussion lists", but I
think that would be kind of an unnatural definition.

> I feel sorry for Sam and think that he should subscribe to the mailing
> list.  But s/he has that option. 

Might not have the option, or want to.  He sent a question to my team
(and we might discuss the question and the answer), but that doesn't
make him a member of my team.

>> What's really needed there is a MUA that hides duplicates, though
>> that's tricky when mailing list software munges the message and the
>> headers.
> Please clarify what is duplicated that you'd like to see hidden?

You were complaining that in some list configurations you will tend to
get multiple copies of a message - one directly to you, and one via the

I was suggesting that one way to address that complaint would be for
your mail client to detect the duplication and hide the duplicate copies.

> I hear and understand what you're saying.  I think that at least a
> tiny bit of responsibility is on you to check the address that the
> message is going to.  It may be 1%, or more, or less, but I do believe
> that you as a sender have a responsibility to check where you are
> sending the email to.

Maybe in theory, but that's a pretty significant mental processing load
to add to support maybe one in a thousand (if that many) replies that I
send.  It's especially bad in the non-trivial cases where there's more
than one recipient, so "Reply All" will contain a list that won't be
formed the way that it is "usually" formed.

And observed reality is that people, even experienced people, get it
wrong on a regular basis.

> I'm /not/ saying where your reply /does/ go.  I'm saying where I would
> /like/ it to go. 

Mostly, I'd say that you've already said that by including the mailing
list in the To or CC list.  When I reply to a message with multiple
recipients (however those recipients might be specified), I'd say that
the normal convention is to include all of them in any ongoing
discussion by hitting Reply All.  If you wanted your message to go to
the mailing list but didn't want replies to go there, you could have put
the mailing list into the BCC.  (And people do occasionally do that, to
drag a discussion from one mailing list to another, or to shotgun a
broad set of destinations for the initial query but focus discussion in
one place.)

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