[Mailman-Users] Reply-to options not working

Jordan Brown mailman at jordan.maileater.net
Mon Jan 29 14:12:25 EST 2018

On 1/28/2018 8:40 PM, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> I believe that many users think
> of mailing lists as fundamentally different from personal email, and
> they would like their MUAs to distinguish automatically.  This
> algorithm, I believe, would do a pretty good job of that.

This particular user distinguishes between mail to one (human) recipient
and mail to multiple recipients, but the difference between two and a
thousand is only shades of gray, and whether some are from mailing list
expansion is mostly unimportant.  Either I want to reply to the author
alone, or to everybody, or (rarely) to some other subset.  The obvious
Reply and Reply All behaviors handle the first two, and the last is
probably best handled as Reply All followed by editing the address list.

I suspect that there will always be disagreement as to what a single
"one button reply" button should do, whether it should reply to the
author or reply to everybody.  I doubt that there will ever be a
solution, server-side or client-side, that will make everybody happy.  I
can only hope that whatever standards develop make both "reply to
author" and "reply to all" convenient.

(And that's another of the key items:  the "Reply-To: <list>"
configuration makes it *difficult* to reply to the author, and that
seems just plain rude.)

Side question:  when you have a message addressed to multiple mailing
lists, what does "reply to list" even mean?

>  > I want "Reply" to go to the author, and "Reply All" to go to the author,
>  > the list, and any other To or CC destinations.  I simply can't
>  > understand any other answer.  I don't understand why anybody feels a
>  > need for "Reply List".
> Your preference is noted, but you are definitely in a minority of
> those whose opinions I've seen over the decades.  Even those who use
> Reply and Reply All as you do (I do on this list, for example),
> usually have considered it suboptimal.  The preferences of list owners
> also should be respected, to the extent that replying users don't
> care.  The prevalence of reply-to-munging says that they (or perhaps a
> majority of their subscribers) want replies to automatically go to the
> list.

Lists at my company are simply never configured that way; I don't think
our e-mail system even has the option.  (And at ~140K users and
thousands of mailing lists, that's not a trivial data point.)

Note also that the MailMan UI says "Where are replies to list messages
directed? Poster is /strongly /recommended for most mailing lists." so
it's not just me.

Interesting.  I was going to say that none of the FOSS lists that I
participate in use this configuration, but it seems that a couple do and
Thunderbird's mail.override_list_reply_to is silently saving me from
their misbehavior.  Yay, T-bird!  Though, while I appreciate the fact
that the default is the way I want it, I have to reluctantly say that
it's wrong.  It should respect the Reply-To by default, no matter how
wrong it is.  But note also:  the fact that the T-bird authors chose
this behavior by default suggests that they are not members of the
"Reply-To: <list>" community.

(I'm not sure whether T-bird can save me from a DMARC-munged list that
uses "Reply-To: <list>".  That combination just makes my head hurt.)

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