Replying to list messages

Paul McNett p at
Thu Jan 8 06:44:15 CET 2009

Ben Finney wrote:
> Paul McNett <p at> writes:
>> [Some day hopefully I'll remember to change the to: address to
>> python-list at instead of the original sender.
> Even better: Take full advantage of the standards-compliant messages
> from the list, by using the “Reply to list” function of your RFC
> 2369 compliant mail program. That way the message is sent to the
> declared list posting address, without you having to change anything.
> If your mail program still doesn't have such a function, over a decade
> since RFC 2369 was written, lobby the vendor to add it. Or, in the
> case of free software, act some way yourself (write code, pay someone
> else to do so, or some other action) to have that function added for
> everyone.

I remember taking advantage of that in KMail, before that program became unusably 

> For Thunderbird (which I see you're using, Paul), the open bug report
> is <URL:>.
> Meanwhile, you can install an add-on to provide the function
> <URL:>.

Thanks; I'll follow up with those. In general I don't tend to use add-ons because I 
have at least 3 computers I regularly use and it is a pain to keep them all 
configured consistently.

>> I always end up sending the first reply to the sender, then going
>> "oops, forgot to hit reply-all'", and sending another copy to the
>> list.]
> At least that's merely a minor inconvenience; easily rectified by
> just sending the message again using the correct function.


> That's much better, of course, than the opposite situation which
> exists on some misconfigured mailing lists: that a message sent using
> the “Reply to sender” function, with content written in the
> knowledge that only the original message's sender should be reading
> it, instead ends up going to the mailing list. That damage can't be
> undone.

Well, when you are a member of a public mailing list, replying to a thread, the 
expectation is that you are replying to the list, so I happen to think the correct 
behavior is the one you think is broken, because practicality beats purity. If I want 
to send a private message to someone, I'll start a new mail to that person, or simply 
copy/paste their email addy over the list address, but the most common case is that 
someone intends to reply to the list.

But arguing about this here isn't going to change anything: opinions differ just like 
tabs/spaces and bottom-post/top-post.

> Thanks to the Python mailing list administrators for conforming to the
> standards and not breaking the configuration like that!

Thanks to the Python mailing list volunteers for running such a well-oiled and 
popular list!


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