[Tutor] Replying to the tutor-list

Terry Carroll carroll at tjc.com
Fri Feb 16 07:04:31 CET 2007

On Thu, 15 Feb 2007, Bill Campbell wrote:

> Having the Reply-To: to the original poster minimizes the probability of
> somebody sending mail to a list that was intended for the original poster
> (which may be private).  

Well, no.  It minimizes the probability of someone sending mail to a list.  

It equally minimizes that probability, regardless of whether the mail was 
intended to go to the list or privately to the original poster.

Most replies to this list are intended to go to the list.  At least a 
couple times a week we see messages from one of the more helpful tutors 
saying "please reply to the list, not just to me."  Just yesterday, I 
received an email in reply to one of my messages that was intended to 
assist the person I had replied to.  The intended recepient never got the 
email, because the sender, no doubt relying on the default, did not reply 
to the list.

Having reply-to go to the list is having it go to the most commonly 
preferred recipient.

So, minimizing the probability that the mail will go to the list, when 
most mail is intended to go to the list, is, I think, a Bad Thing.  Not 
that Bad a Thing, in the grand scheme of things, but a Bad Thing 

> The only advantage of having it set to the list is it makes it easier
> for lazy people to send nonsense to hundreds of people.

That's way out of line.  The advantage of having it go to the list is to
make the default coincide with the usual intent; and that's what defaults
are for.

This is true regardless of whether the replying party is "lazy" or not;  
and regardless of whether the replying post is "nonsense" or not.

As I said, I have no particular dog in this fight.  The list uses a 
reply-to mechanism that I don't think makes sense, so I fixed it for 
myself with procmail.  But it's pretty arrogant to think that the divide 
of opinion on here is not a reasonable one, and that anyone who doesn't 
agree with your position must be lazy or writing nonsense.

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