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Re: Change in rmail-reply

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: Change in rmail-reply
Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2009 13:57:35 +0900

Richard M Stallman writes:

 >      > As for fowarding, that is no substitute, since the new header does not
 >      > include the sender or other recipients of the original message.  When
 >      > you want to exclude them, forwarding is suitable.  Otherwise, it 
 > isn't.
 >     That's an issue with your MUA, if that is a common use case for you.
 > I do not follow.  What issue about the MUA are you raising?

The need for a rmail-resend variant which allows editing the headers,
as you describe below.  Personally, I would tend to add the feature to
the forward command instead, but thats a matter of style, not substance.

 >      > Should we delete the rmail-resend command?
 >     No.  Better to rename it to something like rmail-bounce.
 > "Bounce" in the context of mail usually indicates report that a
 > message failed to reach a recipient.  Does this case have anything to
 > do with such a failure?  If not, what's the reason to suggest
 > using that word?

The analogy is that physically, something that bounces doesn't
interact with the thing in bounced off of; it simply changes
direction, leaving both the bouncer and the bouncee otherwise
unchanged.  The failed-mail report originally was a special case of
this, with just enough additional information to identify it clearly
as a resend for the purpose of identifying an error.  Thus it is
called a "bounce".  The semantics have changed, but the name stuck.

 > It occurs to me that maybe there should be two resend commands:
 > one which lets you edit the message and one which doesn't.
 > The former would be new.  It could insert CC commands
 > with the resend recipients, so you can either keep them or
 > delete them.

As long as there is no parsing of Resent-* headers for addresses to
add to the recipient list, that would be fine.

Note that the semantics of mail for this purpose are still
problematic.  The original recipients may never know that the
conversation has been broadened in this way if you don't send the
forward (with the new headers) to them, too.  On the other hand, they
might not care, and be annoyed by the duplication.  It's not a big
hairy deal, of course, but these nuances apparently matter somewhat to
you.  To the extent that they do, you may wish to advocate changing
the channels where you want to use these features to use more
appropriate technology (usenet, web forum, etc).

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