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[Fsfe-uk] Use of Reply-To in the mailing list

From: Chris Croughton
Subject: [Fsfe-uk] Use of Reply-To in the mailing list
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2003 09:29:40 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.2.5i

On Mon, Aug 25, 2003 at 12:54:12PM +0100, Tom Coady wrote:

> Richard Smith wrote:
> >Personally I haven't chosen a side on this issue, but whenever I have seen
> >it suggested, it has been very controversial:
> >http://www.unicom.com/pw/reply-to-harmful.html
> >
> Thanks for the URL - I  had no idea anyone had such strong feelings on 
> this. Unfortunately I don't think /any/ of the points made are valid. I 
> will save you all a point by point rebuttal, but one element I thought 
> particularly wrong is that all good mail clients give a reply to list 
> option. I've seen this in Opera, but not in Moz/Tbird, other than 
> reply-all which would result in sending duplicate messages to the author.

The author was suggesting using Reply To All (the Elm 'g' function).and
that is indeed the big problem, the original author gets two (or in some
cases more) copies.  I was on one mailing list many years ago where if I
did "reply to group" my message would generally be sent to 6 or more
individuals as well as the group, because every time someone did reply
to all it added  the author's address.  Very quickly you get to a
situation where there is no point in the mailing list, because everyone
is in the 'To:' header (and the load on MTAs is doubled).

It's also a problem when a message arrives.  Did the person intend for
that (on-topic) message to be private?  Did he also send it to the list
so I should wait for the list version to arrive?.

Incidentally, when Mutt does a reply it first presents me with the
Reply-To addressa ad asks "Send it here?".  If I say 'no' then it
presents me with the From: line.  Dead simple, if I want to reply
off-list on a list with a munged REply-To header I just have to hit one
extra key.  Sure, I don't always remember, but the same is true in
Usenet groups if I hit 'f'ollowup instead of 'r'eply.

> In any case I apologise for resurrecting a long buried skeleton, and in 
> doing so taking this whole subject off topic.

I've changed the Subject: header, but I've left in the In-Reply-To for
those who thread on that.

Chris C

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