[Haskell-cafe] [off-topic / administrative] List Reply-to

Mikael Johansson mikael at johanssons.org
Wed Oct 11 04:41:34 EDT 2006

On Tue, 10 Oct 2006, Misha Aizatulin wrote:
> Matthias Fischmann wrote:
>> Some lists have the Reply-To: set to the list address.  I think you
>> can even configure the From: to be haskell-cafe instead of the poster,
>> making the poster merely identifiable by the Sender: field.
>> Do you have strong opinions on this subject?
>  Here is an argument against Reply-To munging. I'd say I agree with it:
> http://www.unicom.com/pw/reply-to-harmful.html

* It violates the principle of minimal munging.

This is a valid point. It may, though, possibly be a small price to pay 

* It provides no benefit to the user of a reasonable mailer.

I disagree. I find it annoying to no end to either
1) get multiple copies of mails concerning discussions I participate in or
2) have to manually re-edit the header each and every time I want to keep 
a discussion on a mailing list, possibly with added trouble finding the 
right adress to send to

For mailing lists which have the characteristics that most replies are 
meant for the list, munging is a much more comfortable way to deal with 
things than non-munging.

* It limits a subscriber's freedom to choose how he or she will direct 
a response.

Not much. And it reduces the amount of surprise. We have by now left the 
time when most lists where built as huge To/CC-lists (or at least most 
people have left those times), and the Reply-to-all simply is not the 
expected behaviour to reply to a list with one single adress.

* It actually reduces functionality for the user of a reasonable 

I don't agree.

* It removes important information, which can make it impossible to 
get back to the message sender.

This is again a valid point.

* It penalizes the person with a reasonable mailer in order to coddle 
those running brain-dead software.

I don't agree. I view pine as something that should be classified as 
reasonable, and I feel penalized by non-munging.

* It violates the principle of least work because complicates the 
procedure for replying to messages.

I don't agree.

* It violates the principle of least surprise because it changes the 
way a mailer works.

I don't agree.

* It violates the principle of least damage, and it encourages a 
failure mode that can be extremely embarrassing -- or worse.

I'd be surprised if private mail leakage happens that much to 
Haskell-cafe, or for that matter if it'd be embarrassing to the point the 
author is talking about.

* Your subscribers don't want you to do it. Or, at least the ones who 
have bothered to read the docs for their mailer don't want you to do it.

I'm a subscriber. I'd prefer munging.

> Cheers,
>  Misha


Mikael Johansson                 | To see the world in a grain of sand
mikael at johanssons.org            |  And heaven in a wild flower
http://www.mikael.johanssons.org | To hold infinity in the palm of your hand
                                  |  And eternity for an hour

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