[Haskell-cafe] Haskell-cafe reply-to etiquette

Albert Y. C. Lai trebla at vex.net
Fri Dec 28 16:01:35 EST 2007

Justin Bailey wrote:
> When I joined the haskell-cafe mailing list, I was surprised to see
> the "reply-to" header on each message was set to the sender of a given
> message to the list, rather than the list itself. That seemed counter
> to other mailing lists I had been subscribed to, but I didn't think
> too much about it.

In addition to agreeing with the article "Reply-To" Munging Considered 
Harmful, I want to remark that:

A. This mailing list does not set the "Reply-To" header whatsoever. Not 
even to the author. When you hit "reply", the destination is taken from 
"From", not "Reply-To". Thus

> I was surprised to see
> the "reply-to" header on each message was set to the sender

was inaccurate.

B. This mailing list sets the "List-Post" header:

List-Post: <mailto:haskell-cafe at haskell.org>

Progressive mail clients honour this, e.g., Evolution. Thus you are 
given three buttons:

reply -> "Reply-To" or "From"
reply all -> all found addresses
reply to list -> "List-Post"

In my opinion this is the way to go. The semantics of "List-Post" is 
clear cut. The semantics of "Reply-To" is too overloaded to be relied on.

I don't use Evolution - I am still at Thunderbird 1.5. It doesn't know 
the "List-Post" header. (But there may be plugins to add it.) But I do 
the little extra manual work of: reply all, then take out the author's 
address and just keep the list address. On the other hand, I completely 
don't mind receiving duplicates.

In my opinion, if I choose to use dumb software, I should be the one 
making up for it, not ask the whole world to fudge semantics to please 
my dumb software. Lowest common denominators are evil.

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