[Haskell-cafe] Reply to

Matthijs Kooijman matthijs at stdin.nl
Wed May 6 11:28:36 EDT 2009

Hi David,

> - Do you use To for the mailing list or for the parent?  
> - Do you ever include the grand-parent in the recipient list? 
I use whatever my mail client does when I hit "list-reply" :-)

For me (using mutt), that means to include any recipients and senders from the
original message (so mailing list, parent and grand-parent in your example),
unless the sender of the message I'm replying to has set the Mail-Followup-To
header. My client sets the Mail-Followup-To properly to include all recipients
and include myself when I am not subscribed to the list, and exclude myself
when I am subscribed to the list. This is the only proper solution, since you
can't guess from the addresses alone if someone is subscribed to the list and
should thus be included or not.

> - What's the difference between To and CC?
Just a matter of style I guess, functionally they are the same AFAIK.

> - If you send to only the mailing list, does it break the message thread? (it 
> seems like sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't)
> - Does the mailing list do some kind of processing of the email headings sent 
> (I don't get how kmail managed to know your message was in reply to Magnus 
> Therning's message, since you didn't include him as a recipient)
These two questions are the same: This is handled by email clients entirely.
They set the In-Reply-To header, which refers to the message ID of the
replied-to message, for proper threading. Alternatively, some clients (can)
use the subject for guessing threads, but the mailing list doesn't handle this
in any way (it doesn't have any info that the recipients don't have either).

> - Is kmail's mailing list management completely bonkers (eg what is the 
> difference between Reply and Reply to mailing list)?
Dunno, but it seems so from your example.

> And don't get me started on whether to use html or plain text in messages! 
> (seen both pretty often here)
As long as messages have a decent text/plain part, feel free to use anything
as far as I'm concerned (flash, anyone? :-p)

> Anyway, I can't see why we still use mailing lists when we have reddit, which 
> has all the good parts of mailing lists (nested messages), while it also:
Hmm, what's this reddit thing? *googles*

At first glance, the reddit frontpage looks very crowded and incapable of
conveying information to me...

At second glance, it looks like some kind of giant forum with random topics
and links to other forums/news sites/blogs? There's probably some way to
organize threads belonging to a single topic that becomes evident when you

> - is much simpler to use
Can't say, never used it...
> - allows voting up/down of good/inaccurate messages
> - allows voting up/down of interesting/boring topics
That's cool for when you're reading a topic back (ie would be nice on email
archives) but not really useful for new questions and messages (which is what
our mailing lists are usually about, right?).

> - has a good web interface (mail-archive.com doesn't even come close)
Nice, but does it have a non-web-interface? The only way I can actually
manage all email traffic coming my way from a couple dozen mailing lists, is
because mutt is so darn efficient when it comes to reading and processing
mail. I would't want to do all that in a webinterface.

> - uses markdown (no more html vs plain text problems)
That's cool :-) Though you can also just write markdown in plain text email,
looks pretty as well :-p

> - allows messages to be edited after being sent
You can always just reply with corrections. Editing messages after writing
them only makes things confusing (since you probably won't be able to edit
them before someone has read them...).

> - has rss feeds for article comments, and sub reddit topics
Aren't RSS feeds just invented to turn the normal "pull" information flow of a
website to a sortof "push" flow (or rather, to automate the polling of a
website for new info). The cool thing about email is that it's push by design!

> - sends notifications when someone replies to one of your comments
Like, via email? :-p 

Seriously though, I guess something like reddit has some merit, but I see that
mostly for archival and/or discussions that have a longer lasting value. A lot
of traffic on mailing lists is useful for as long as the question that's asked
is unsolved and after that it's done. Also, no webinterface is not a
substitute for a decent mail client, especially a heavily customized one.

If you're serious about using reddit for haskell discussions, could you
perhaps enlighten us with how that would work? I've been browsing a bit more,
and reddit really looks like a collection of links to articles and topics, not
like an actual discussion medium?


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