[tz] Reply

John Haxby john.haxby at oracle.com
Thu Dec 8 13:52:01 UTC 2011

On 08/12/11 13:04, Kevin Lyda wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 12:51, Thom Hehl <Thom at pointsix.com> wrote:
>> Can we not fix the emails that come from this list to have the reply to set
>> so all we have to do is hit reply?

Thunderbird has a button labelled 'reply list' which, I believe, uses
the List-Post header although it may actually do something slightly more
clever.   Either way, I know exactly who I'm replying to when I hit the
button and I can always choose if I want to do something different.  
This is another way of saying "use a different mail reader" although I
suspect you're stuck with Outlook and can't do anything about it.

> This topic gets debated to death.  The reason why most list admins do
> this can be seen in the following pages.
> http://www.unicom.com/pw/reply-to-harmful.html
> http://marc.merlins.org/netrants/listreplyto.html
> http://woozle.org/~neale/papers/reply-to-still-harmful.html

It's odd that the people who get really hot under the collar about this
are the ones that want the reply-to removed :-)  In spite of the
arguments going back a decade, mailman still leaves it as an option
because some list owners want the replies to go to the list, usually
because it makes list searching easier.    There may be other reasons,
for example, writers to the list are incapable of correctly choosing or
simply that it has always been done that way.   There are often very
good reasons why you shouldn't have a reply-to header as well: the best
examples of these are the very busy mailing lists where having your name
in the header means "you really should pay attention to this message".

I take the view that it's the list owner's choice.  If the list owner
wants to change the way it's done then that's his or her choice and
while other's might have a view, it's the list owner that gets to decide.

I definitely do not think that you can say, definitively, that one
choice or the other is good, bad or ugly.   Rather than the world and
his got leap up and down getting all enthusiastic, we should leave it to
the list owner to decide.


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