Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(March 1996)
 

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Subject: Re: Changing Reply-To: Fields
From: Soren Dayton <csdayton @ midway . uchicago . edu>
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 1996 11:33:30 CST
To: Fuzzy <fuzzy @ ASARian . org>
Cc: List-Managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: Fuzzy's message of Sat, 16 Mar 1996 09:45:55 -0500 (EST)
References: <Pine.LNX.3.91.960316093942.6358D-100000@ASARian.org>
Reply-to: csdayton @ midway . uchicago . edu

 argggg.  I hate this argument.

Fuzzy said:

> On Sat, 16 Mar 1996 list-managers-digest-owner@GreatCircle.COM wrote:
 
> > >I have read the FAQ and the Manual, but this concept is still unclear to
> > >me.  I would really like the reply to field to read:
> > >
> > >Reply-To:       NAME OF MY LIST (listname@marquee.com)
> > 
> > This is really a bad idea.

  Agreed.  See Dave, we can agree on something :)
 
> > The "fix" is educating users in carefully reading headers (a very
> > valuable skill) and learning how to operate their software (another
> > very important skill). Hacks like using Reply-To: to direct replies to
> > the list are bad because they discourage proper understanding and
> > usage of the system and penalize those who know how things really
> > work.
> 
> I don't agree...

With what do you disagree?

1. That every functional user-agent ought to provide a feature that
allows you to reply to the the _originator_ and to the _recipients_.

2. that people should know a little bit about headers so that they can
reply how they intend to reply?

3. Users who now what they are doing should not be punished?

If you disagree with 3, you should be shot.  If you disagree with 2 then
we have a simple conflict of opinion, but I think that my position is
pretty much supported by the standards (it is the burden of the user to
figure out who the mail is supposed to go to).  

If you deal with 1, I am just totally befuddled.

There is one more argument.  not touching the Reply-To; header hurts
less people.  Sporadically I am on a list and someone posts something
that annoys me.  I can hit reply (repl in my case, as an mh user) and I
can send it to the _originator_ without really any effort.  (Note that I
am not really being rational in this story)  And then it goes to teh
right place.  If the Reply-To was set to the list, then it would take
some effort to get it to do the things that I would want it to, and
because I am being an irrational ass, the letter would likely go to the
entire list.  and we all hate flame wars on mailing lists.  And people
can always resend letters to mailing lists if it was accidentally
redirected, but they cannot do the analogous if they screw up with the
Reply-To set to the list.

>                  for example this list, (list-managers), is setup the way
> he wants to do it. that way the sender/from:/envolope-address is the list
> owner, (for bounces and other errors), and the reply-to: is the list for
> the usual form replying to the list.

  No.  that is the _digest_ list.  That is the _only_ way that a digest
can make any sense.  You can burst the digest and respond individually.

>                                      if the sender/from:/envolope-address
> were the list wouldn't email bounces go to the list and cause mail-loops? 

  Of course.  When was that being set to the list?  (actually not if you
are using a mailing list manager with half a clue because it would catch
them).  We are referring to the _Reply-To_ header which is a different
mess entirely.  

  If you do _that_ you are asking to get hosed.

  this showed up at one point and this url was posted. I think that it
summarizes the arguments with the most clarity and eloquence.  Lets make
this required reading for anyone who posts in this thread.  Please?

http://www.unicom.com//FAQ/reply-to-evil.html

Soren Dayton


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