Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(October 2000)

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Subject: Re: elist address or your address in message TO header
From: Jim Trigg <blaise @ scadian . net>
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 15:45:45 -0400
To: list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: <p04330100b61b69965cc9@[]>
References: <><>

At 12:47 PM 10/24/00, Chuq Von Rospach wrote:
>we could argue, but IMHO, you'd lose, and IYHO, I'd lose, probably. you're 
>making the assumption, and I don't buy it, that if someone is being sent 
>something through a list it's no longer being sent to them. I disagree 
>with that, and with the growing use of VERP and customized lists, you 
>can't even say that a mailing list is "bulk" mail per se any more, either. 
>So the assumption you're making might be true of majordomo I, but isn't 
>true of any MLM that VERPs. So it's not a safe assumption to use to 
>generalize across list mail.

What is VERP?  That's an acronym I haven't seen before.

>At 11:47 AM -0400 10/24/00, James M Galvin wrote:
>>is an elist message.  You suggest testing for an appropriate header, but
>>the point is the "appropriate header" varies by elist technology.
>A minor issue, IMHO. I'd say 90-95% put appropriate info in Sender, and 
>the few who don't still (for the most part) have easily identifiable ways 
>to find them. This is exactly the problem the List-ID RFC is designed to 
>solve, by the way, so it's being resolved, except for people who ignore 
>standards in the first place.

That sounds nice, except that 50-75% of mail readers in common use cannot 
filter based on the Sender: header, let alone any particular header.  They 
can filter on: To, From, Subject, Reply-To, or "any header".

>I personally disagree that the answer is sticking the subscribed address 
>in the body of the message -- I think the message is owned by the author, 
>not the MLM, and I already have philosophical issues with putting a footer 
>on things, but since it is *so* useful in helping naive users and I can 
>make it explicit that it's not part of the message, I do it. I don't want 
>that to get out of control, however, by stuffing everything I can into it. 
>And stuffing it in a header (aka the List-* stuff or List-ID) isn't a 
>complete solution because there are still too many places that strip all 
>that stuff while rerouting and botching mail delivery. And the users who 
>most need that info are least likely to know how to turn on full headers 
>or whatever it takes to access them.

Which is exactly the problem with using "List-ID" to identify that it's not 
personal email and should be sent to a separate sorting area.

>I guess this comes down to a philosophical problem, so of course I'm going 
>to wander in with an analogy for people to find loopholes in -- the post 
>As far as I can tell, your view of your mailbox is there is two kinds of mail:
>1) mail to you - stuff from mom, your bill from the electrical company.
>2) junk mail delivered to "resident" or "occupant". Things like the latest
>         home depot flyer, or the 39 million political flyers I'm madly 
> throwing away.
>In my view, there's a third style: individually addressed bulk mailing. In 
>the real world, this includes things like the restoration hardware catalog 
>-- it's a mass mailing, but it's still addressed to me.
>By your view, anything that's mailed in multiples (like that Restoration 
>Hardware catalog) should be sent to my address for Resident. By my view, 
>even though they're mailing a million catalogs, they're still sending me 
>MY copy.
>I see the e-list area moving into this third area. And I don't have a 
>problem with that, and I think it's a good thing overall. Now if we could 
>only get the paper cataloggers to be as good at unsubscribes and bounce 
>processings as e-mail people are....

I agree that there are three categories, and what they are.  In an ideal 
world, subscription lists would have two standard headers that could be 
filtered on - a general one that indicates that it is a subscription list 
and a specific one that indicates what list it is.  The basic problem is 
that there are three pieces of data that need to be conveyed in the headers 
and only two universally accessible locations for that data.  The 
universally accessible locations are the From and To headers, and the three 
pieces are the originator, the destination, and the remailing agent.  You 
appear to be arguing from the perspective of running lists where the 
originator and the remailing agent are negligibly different (announcement 
lists).  Jim appears to be arguing from a perspective of "if the remailing 
agent isn't the originator, I care more about the remailing agent than the 
destination."  I'm looking for a middle ground, but failing to find 
something that satisfies all of the requirements (short of writing my own 
MUA, and that's not a useful answer).

I especially identify with Jim from the perspective of lists where copies 
are not commonly sent to the originator of the post being responded to.  I 
want to prioritize such that a personal reply to my posting shows up in my 
inbox, but a reply to the list shows up in the list folder.  If the list 
replaces its address with mine in the To field, it's harder to tell which 
is which (especially if the respondent's MUA preserves other headers).

Jim Trigg

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