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 de Cormeilles" <blaise @ scadian . net>
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 22:08:51 -0400
To: List-managers @ greatcircle . com

On 24 Oct 00, at 17:23, James M Galvin wrote:

>     But to play games with terminology, when I'm putting the address
>     in the "to:" line, I'm not steaming open the envelope. I'm
>     attaching a mailing label to the outside -- you're looking at
>     the envelope too literally here with VERP. all I'm doing is
>     choosing to use a more correct (or perhaps specific is a less
>     loaded word) address on that mailing label I paste on the
>     envelope.the header *is* part of the envelope, even if it's not
>     'envelope' in the terminology of SMTP.
>     If you really want to get literal about it, what I'm doing is
>     what my bank does with my bank statement -- print the address on
>     the statement, and use an envelope with a window instead of
>     printing it on the envelope itself....
> Heh, heh, nice analogy.  But I think I can use it to my benefit
> instead of yours.  :-)
> I would make the case that the bank statement analogy is better
> matched with personalizing the actual content as opposed to the
> headers.  The physical envelope itself is generic, as should the
> headers be in an elist message.  The window itself represents the
> name of the elist, with what's visible on the inside representing
> the SMTP envelope information. The actual name and address
> information on the inside represents the salutation of the actual
> content of the email message.

Ah, there are actually *four* types of mail!  I hadn't thought it
through sufficiently.

        Type               Postal mail        Internet mail
1.      Personal mail      Letter from friend Letter from friend
2.      Bulk personalized  Bill               Announcement list
3.      Bulk remailing     Fanzine            Discussion list
4.      Bulk unsolicited   "Occupant"         Spam

The problem is that bulk remailing, unlike all of the other types,
needs three addresses: The originator, the remailer, and the
recipient.  For all of the others, the originator and the remailer are
sufficiently indistinguishable for the remailer to be ignorable.  I no
longer have a problem with putting the recipient's address in the To
header, but think we really need to work to get all remailers to
either put their address in Sender or support the List-ID header, and
to get all mail clients to support filtering on Sender and on List-ID.

Jim Trigg

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