It's clear to me that to be most truly useful, Majordomo will have to
facilitate the creation and administration of two kinds of mailing
lists. Ideally one would have something simple to change in a per-list
configuration file, to choose among a set of possible options for
munching reply addresses.
(in fact, one gaping need which I guess I'll have to write myself is
for an automated, or semi-automated, list-creation tool, which at
least will prompt for and verify all the info that the administer
needs to put into /etc/aliases and the various files owned by
majordomo, for a new list)
Lists inhabited by experienced users need to keep the original senders
in the "From:" line for the reasons mentioned here, i.e. being able to
use tools to parse (or ignore :-) one's voluminous mail, based on who
it's from. (Similarly if the messages are stuffed into a digest, one
would want to preserve the senders in the headers that are displayed
inside elements of the digest, assuming one tosses out most other
Lists inhabited by novices, on the other hand, need to have the
list-address become the default for replies.
Note that these two intentions are not quite opposite in theory, the
way I've stated them. One could add an explicit Reply-To:
<list-address> for the novices, while preserving the From: field.
But then again, I haven't worked on it yet and this may not work right
for stupid mail user agents (I'm not sure how Unix "MM" behaves when
given such multiple choices for replies, i.e. whether it will honor
"Reply-To:" as the default reply from novices).
Our preliminary Majordomo community already includes several lists for
undergraduate course, populated by novices who are using email for the
first time, and I've already gotten requests from the faculty to munch
the headers so that all replies will be funnelled to the list-address,
not to the original sender. So far I've put off thinking about it but
the time for action is approaching, maybe when the next Majordomo
release comes out and I have to upgrade & tinker anyway.
Looking down the road, on this campus, there are even brain-dead
things like Microsoft Mail SMTP Gateway (shudder :-), which keeps only
the SMTP Mail From envelope sender as the eventual MS-Mail "From:"
field for replies, while tossing all other RFC 821 headers including
"From:" and "Reply-To:" into comments at the ends of messages! So
there, all your MS-Mail user agent gets to generate a "reply" is the
SMTP Mail From envelope sender! unless you're smart enough to read the
other en-commented headers after the message.
Academic Information Technologies
1-312-702-8189 (campus extension 2-8189)
GCS/MU d p--@ -p+ c++@ l u++@ e++ m* s+/+ n++ h--- f? g+- w++ t++ r- y*