mailing list management

Marco Barreno barreno at
Wed Aug 22 22:16:45 CEST 2007

On Tue, Aug 21, 2007 at 07:31:54PM +0800, thus spake Harald Welte:
> Dear Hank,
> On Tue, Aug 21, 2007 at 06:50:03AM -0400, hank williams wrote:
> > While I agree with your argument that no header is the standard for FOSS,
> > this is not the case for the reply to issue, which you did not address. As I
> > said earlier, the Apache groups (perhaps the largest FOSS umbrella) for
> > example, and many (most?) others do not have the default reply-to going to
> > the individual. Part of the reason for this is that it is bad user interface
> > for the default behavior to be one that is used perhaps 1% of the time. Most
> > people generally want to reply to group. Your default should be the most
> > commonly accessed option which is why your design decision on this matter is
> > not only not standard, but is, I believe, the minority design, even in the
> > FOSS community.
> I'm not opposed to changing the reply-to for community, if you want
> that.  In fact, I have now changed it.

*sigh*  Now this is another list I have to be very careful on to be
sure I don't send something to the list that I intended to go only to
one person.  I disagree with Hank that default behavior is the issue
here.  It's not a matter of the default for one action; there are two
separate actions to take, either reply to the sender or reply to the
list.  These have two separate buttons/keys in any mail program.  You
choose which one to use based on the behavior you want.  Neither one
should be easier or more difficult than the other.  In Gmail, I press
'r' when I want to reply to the sender and 'a' when I want to reply to
all/list; in mutt I press 'r' to reply to sender and 'L' to reply to
list.  Now 'a' or 'L' still gets me the list behavior but 'r' is
broken.  In fact, in Gmail, there's now no way to reply to the sender
other than copying and pasting the email address into the To: field.
(I consider this a bug in Gmail, but still, it'll be an issue for a
lot of people on this list.)

Some mailers have special features for lists.  Some mailers
automatically use Reply-To and some ask you.  But every mailer has a
"Reply to All" feature that will reply to the list.  Why break the
normal behavior of Reply in most mail programs in order to duplicate a
feature that all mail programs already have?


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