Sorry... Re: And please use a emailclients with working "Reference" Re: gmail users CC'ing

michael at michael at
Tue Feb 13 18:27:57 CET 2007

On Tue, 13 Feb 2007, Richard Bennett wrote:

> On Tuesday 13 February 2007 15:28, hank williams wrote:
>> Again, out of 15 lists, this only happens for me on the openmoko list.
>> Now I have read that some consider this a feature. And perhaps there
>> are benefits I don't understand. but with 25-50% of the tech mailing
>> list readers using gmail, having a list "feature" that causes this
>> kind of a problem should probably be reconsidered. I do not believe
>> this is something that can be worked around in gmail other than by
>> manually fixing every send to this list (which I do).
>> I would ask the openmoko team to consider fixing the mailing list
>> parameters in order to fix this problem.
> Hi,
> It's called 'reply-to munging', and it is as contentious as 'gnu-linux or
> linux', 'Allow proprietary binaries or only OS code', and many other things.
> Here's the details:
> Basically all good email clients support mailinglists that abide by the
> protocols, with notable exception of Outlook and Gmail.
> So many list managers allow 'reply-to munging' to make life easier on those
> users, while all other users have to cope with the broken protocol as best
> they can, which they usually do pretty well.
> Sourceforge mailinglists especially push admins not to allow reply-to munging,
> to encourage to email software to support the protocol correctly, but I have
> seen many a sourceforge list dwindle to a trickle, because replies were not
> arriving at the list anymore, only to the original poster.
> It is difficult to promote working to standards, and then setup your email
> list in an non standard fashion, but in the same way we support MP3 as well
> as OGG, it might be better to be pragmatic about this issue, and allow
> reply-to munging, in the spirit of making the list as accessible and
> enjoyable to all its users, and to restrict arguments to important topics,
> not petty list issues.

Thanks for explaining this, Richard. I had a vague understanding of this
problem but not to the level of details you provide. Now I think I understand.

I have been guilty (sometimes) of removing the "re: " to reduce the length of
a long subject line. I won't do this any more.

When replying, I too try to remember to remove all the individual "cc" and
leave just the mailing list, but sometimes I forget...

(My email client is pine. It's all about choice, right? :-)

Can we agreen on a small list of guidelines that we could put on the wiki? At
least then when the problem comes up we can point at the wiki and hopefully
resolve the issue more rapidly (not that this always works). Or is simply
coming up with the guidelines too contentious?

For instance:

Proposed wiki page:

   How to respond to list email:

   1. Never remove any "re: " in the message subject. Some (not all) email
     clients use this to identify the thread.

   2. If your email client adds the original poster and other addressees to the
     "Cc:" field, remove them. You should always respond only to the list.

   3. To start a new subject, always compose a new message. Responding to a
     message, even if you change the subject field, will leave a reference to a
     previous thread.



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