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Re: [META] Reply-to list, not author

From: David Woolley <forums@david-woolley.me.uk>
Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2008 09:41:20 +0000
Message-ID: <479C51C0.1010807@david-woolley.me.uk>
To: www-style@w3.org

David Perrell wrote:
> Am I the only one who thinks it would make sense to put a 'Reply-to:' field
> in list message headers pointing to the list address?

This can be a somewhat controversial subject, but I note that very few 
of the lists that I am on actually do it, and one of those did it 
because each posting was generating about 70 Outlook Out of Office 
replies, and being moderated, it was able to eliminate the problem and 
the corresponding subscribers.

> It is far too easy to click 'Reply' and then send to the author and not the
> list; or click 'Reply to All' and neglect to edit the 'To:' line, thus

One of the big reasons for NOT using reply to list is precisely this. 
If one makes this mistake with the normal configuration, one sends a 
public comment privately and can resend.  If one makes the mistake with 
reply to list, one can send a private message publicly; that message may 
contain confidential information, personal criticism, or off topic 
replies.  (One still has to be careful, at least one recent contributor 
to the list replies on list to off list messages.)

> sending the author two copies of the reply - one via the list and one
> directly.

The duplicate copy problem is more to do with modern list users not 
being bothered to prune the list.  These lists tend to attract 
relatively sophisticated mailing list users, so pruning is done more 
often than on popular lists.

David Woolley
Emails are not formal business letters, whatever businesses may want.
RFC1855 says there should be an address here, but, in a world of spam,
that is no longer good advice, as archive address hiding may not work.
Received on Sunday, 27 January 2008 09:41:29 UTC

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