W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-zig@w3.org > February 2002

Re: Replying to the list

From: Alan Kent <ajk@mds.rmit.edu.au>
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 09:36:08 +1100
To: www-zig@w3.org
Message-ID: <20020228093607.F20586@io.mds.rmit.edu.au>
On Wed, Feb 27, 2002 at 02:25:59PM +0000, Mike Taylor wrote:
> This is a bit of an Old Chestnut.  There are a lot of reasons why it's
> generally Good Behaviour for lists _not_ to set their Reply-To:
> address to be the whole list, but leave it as the originator of the
> original message.  They are neatly summarised at
> 	http://www.unicom.com/pw/reply-to-harmful.html
> among other places.

I know of this page, but must admit I disagree with much of the basic
premise. The article is based on the premise that people frequently
want to send mail to individuals rather than the list. If Reply-To
is set, then normal responses go to the right place. If you want to
send mail to the submitter, to me that is an exceptional circumstance
and I can look at who the mail was from and fix the To: line myself.
At present, to be nice to people who post mail, I now manually fix the
To: line back to what it should be (removing individual email addresses).

My understanding of reading the RFC on email headers etc is that it
exactly encourages use of ReplyTo in particular circumstances.
It even says exactly how to do it. It does not loose the original
sender (again as implied by the web page). I think mailing lists
are a perfect example of why you do want to do it.

Then there is this wonderful table with 'without munging is less
key strokes' which should really be "Reply to everybody - Hit
the 'g' key then check the To field and manually remove the original
sender of the mail and anybody else who has unfortunately been
involved in the thread so they are on the cc list, then move the
real mailing list address from the cc line and put it into the To field".
My, that is easy isnt it!

Anyway, don't want to start a war on this one, but just because someone
has put up a web page saying something does not mean that its a better
approach. The web page makes comments like "its arrogant of list
administrators to assume people want to respond to the mailing list
that they are talking on." I don't think its at all arrogant. I think
its the norm. There may be good reasons for the new approach, but
I am personally not convinced by the above web page. People have touted
the page to me before, but I must admit the one-eyed view of the page
leans me exactly the opposite direction - possibly irrationally.

Received on Wednesday, 27 February 2002 17:36:42 UTC

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