W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org > February 1997

Re: Subject headings -- and multiple CCs

From: David G. Durand <dgd@cs.bu.edu>
Date: Sun, 2 Feb 1997 15:13:27 -0500
Message-Id: <v02130510af1a9c9f49bf@[]>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@www10.w3.org
At 12:21 PM 1/31/97, Jon Bosak wrote:
>Just a friendly reminder:

>Also, you will substantially decrease the level of irritation among
>many members of the WG if you will take a few seconds to make sure
>that your reply is not redundantly copied to individuals but is posted
>only to the list server.

The following unauthorized re-posting is a very coherent explanation of why
we _should_ change the mailing list software. (address removed to save the
author from misdirected followups).

(Don Blaheta)
Ok, diatribe time.

A number of mailing lists perform "reply-to munging" on all messages
they process.  This makes responses go back to the list by default.
There are numerous advantages and disadvantages to this sort of thing.

The problem with a lack of munging is, as BRG says, that replies
directly to the list require a user to either type in the list name
explicitly, or else to do some sort of group-reply, which also includes
the sender, which means that after a thread gets started, every
participant gets duplicate copies.  Yuck.

Reply-to munging solves this problem nicely, because a regular reply
will be sent to the list.  However, it makes it difficult to send
replies to the original sender, as is occasionally appropriate.  It
makes it especially difficult if the sender has a bad mailing system and
used the Reply-to field to specify their return address.

An additional difficulty with either system is that people will forget
to send it to the right address.  On a munged list, this means that they
will accidentally send a private message to the list, and on a
non-munged list, this means that they will accidentally send a public
message to just one person.  In my experience, the former is far less
common (less than once a month, usually), while the latter is not only
common, but also highly annoying since the message does not reach most
of its target audience.

However, to throw another wrench into the problem, a fairly
recently-devloped mailer called Mutt has come about, and it has a
command "list-reply", which replies directly to the list even if it
wasn't munged.  Because this feature exists on a single mailer, people
now say that there is no reason to use munging at all, ever, although so
many people still use elm and pine that all the problems of a non-munged
list are still just as bad as they ever were.

So basically, it's just a judgement call.  I say that most lists
(discussion lists, at least) should munge their reply-to fields,
including conlang and auxlang, but I thought y'all should be informed.

I am not a number. I am an undefined character.
David Durand              dgd@cs.bu.edu  \  david@dynamicDiagrams.com
Boston University Computer Science        \  Sr. Analyst
http://www.cs.bu.edu/students/grads/dgd/   \  Dynamic Diagrams
--------------------------------------------\  http://dynamicDiagrams.com/
MAPA: mapping for the WWW                    \__________________________
Received on Sunday, 2 February 1997 15:13:12 UTC

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