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VOTE: Mail list behavior

From: Jon Bosak <Jon.Bosak@Eng.Sun.COM>
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 1997 15:26:22 -0700
Message-Id: <199706052226.PAA06542@boethius.eng.sun.com>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
OK, I've done some checking with our W3C contact, Dan Connolly, about
the possibility of changing the behavior of the list mailer so that
replies will default to the group rather than to the individual
sender.  His reply was twofold:

1. It can be done.

2. He recommends against it.

   a. It causes problems.  For details, see


   b. Those problems will end up in the list maintainer's lap.
      I happen to have the dubious honor of being the list maintainer.

Even though I personally think that changing the behavior of the
mailer is the wrong thing to do, and even though it looks like it may
create extra work for me, in order to settle this once and for all (we
have had this discussion several times over the last few months) I
will let the WG decide this issue.  It's your list, and you should
have the right to decide (within its technological limits) how it
behaves.  Here's the deal:

1. Read http://www.miranova.com/~steve/reply-to-harmful.html and consider
   what it has to say very carefully.  This is linked to from Item 1
   on the Smartlist FAQ (http://www.mindwell.com/smartlist/), and the
   implication is that what it has to say is the Conventional Wisdom
   among list administrators on this subject.

2. After you have considered the pros and cons, send me PRIVATE mail
   (not to the list) under the heading of this message containing the
   single word YES (change the behavior of the list so that the
   default response is to the list rather than the individual) or NO
   (keep things the way they are).  Please end the current
   discussion on the list itself.

3. I will count all of the votes received on this question Sunday
   night (June 8) and let Dan know what we want to do.  The
   implications are:

   a. If you decide YES, you want to change the behavior of the mailer,
      then I am going to ignore any kind of crud that the mailer sends
      me about any problems it might be having as a result of this.  I
      don't know what kind of crud that could be, I'm just telling you
      in advance that whatever it is is going to go straight into
      /dev/null, and if as a result of that you end up being
      automatically unsubscribed (or whatever bizaare behavior may
      eventuate from this), that's just too doggone bad.

   b. If you decide NO, then that is the end of it.  And, within the
      constraints of the process we've set up for this, the end of
      anyone who persists in continually and deliberately (as opposed
      to occasionally and accidentally) copying individuals on mail
      intended for the list.

Vox populi, vox dei.  Your call.

Received on Thursday, 5 June 1997 18:26:53 UTC

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