Bug#2364: Pine wants to post my email reply
(I have changed the Subject line to file this under Bug#2364, which is
my copy of this bug report.)
Dale Scheetz writes
> Pine does NOT automaticaly post email replies! Here is what actually
BTW, we're not claiming that it does it `automatically'. We're saying
it offers to the user to do something that should definitely not be
> When you reply to an e-mail message that was also copied to a news group
> (ie, has the name of a news group in the cc: field) Pine will offer to
No ! You're making the same mistake as the Pine developers. (Plus
you're confused - it's the Newsgroups field, not the CC field.)
Finding a Newsgroups line in a mail message does NOT mean that the
message was also posted to the newsgroups listed. (It does mean this
if the message came from Pine itself, but Pine is not an island unto
itself - it must conform to the standards, de facto as well as de
jure, used by the rest of the 'net.)
It means that the mail message is a response (or a response to a
response, &c) to a posting in that newsgroup.
The scenario happens like this. I'm reading news in trn, and come
From: Dale Scheetz <email@example.com>
Subject: Pine gives me a woody
I hit `r' to reply by mail without quoting your text, and trn presents
Subject: Pine gives me a woody
I add the body text
Well, actually, I find Pine turns me right off. For me Emacs
is much hotter - but don't tell my wife, who is a vi fanatic !
save the file, and send the mail. Note - my message has a Newsgroups
line but is not posted. This has been standard practice on USENET
since at least 1989 (when I first used it) and probably much earlier.
You read this in Pine, and want to argue with me (after all, this is
the net). You say `reply'. Pine says `Post reply to newsgroup ?'.
At this point you probably think that either (a) Pine is offering to
do it so it must be OK or (b) that the original message must have been
posted since Pine seems to think so, or possibly both.
You hit `y', post a followup, and a week later my wife files for
divorce on the grounds of editorial incompatibility, having seen my
words quoted in your followup.
In fact, I think you'll find (if your Pine is configured with an NNTP
server) that when you try to reply to this message Pine will offer to
post it to the newsgroup `chiark.mail.debian.devel' ! It does this
because I read your mail in trn in a locally-gatewayed newsgroup to
which there is `no local posting' - it's a unidirectional gateway. I
saved the article to a mailbox file, ran my mailer (Emacs VM) on it
and hit `Reply to all recipients'. It preserved the Newsgroups field
_for your information only_. When I hit `send' it will send the mail
to the address I've put in the header, namely firstname.lastname@example.org,
and nowhere else. (The message will eventually end up in
chiark.mail.debian.devel, but only via the bug tracking system and my
> post your reply back to the news group in the cc: field. The default for
> this action is NO. The operator has to choose to take this action to get
> the message posted by pressing 'Y'.
Pine is grievously misleading the user by making an offer the only
sane answer to which is usually `absolutely not, what kind of user do
you think I am ?!'.
> If it is ok for Pine to post to news groups when running 'news mode' why
> is it all of a sudden inappropriate to offer to post something back to a
> news group currently involved in the thread simply because you are in
> 'mail mode'?
Because reading the message in mail DOESN'T mean that the message is
in the newsgroup. The ONLY WAY to see that the message is in the
newsgroup is to find it there.
That's why it's important for Pine to be able to distinguish whether
it saw the original message in mail or news. A message it sees in a
newsgroup was definitely posted to the groups in question; if it sees
a message in email this tells it NOTHING about whether the user also
posted it, regardless of the presence of a Newsgroups line.
> This seems to me to be yet another in the list of rich
> features (sometimes confusing in that richness) that pine users have
> learned to appreciate/live-with. I am passing the bug report on this
> issue upline to the developers, but I wouldn't hold my breath if you are
> looking for this to change any time soon.
The rest of the net has been trying for the past n years to explain to
them exactly what I've been trying to explain to you, but it seems to
fall on deaf ears. If we have converted you, I'd _greatly_ appreciate
it if you could make the Pine developers see sense.
 Any similarity to any persons or programs, living or dead, is