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Re: cc'ing (was Re: Mozilla goes GTK+ instead of Qt)

On Tue, 3 Nov 1998, Tyson Dowd wrote:

> >         http://www.unicom.com/pw/reply-to-harmful.html
> Here's a tip: just because it is posted on the web doesn't make
> it god's own truth. 

i am aware of that little factoid.

another useful factoid: just because something is on a web site doesn't
make it false.

yet another factoid: the experience of running a mail server with several
hundred mailing lists and seeing one or another of them break every so
often (e.g. massive bounce loops) because some fuckwitted list-owner
thinks that reply-to is a good idea really shits me. cleaning up the mess
is a major headache. this happens with monotonous regularity, especially
when one or more subscribers are behind some brain-dead NT mailer.

there is only ONE good reason for setting a Reply-To on a mailing list,
and that is when the list is a one-way announcement-only list and you want
to direct any replies AWAY from the list itself...and even this usage is
pointless and obsolete because modern list software allows you to restrict
who is allowed to post to a list.

> 	- Setting Reply-To is called "munging" when the list admin
> 	does it, but is called "setting" when the user does it.
> 	Why the distinction? 

because the user wrote the message. they own it. it is up to them to
decide where they want replies directed.

> Steve Lamb posted a good criticism of the article here:
> http://www.unicom.com/BBS/bbs_forum.cgi?forum=replyto&read=000038-000000.msg&session=363d75f00f1474fc&use_last_read=on&last_read=0

i thought it was laughably lame criticism when he spammed me with it
yesterday (after i expressly told him that i did not wish to receive a
copy).  Lamb, in many of his personas, is now procmail-filtered out of my
mailbox because of his inability to understand the phrase "i do not wish
to correspond with you".

now isn't that a novel idea: receive mail you don't want? use well-known
and readily available tools to filter it out. how bizarre! that must be
some form of drug-induced lateral thinking, because the OBVIOUS solution
is to munge everyone else's headers so that it doesn't happen as often.

Lamb thinks that because he has never met anyone that has needed to use
Reply-To header, he is somehow right. that makes a lot of sense - his
lack of experience in the real world somehow gives him insight into a
problem he's never encountered.  yeah, right.

> Setting Reply-Tos are no more broken than running a list expecting

yes, it is much more broken. it breaks functionality (i.e. the ability
to set a reply-to header) which should be available to any email user.

> > flame brought to you in the interests of knocking this stupid idea
> > on the head before it takes over. it's a perniciously dangerous
> > meme.
> It's nothing of the sort.  What is dangerous is assuming that the
> alternative is any better

the "alternative" (i.e. NOT munging Reply-To) *IS* better.  Setting a
reply-to header is the sender's prerogative.  mailing lists should not
override that choice.  ever.

(btw, this isn't the "alternative", it is the default)

> -- both are somewhat broken.  

the world isn't perfect. however, destroying useful functionality is
worse than not destroying useful functionality...especially when there
are better alternatives available (i.e. dupe filtering)


craig sanders

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