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

On 03-Nov-1998, Craig Sanders <cas@taz.net.au> wrote:
> 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.

Are you sure that the pain you feel as an administrator with the occasional
problems that crop up is much greater than any possible benefit any of
your users might gain from running the list as they want to?

Perhaps their concerns are significant enough that you might 
to any technical difficulties you might encounter doing your job.

Then again, perhaps they are just fuckwit users.  Yeah, that's probably
the case.  User concerns are worthless, admin concerns are all that

I hope you were doing your BOFH impersonation and this isn't really
how you think of your users ;-).  But don't worry, I have to put up with
administration attitudes like this every day.

Also, your mailer is brain dead.  Please follow Debian policy and stop
CCing me.

> 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.

1. Keeps discussion on the list.  No more seeing requests for help and
wondering if anyone else has helped them yet.  No more information
falling off the list.  No more accidental thread jumping from
private to public lists.

2. Stops CCs which clutter lists and increase download times (and yes,
of course OTHER things can fix this -- for example you could
unsubscribe or filter).

3. Announcement lists as you describe above.  You can redirect enquiries
to the person who you want to answer them, instead of just the list
owner or (shock horror -- worst of all) the system administrator (who
will just file them under "fuckwit" with all other user email).
So this isn't pointless and obselete (unless I suppose you are a
systems administrator).

> > 	- 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.

So set From:.  That's what it's for.

[Delete pointless personal attacks].

> > 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.

Setting from 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.

Not according to RFC-822.

Setting From is perfectly workable.  Unless your ISP is broken.

> > -- 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)

As I pointed out originally, dupe filtering is basically useless for
pay-as-you-go people.  But otherwise it's not a bad solution to
duplicates -- but duplicates are really a small part of the problem
IMHO -- I am MUCH more concerned about information that falls off
the list.

(From here you say "well do server side filtering" and I say "most ISPs
don't allow it" and you say "change ISP" and I say "many people don't
have that luxury".  So let's skip it).

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.     - Benjamin Franklin

Tyson Dowd   <tyson@tyse.net>   http://tyse.net

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