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FW: call for a vote -- should debian-user mailing list replies go to author or to list?


Here's the final tally:

     clearly voted "reply to list"            6
     clearly enough voted "reply to sender"   2
     clearly abstained                        1
     other                                  ~86

Thank you all for the quantity and quality of discussion on this thread.  :-)

I conclude that:

1.  Many debian-user mailing list users want their replies to be
    directed to the mailing list most of the time.

2.  The debian-user mailing list facilitates "Reply to List"
    functionality, but many mail client programs in common use
    (including mine) lack the feature(s) necessary to use it.

3.  Many mailing lists have implemented a work-around whereby they set
    the "Reply-To" message header so that replies are directed to the
    list when the reader activates the "Reply" feature of their mail

4.  Users with mail client software lacking the "Reply to List" feature
    have grown accustomed to the work-around behavior because it does
    what they expect.  They are unpleasantly surprised when they reply
    to a message from this list and it goes to the sender.

5.  The work-around breaks key functionality from the sender's
    perspective if they have deliberately set the "Reply-To" header, or
    if it has been set on their behalf.

6.  Advanced debian-user mailing list senders depend upon correct
    mailing list operation, including respect of the "Reply-To" header,
    and would be adversely impacted by the work-around.

7.  Some debian-user mailing list senders are zealous about this issue.

I have some ideas for a solution:

1.  Educate debian-user mailing list readers (especially new ones) on
    this issue.  Put information into a new reader "Welcome" letter.
    Put information into a FAQ.  Make it prominent and easy to find.

2.  Write an open-source "Reply to List" feature (plug-in?) for common
    mail clients missing such.

3.  Add per-user-configurable options to the debian-user mailing list
    software to set the "Reply-To" header, subject to message direction
    (user sending to list, user receiving from list), exceptions
    (always set, only set when not set), and/or other relevant criteria.

I hereby volunteer to help implement a solution to the "reply to list for
brain-dead MUA's" problem, per the above or any other good idea(s), with the
caveat that my time be used effectively.


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