OT: reply-to munging

Jay West jwest at classiccmp.org
Wed Nov 5 14:19:52 CST 2014

Oh hell. I sure didn't mean to open up that can of worms (the every year or
so debate on if replies should be to the list or to the poster). But since
it HAS been brought up....

Background for short-timers: There is a recurring debate every year or so as
to the reply-to headers setting on the list. The way it works now, when the
list sends out list traffic/posts to each of you, it "munges" the reply-to
header so that when you hit "reply" to a list post, the reply goes to the
list. If you want to just reply to the poster directly (off-list), you have
to go through gyrations like hitting forward and typing in the senders email

Taking off my list owner hat... the following is my own personal opinion on
the topic which shall not be dictated upon the rest:

I think that's insane, not to mention that I suspect it violates some RFC's
and breaks the good intentions/functionality of most MUA's. But
regardless.... if the list was set the other (the normal) way... when you
get a post you hit reply to reply directly (and only) to the original poster
and if you want it to go to the entire list - you hit "reply all". I mean,
come on - that's why mail clients HAVE a reply vs. "reply all" button.

The only argument I've heard that is vaguely cogent for the current method,
is that people will often hit reply with a golden nugget of information and
the rest of the list will miss out on that. The argument on the other side
of the fence is that having it set the way it currently is causes people to
very often post things to the list that were meant to be private.

I am of the opinion that the reply-to should be set to the poster, not the
list, and let people use their MUA the way it was intended. That being said,
I'll defer to whatever the majority of folks wish. On the other hand, this
list is mainly frequented by Grumpy Old Men aka Curmudgeons - of which I am
most certainly one - and changing this well-entrenched behavior is likely to
start a religious war which I want no part of :)

<troll>So how bout that 10-year rule?</troll>



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