[erlang-questions] mailing list "reply to"

Morten Krogh <>
Mon Dec 6 09:08:04 CET 2010


Hi

No standards are broken if the list is a robot, that receives mail and 
,based on some logic, takes an action. Any member of the list just gets a mail from the list robot, never from an individual member. "Reply to" can then obviously only go to the list. 

The list should be seen as a robot with an email address, not as a relay or an alias.

The robot could then perform arbitrarily complex logic.

For instance if I wanted all mails in the thread  " mailing list "reply to"  " I could send the robot an email with "search" or "filter" in the subject line and 
a body which could be an erlang expression. In this case

thread == "maling list \"reply to\""

A more complicated example could involve dates, authors, and even regular expressions on the content. You want to find all posts about the function ets:delete in the last year. 
Just send the robot a mail. The robot could rather easily handle all of this.

The only loss by having the list be a robort with an email address instead of an alias to all members is that you will never see the private email addresses of the others. 
But that is not only bad.  A list is not made to make it easy to send private mails, but instead to encourage sharing knowledge.

Also, empricially we can say that it doesn't work well today because too many MUAs don't do it right. I often get two copies of the mails right after I post myself indicating that lots of members of this list have 
MUAs without  a "reply to list" button, bit only a reply-all that duplicates the mails to the previous sender. 

We also often see interrupted threads where you can deduce that we missed a part of the conversation. That is presumably because people just hit reply-to.  

I agree that munging is bad, but that is something else.  

Cheers,

Morten.


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