[erlang-questions] mailing list "reply to"

Raimo Niskanen <>
Mon Dec 6 11:59:13 CET 2010

On Fri, Dec 03, 2010 at 09:13:11PM -0600, Jesse Gumm wrote:
> For me, it makes more sense to mangle the reply-to header since 99% of
> the time, I'm replying to the mailing list rather than do the
> individual.  It makes more sense to me to make the default behavior be
> the most common behavior.  I view a mailing list as just another way
> of implementing an online forum, and in that regard, the default
> action is to reply to the thread, rather than via PM.
> If I'm in the minority, and most people actually do private replies
> more frequently than public ones, then that makes sense why it's the
> default, preferred way.
> -Jesse


I am currently the list maintainer of all mailing lists @erlang.org,
and have been so for some years now.

This discussion surfaces a few times per year and it always
homes in on the same conclusion:

Changing the setting of not munging the Reply-To: header
would cause more harm to many enough users to not motivate
the benefit other users would get. And of course break existing
standards and practices for _mailing lists_.

Read the article supplied below by Kenji Rikitake:
and why not the old debate referenced by that article:

Here is the summary from the freshest article:


    Some people want to munge Reply-To header fields. They believe it makes
    reply-to-list easier, and it encourages more list traffic. It really
    does neither, and not only is it a poor idea but it's forbidden
    by Internet standards.

    The IETF has spoken, and if you violate their standard and munge your
    Reply-To header fields you're just creating problems for everybody.

I still see no new reasons to change the current standarized behaviour.

/ Raimo Niskanen

> On Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 8:16 PM, Alain O'Dea <> wrote:
> > I love how this topic resurfaces perennially.  I tried to apply the Reply is
> > private Reply All goes to Group to a Google Group I created for my
> > graduating class.  They flipped out and I reversed it.  Young people these
> > days ;)
> >
> > On Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 10:10 PM, Kenji Rikitake <>wrote:
> >
> >> A reference to the history of Reply-To: header handling:
> >> http://woozle.org/~neale/papers/reply-to-still-harmful.html
> >>
> >> FYI
> >> Kenji Rikitake
> >>
> >> ________________________________________________________________
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> >>
> >>
> >
> -- 
> Jesse Gumm
> Sigma Star Systems
> 414.940.4866
> http://www.sigma-star.com
> ________________________________________________________________
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/ Raimo Niskanen, Erlang/OTP, Ericsson AB

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