[erlang-questions] mailing list "reply to"

Morten Krogh <>
Mon Dec 6 12:52:16 CET 2010


Sure, you can call a mail server a robot.
Let me rephrase it.

The mailing list can either be seen as an alias or as an entity (robot, 
person?) with an email address.

The mail serves themselves are just glue for now, like ip routers etc.

Suppose A sends a mail to the list and B gets the mail. Did B then get 
an email from A or from the list?
It makes a lot of sense to claim that the mail came from the list. See 
the list as a person that forwards mails if you want to.
Then reply-to should go to the list.
Internet standards do not exclude any of these uses. Of course, we are 
allowed to let all communication go through the "person" "list", who 
then forwards it.

That is not munging, it is just an email from "list", the person "list".

There are two perspectives.

1. We all receive a lot of private mails sent to a lot of people.

2. We all communicate with one robot, and each of us should only see the 
mail address of the robot and nothing more. Private mail addresses can 
be included somewhere if necessary, but
     they are a side show.

1. makes private replies easy.
2. makes list replies easy.

I think 2 is preferable. I think the argument of sending private mails 
is very weak. It is people, who want to send privately, that should go 
out of their way.



On 12/6/10 12:18 PM, Allan Wegan wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
>> The list should be seen as a robot with an email address, not as a
> relay or an alias.
> Every server is in fact sort of a robot. That includes regular mail servers.
>> 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.
> Much worse are the people using email clients that do not send proper
> in-reply-to headers and therefore break the tree view for users using
> more advanced clients!
>> I agree that munging is bad, but that is something else.
> I agree that munging is bad.
> - -- 
> Allan Wegan
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