[erlang-questions] 'reply-to' header in this mailing list

Michael Turner <>
Wed May 18 12:00:40 CEST 2011


"I would like to understand *why* you don't  judge this very simple solution
to your problem as adeguate."

It's not just about me. It's about people who have never encountered this
controversy before, because they're on normal mailing lists, and who write
their first-ever message (and many more afterward) to *this* list. People
who haven't even subscribed yet.

So, what do you propose?  Something like this, perhaps: In the sign-on
message for new subscribers to the Erlang mailing list, we include a message
saying, "Get in the habit of always using 'Reply all' instead of 'Reply',
for *all* of your e-mail correspondence, and after a while, you won't find
it annoying in the least that this mailing list has 'Reply-to' set only to
the address of the message sender, unlike other mailing lists you're on."

Or, if not that, then exactly *how* do you propose to change the world's
habits? (Venture Capitalists have a term for this, when they encounter a
business plan that's predicated on people giving up habits: "Boiling the
ocean.")

When it's "purely logical versus human nature", human nature always wins.

-michael turner

On Wed, May 18, 2011 at 5:54 PM, Pierpaolo Bernardi <>wrote:

> On Wed, May 18, 2011 at 10:28, Alex Shneyderman <>
> wrote:
> >> According to your intuition, what should be the difference between
> >> an action called "Reply" and another called "Reply to all"?
> >
> > In the case of this list (or any mailing list) I would expect reply to
> > go to the list
> > because I am aware of the fact that the discussion is to be conducted on
> > that list. If I want to make sure that the email goes to the original
> author I
> > will take extra care/effort to send the reply to that one person.
> >
> > And it is not just his intuition - my intuition tells me the same
> > thing as his :-)
>
> OK. That would be my intuition, too, if there was only one action
> available for replying to messages. But in every modern mail client
> there are two possibilities, usually labeled something like "reply"
> and "reply to all", so my question still stands unanswered.
>
> The people who complain about the correct behaviour could easily
> obtain their desired behaviour if they just *don't* use the "reply"
> command (Never. Not only for messages coming from properly
> configured mailing lists), and *always* use "reply to all" (Always.
> Not only for for messages coming for properly configured mailing lists).
>
> I would like to understand *why* you don't  judge this very simple
> solution to your problem as adeguate. Really. Mine is not a
> rethorical question.
>
> P.
>
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