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

Raimo Niskanen <>
Fri May 20 10:05:24 CEST 2011

On Thu, May 19, 2011 at 06:01:31PM -0600, OvermindDL1 wrote:
> On May 19, 2011 10:57 AM, "Vance Shipley" <> wrote:
> >
> > On Thu, May 19, 2011 at 11:35:14AM -0500, David Mercer wrote:
> > }  Can someone please elucidate the distinction between a mailing
> > }  list and a forum?
> >
> > I have come to the conclusion that what is beneath these sort
> > of debates amounts to a generational gap.  Those who grew up
> > with a mouse in their hands have different expectations than
> > those of us who grew up with our hands planted on the keyboard
> > looking at a command prompt.  As one of the later my view is
> > that the distinction is:
> >
> >        mailing list:  push
> >        forum:         pull
> >
> > --
> >        -Vance
> > _______________________________________________
> > erlang-questions mailing list
> > 
> > http://erlang.org/mailman/listinfo/erlang-questions
> Why can it not just be configurable on a person by person basis by editing
> their own user preferences on the mailing list server?
> Certainly the mailing list software is not so poorly designed so as to
> require such a person specific option to be set only globally.  ;-)

Oh yes it is, I hope "poorly designed" was the reason for the ";-)".

I have run some mailing lists and only looked at running forums,
but they are different software packages. Popular mailing list
softwares are e.g "Mailman" or "Majordomo", forums "phpBB",
"UseBB", "WWWBoard", "YaBB", etc.

A mailing list is centered around the mails. Users posts by sending
a mail to the list, the software distributes the mail to all
subscirbers and possibly keeps an archive of all posts.
Often the origin address of the mail is used to verify that
a mail is valid to post. And that is about it.

A forum is centered about the archive/bulletin board. Users have
to log on, there has to be a web server handling the user session,
the post is written through a web interface, users have more
settings e.g an Avatar and there has to be permission handling
of which user is allowed to post to which forum section.
There has to be moderators that can completely delete threads
that are inappropriate (in mailing lists changing the archive
is rare done since all subscribers know all posts anyway).
You can often get a mail when a thread you are "watching" is
updated but you are supposed to read through the web interface.
Forums can have mailing list extensions so you can post
by sending a mail, possibly also get the posts as mails.
I have been on forums where this appeared to be upcoming
features but were not enabled...

So, mailing list software is designed so that the forum model
is not on the map at all except keeping an archive. Forum software
may be designed to act as mailing lists, but I do not know how well
they do it.

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/ Raimo Niskanen, Erlang/OTP, Ericsson AB

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